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Patron: Her Majesty the Queen


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts
Showcasing Scotland's Science, Technology and Innovation

7th Meeting of the 184th Session (2004-2005)

Monitoring Earthquakes in the UK

Dr Roger Musson
British Geological Survey, Edinburgh

In the Wolfson Suite, Ground Floor
Edinburgh University Library
George Square, Edinburgh
On Monday 16th May 2005, at 7 pm

People in the UK tend not to think of this country as subject to earthquakes. Such earthquakes as do occur (discounting minor ones that are hardly felt and cause no damage) are infrequent and quickly forgotten. No one has been killed by a British earthquake since 1940. Yet this is partly a matter of luck. The largest British earthquakes in the last hundred years or so have mostly been in rural locations, and typically 15-20 km deep. As a result, though windows may be rattled over a wide area, there is usually very little damage. This luck may not continue; even a moderate earthquake could do significant damage if it occurred at shallow depth under a major city; London, Birmingham, Manchester, Swansea and Glasgow are among the potential locations where such a thing could happen. As a result, it is important to keep a close eye on earthquakes, even in a country like Britain. This talk will give an insight into the seismic monitoring operations of the British Geological Survey, the patterns of earthquake activity revealed, and how historical research turns out to be important when it comes to advising engineers about the risk from future earthquakes in the UK.

Location of meeting

Society Business

The President, Dr Stuart Monro, will be in the Chair

Members of the Public are welcome to attend

Jane Ridder-Patrick, Secretary

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