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Author Topic: Earthquakes in Kent.  (Read 8359 times)

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Offline scintilla

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Re: Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2012, 14:14:06 »
A bit hasty again, had to go out and have just come back and rechecked the list and found some more that were felt in Kent.

6 October, 1863, Hereford.
This event is extremely well documented, partly due to a contemporary investigation by E. J. Lowe, partly due to the very copious newspaper reports of the event. The epicentre was to the SW of Hereford itself, in the area known as the Golden Valley. Damage in the epicentral area (Hereford - Ross on Wye - Monmouth - Abergavenny - Hay on Wye) was fairly minor, but there are also reports of isolated instances of damage at places further away, including several places in Shropshire and even as far away as Lincoln.
The effects of the shock were felt over almost the whole of England and Wales south of the Lake District (it was felt at Ulverstone), including Cornwall and Kent, where it was felt by Charles Dickens, who described the experience in a letter to the Times. It seems also to have been felt quite noticeably in N. France at Le Havre and other places (Vogt 1979), which is unusual; this extends the felt area sufficiently to give the earthquake a magnitude equal to that of the 19 July, 1984 Lleyn earthquake.
This may also be one of the last instances in the UK of a religious interpretation being put on an earthquake; on the Sunday following, the vicar of Leominster preached a sermon stating that the earthquake was sent by God as a result of the numbers of Dissenters in the parish, and was widely ridiculed as a result.
Sources: Soil Mechanics (1982), Vogt (1979), BGS material.

30 October, 1868, Neath.
The limits of the felt area of this event are marked by Manchester in the north, Blackheath (Kent) in the east, Plymouth in the south and St David's (Pembroke) in the west. The intensity was not very high anywhere, and the only reports of damage are isolated and non-representative. The shock was strongest at Neath, where effects on people and objects suggest intensity 6 MSK, but as there was not even slight damage to houses, the intensity has been given as 5-6 MSK. The epicentre was probably in the Vale of Neath, NE of Neath itself. There was a complete absence of aftershocks.
Sources: Musson et al (1984a).

2 April, 1990, Bishop's Castle.
The epicentre of this earthquake was in Shropshire, between the small town of Bishop's Castle and the village of Clun, nearer to the latter. The felt area was extensive, covering all of Wales and much of England. It was felt as far N as Ayrshire, as far E as Kent, as far S as Cornwall and as far W as Dublin. The distribution of damage was irregular. In Clun a few chimneys were thrown down, some plaster fell or was cracked, and trivial damage was reported to the ruins of Clun Castle. Nearby to Clun the wall of a farm building was cracked through from top to bottom and displaced by several centimetres. At Bishop's Castle, on the other hand, there was no damage at all. More distantly, there were significant concentrations of damage to older housing in localised parts of Shrewsbury and Wrexham. There were no aftershocks of any note.
If one considers the larger earthquakes of this part of England, those of 1863, 1896, 1926 and 1990, it is interesting to note that there appears to be a migration of epicentres from SW to NE in a rather arcuate path. Whether this is significant or coincidence is impossible to say.
Sources: Ritchie et al (1990), instrumental.

22 September, 2002, Dudley.
This earthquake occurred some 3 km northwest of Dudley, at a depth of 14 km, with a magnitude of 4.7 ML. It was felt over an area of 126,000 square kilometres (isoseismal 3). Reports were received of electric power being cut off to many homes in districts of Birmingham and multi-storey flats being evacuated in the Egbaston district of Birmingham. The earthquake was felt from the west coast to the east coast, as far north as Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Humberside and to Dorset and Kent in the South. The highest observed intensity was 5 EMS, which was observed quite widely over an area around Dudley, Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton and as far south as Kidderminster and Bromwich. In a number of cases, mirrors and clocks were thrown off walls, a bookcase fell over, large items of furniture shook violently and there was a high level of alarm amongst the local population. A few reports mentioned children being thrown out of their beds. Two aftershocks were recorded, with magnitudes of 2.7 and 1.2 ML on 23 and 24 September respectively. The larger of the two aftershocks was felt with an intensity of 3 EMS.
Sources: BGS material.


Offline scintilla

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Re: Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 13:04:30 »
Missed this low intensity (for Kent) one.

