Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Scottish earthquake tally hits 4,000

Scotland Image copyright Esri UK

There were more than 4,000 earthquakes recorded across Scotland over the past 50 years, including a 4.4 magnitude quake in Knoydart Peninsula in 1974.

There were 1,500 earthquakes recorded in Edinburgh and the Lothians over the same period.

The largest earthquake in the Lothians was in Rosewell on 9 October 1986 with a 2.8 magnitude on the Richter Scale.

Among the other areas with the most geological activity were Clackmannanshire and Dumfries.

A seismometer at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh records earthquakes within a 30km (19 miles) radius.

More recently there was a 2.2 magnitude earthquake recorded in Penicuik in Midlothian on 13 November 2014.

There were two 2.3 magnitude earthquakes in Penicuik on 30 November and 9 December 2007.

'Windows rattle'

Davie Galloway, British Geological Survey seismologist, told the BBC Scotland news website, that an earthquake over 2 magnitude would feel like a lorry passing your house and it would make windows rattle.

He said: "People think we don't get earthquakes because we are not on the edge of a plate but we do.

"Although we sit on the middle of a plate on the earth's crust we still have earthquakes although not on the same magnitude as for example Japan.

"We also get them in old mining areas. If the stress exceeds the strength of the rock then it can create an earthquake."

The largest-known earthquake to ever hit the UK had a magnitude of 6.1 on 7 June 1931 in the North Sea.

It was felt across most of Britain with damage reported from 71 different places.

Ben Flanagan at Esri UK, said: "We wanted to examine where Scotland's earthquakes occurred to see if any patterns emerged and uncover the myth that the country doesn't get that many.

"Modern mapping techniques enabled us to plot all 10,000 across the UK and reveal Scotland's areas of highest seismic activity."

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