The Warwick Earthquake: September 2000

This rock from Southam quarry resembles a pudding - lumps of limestone set in what was a pasty, muddy matrix, 205 million years ago. It might have been generated by an ancient earthquake, shaking up a Triassic sea floor.
Jon Radley

The Warwick Earthquake (September 23) was a mild tremor; one of many to have affected central England over geological time. Warwickshire is cross-crossed by many geological faults. Most of these are very old, and essentially inactive today. We understand that the Warwick Earthquake originated roughly 13 kilometres down in the Earth’s crust, just to the west of Warwick, close to Budbrooke. There, a tiny amount of movement on an ancient fault caused shock waves to spread upwards and outwards through the rock layers causing the tremor.

The Warwick ‘quake appears to have resulted ultimately from pressures building up in the Earth’s crust due to the process known as continental drift. As Africa continues to edge slowly northwards and the Atlantic Ocean continues to widen, Britain is effectively caught in the middle. From time to time something gives, and a small slip might occur along one of the many ancient faults which are zones of relative weakness.

Nothing To Fear

Central England is well known for its quiet geological location and we having nothing to fear from the mild tremors that occasionally affect our county. Major earthquake-prone areas such as parts of California sit astride huge active geological faults, moving at the rate of several centimetres a year. Documents within the Warwickshire Museum’s Geological Localities Record Centre confirm that local earthquakes are rare, so we can all rest assured of a quiet future.

Here’s a report of the tremor from The Telegraph website.

Your Memories

Does anyone have interesting memories of the Warwick Earthquake (the small hours of Saturday September 23rd, 2000)? The bed was shaking and it momentarily woke me. Our dog slept right through it! I completely forgot about the incident until I heard the local news the following morning.

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