13 April, 1992, Roermond.
This was the largest regional event for some years. The epicentre was in the S Netherlands, in the Rur Graben (the earthquake can be positively connected with one of the graben bounding faults), and the earthquake was felt in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France, England,  the Czech Republic and Switzerland. Piecing together an isoseismal map has thus been a major international effort - successfully accomplished, thanks to the Transfrontier Project of the European Community. In the UK it was noticed at mostly low intensity in Kent and SE Essex, and at very low intensity as far as Warrington.

Offline scintilla

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Re: Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 11:10:31 »
I extracted this list of Kent/SE England earthquakes from a larger British list on an archived BGS website from 2002.

27 March 1081 Brabant
Epicentre vague, possibly near Liège. Probably felt in SE England, but there is no precise information. Houtgast (1992) gives an estimated magnitude of 6½ for this event.

11 September 1275 S England
This earthquake follows the pattern for the larger earthquakes of this period - general reports that damage was widespread and specific mention of one church, in this case St Michael's on the Tor, at Glastonbury, which was destroyed and subsequently rebuilt. Beyond that, the earthquake was felt at London, Canterbury and Winchester and in Wales. One report (Annales Wintonia) states that it was felt across the sea; this may indicate France (not confirmed by French sources) or confusion with some distant event.
The damage to one very anomalous building at Glastonbury in Somerset (perched at the top of a narrow conical hill) cannot be used to infer intensity or epicentre. However, the report that houses and churches in many places in England were thrown down suggests a maximum intensity greater than 7 MSK. It is also reported by one source (Annales Oseneia) that people were killed. This is the only contemporary report of earthquake fatalities in Britain before 1580.
Possibly the epicentre was in the Portsmouth/Chichester area (S coast of England); such a location would agree well with the limited data available.
 
4 January 1299 SE England
This event is described as felt throughout Kent (including Canterbury) and Middlesex (including Hampton), and causing the partial collapse of the church of St Andrew's, Hitchin, Hertfordshire (Hine, nd). However, documentation is poor, and rests largely on secondary sources quoting from unnamed or lost originals. The epicentre was probably in Hertfordshire or Middlesex. The date is given by some sources as 5 January.

21 May 1382 Dover Straits
Documentation for this event is quite good, both in England and in the Low Countries, allowing an epicentre in the Dover Straits to be fixed with reasonably certainty. In addition to the usual vague accounts of damage at unnamed localities, there are some details of damage at Canterbury and Hollingbourne in Kent, and at London (minor). The earthquake is famous for disrupting a Council meeting in London held to condemn the doctrines of John Wycliffe; both sides claiming the earthquake as a mark of Divine displeasure against the other side. It also inspired an early English poem describing the event:
 
... Chaumbres, chymeneys, al to-barst,
Chirches and castelles foule gon fare;
Pinacles, steples, to ground hit cast;
And al was for warnyng to be ware.

are the lines describing the damage. The extent to which the earthquake was felt north and west of London (where the intensity was probably 6 MSK) is unknown but was probably extensive, and the magnitude of the earthquake probably exceeded 5½ ML.
Sources: Melville (1982), BGS material.
 
24 May 1382 Dover Straits
Aftershock of the above; caused effects on water in Kent harbours and probably exceeded 4 ML.
 
23 April 1449 Flanders
This earthquake was felt in Canterbury, and SE England generally, and in the Low Countries where it was especially severe in the Bruges district. Previous studies are divided as to whether the epicentre was in the Dover Straits or on the Continent. The latter solution is preferred here.
Sources: Ambraseys & Melville (1983), Houtgast (1992), BGS material.

6 April 1580 Dover Straits
This is one of the most celebrated of all British earthquakes, supposedly alluded to by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. The epicentre was undoubtedly between Dover and Calais, and the earthquake was felt over most of England, certainly as far as York and possibly as far as Edinburgh in Scotland (the dating of the Edinburgh report is uncertain). Also the earthquake was felt over much of Northern France, throughout the Low Countries, and perhaps also in Germany.
Damage was caused in Kent and the Pas de Calais/Low Countries area, and also in London (where two apprentices were killed) and as far away as Ely and Leicestershire. There were also casualties in the Low Countries.
Seismic sea effects in the Channel were certainly observed. It has been suggested that some of the strong effects attributed to the earthquake were actually caused by a storm a few days later.
In London, a spate of pamphlets describing the earthquake and exhorting people to repentance were published, and some of these have survived, providing fuller contemporary descriptions of the effects of this earthquake than for any previous British event. A special prayer-book to be read in churches or by families was issued as a means of calming the alarmed population. As far as I am aware, the last time this prayer-book was actually used was in 1884 after the Colchester earthquake.
Sources: Neilson et al (1984a), BGS material.

1 May 1580 Dover Straits
This was the principal aftershock, felt as far as Gravesend (near London) and therefore probably greater than 4 ML.

8 September 1692 Brabant
This important regional earthquake had an epicentre between Brussels and Liege, and was widely felt in the Low Countries, NE France, and in Germany as far away as Frankfurt. In Britain it was felt strongly in SE England, with some isolated instances of damage, including a few reports of damage in London. There are no reports of it being felt further north than Cambridge, but to the west it was felt as far as Tiverton in Devon.
Sources: Soil Mechanics (1982), Houtgast (1992), BGS material.

8 February and 8 March 1750 London
Although not large, these two events are of considerable importance since they demonstrate the existence of an active fault directly underneath central London. The recurrence of activity on this feature today might have serious consequences. Both events occasioned intense interest, with the result that documentation is good.
The first shock was the smaller of the two. The felt area was largely confined to the limits marked by Eltham in the SE, Edmonton in the N, and Richmond in the SW, although it is also reported that the earthquake was felt at Hertford and Gravesend. The shock was strongest in the East End, at Limehouse and Poplar, where some chimneys were thrown down. There was also minor damage at Leadenhall Street, in Southwark, and a few other localities.
The second shock was more severe and damage was more widespread. Tiles fell from houses as far away as Croydon. Various chimneys were damaged, part of a house in Old Street and two uninhabited houses in Whitechapel fell. The top of one of the piers on the N side of Westminster Abbey fell down, with the ironwork that fastened it. Part of a roof at Lambeth collapsed. At least two people were injured. The felt area extends as far south as Epsom. Epsom and Stanmore are the most westerly places where the shock was reported. To the east, it was felt at Ilford but not at Hornchurch. To the north, however, it was definitely felt at various places in the Hatfield-Hertford area, possibly also in Hitchin and reportedly as far away as Linton, 10 km SE of Cambridge.
A mad guardsman prophesied a third shock for 5 April which would destroy the metropolis, which caused much panic, and many who could left the city; an engraving of the departing processions exists.
The event inspired many treatises and pamphlets on earthquakes, including a satirical spoof account of the prophesied but non-occurring 5 April event, which concluded " ... the more rubbish is removed, and the deeper they go into it, the more persons of distinction are found at the bottom of it."
Sources: BGS material.

18 February 1756 Düren
This major earthquake of the Lower Rhine Embayment was felt in Kent and London.
Sources: Houtgast (1992).

28 November 1776 Dover Straits
This earthquake was similar to the event of 9 January 1950. Very minor damage was done either side of the Dover Straits.
Sources: Neilson et al (1984d).

23 February 1828 Tirlemont
This significant Belgian earthquake, with epicentre ESE of Brussels, was felt at intensity 2 MSK at Boughton under Blean, near Faversham, Kent.
Sources: Ambraseys (1985), Houtgast (1992), BGS material.
 
2 March 1831 Deal
Felt in E Kent, from Margate to Dover, and in the surrounding villages. Particularly alarming at Deal, where some people fainted. Epicentre an uncertain distance offshore from Deal, but no reports from France have been discovered.
Sources: Soil Mechanics (1982), BGS material.

23 April 1933 Canterbury
At Canterbury some sleepers were awakened and windows and doors rattled. It was also felt at Faversham, Whitstable and Margate and villages in the vicinity. The centre of the felt area is NE of Canterbury. Some catalogues give the year incorrectly as 1934.
Sources: BGS material.

11 June 1938 Belgium
The epicentre of this earthquake was in the Zulzich - Nukerke area of Belgium, near Oudenarde, and the earthquake was extensively felt in Belgium, Netherlands and France, also in England and Germany. In England the extreme limits of observation were at Sheringham (Norfolk), Bedford and Plymouth. Damage was extensive - it is estimated that over 17500 chimneys were damaged in Belgium and a further 1400 in France. In the UK, the strongest intensities were felt along the SE coast of Kent, but it is unlikely that the intensity exceeded 4 MSK in England. The shock was felt quite generally in parts of London; this is the most recent event to date to be felt significantly in London.
Sources: Neilson et al (1984d), instrumental.

9 January 1950 Dover Straits
The most recent event of any significance in the Dover Straits, in the area of the major 1382 and 1580 earthquakes, was this event, which caused some alarm in Calais. In England the intensity was nowhere higher than 4 MSK and it does not seem to have been felt very far inland.
Sources: Neilson et al (1984d), instrumental.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2012, 00:24:22 »
Did I really post earthquakes under extreme weather! Must be another of my late night postings  :)

heritage07

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Re: Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 12:34:54 »
The Dover Straits Earthquake of 6th April, 1580 is said to have been one of the largest in the recorded history of England, Flanders or France, the magnitude being 5.3-5.9.
Being relatively deep, the quake was felt over a large area and it is not certain where the epicentre was located.

The earthquake is well recorded in contemporary documents,[3] including the "earthquake letter" from Gabriel Harvey to Edmund Spenser, mocking popular and academic methods of accounting for the tremors. It fell during Easter week, an omen-filled connection that was not lost on the servant-poet James Yates, who wrote ten stanzas on the topic:

    Oh sudden motion, and shaking of the earth,
    No blustering blastes, the weather calme and milde:
    Good Lord the sudden rarenesse of the thing
       A sudden feare did bring, to man and childe,
            They verely thought, as well in field as Towne,
            The earth should sinke, and the houses all fall downe.
    Well let vs print this present in our heartes,
         And call to God, for neuer neede we more:
    Crauing of him mercy for our misdeedes,
         Our sinfull liues from heart for to deplore,
            For let vs thinke this token doth portend,
            If scourge nere hand, if we do still offend.

Yates' poem was printed in 1582 in The Castell of Courtesy

- Wikipedia


Offline colin haggart

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Re: Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 23:31:00 »
There are lists of earthquakes on the British Geological Survey website, they include;

21st of May 1382: at 3pm in the Dover Straights a 5.8 earthquake, the one Herb Collector mentioned.

7th of June 1931, in the Northsea, Dogger Bank, a 6.1 earthquake.


Offline colin haggart

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Re: Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 23:48:16 »
I wonder what a violent earthquake was then compared to the same one happeneing today.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2011, 12:53:32 »
I did say basic list.

Queenborough 1382.
During John Kent's constableship of Queenbrough castle "a tower of the castle was seriously damaged and other parts of the fortress suffered lesser damage when, on the 21st May 1382 a violent earthquake rocked the island.
Considerable exchequer funds were expended to rectify the damage. The well in the central courtyard was blocked and required clearing and repair of its shaft."

From Queenborough Castle, Sheppey's lost fortress. by David T. Hughes.

Offline colin haggart

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Re: Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2011, 22:41:28 »
One of my favourite subjects.  There was an earthquake in Colchester in the 1884 that was felt in Sheerness, among other places. I t was the most damaging British Earthquake.  In, 1931 the largest known British Earthquake near The Dogger Bank.

I know these are not ones that have occurred in Kent, but they must have been felt in Kent, ones that were felt in Kent I think should be included on here too.

Look up The British Geological Survey for info.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Earthquakes in Kent.
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2011, 22:12:42 »
Kent earthquakes.
Basic list from wiki.
1246   1 June.            Canterbury.
1299   4 January.        Felt in Kent and Middlesex.

1382   21 May            Canterbury. ~5.8 Richter scale.
                                The bell tower of the cathedral was "severally damaged" and the six bells "shook down." Cloister walls to the Canterbury dormitory were ruined.
                                All Saints church, West Stourmouth, was badly damaged.
1382   24 May            Canterbury. ~5.0.  Aftershock of above.

1580   6 April              Straits of Dover. ~5.8.
                                http://wikipedia.org/wiki/1580_Dover_Straits_earthquake
                                On the English coast, sections of wall fell in Dover and a landslip opened a raw new piece of the white cliffs.
                                At Sandwich a loud noise emanated from the channel, as church arches cracked and the gable end of the transept fell at St Peters church in Hythe.
                                Saltwood castle was rendered uninhabitable until it was repaired in the nineteenth century.
1580   1 May              Straits of Dover. ~4.4 Principal aftershock of above, felt as far as Gravesend.

1601   24 December    North Sea, felt in London and east of England.
1692   8 September    Brabant Belgium. ~5.8. Felt in most parts of England, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

1776   28 November    Straits of Dover. ~4.1.

1831   2 March           Deal. ~3.1.

2007   28 April            Folkestone. ~4.2.
                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Kent_earthquake
2009   3 March           Folkestone. ~3.0.

 

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