Gatwick airport earthquake
This graph shows the same two stations recorded a quake at 2.33pm with a magnitude of 2
Parts of South East England were rocked by two earthquakes in ten hours today as the area faces a 'swarm' of tremors.

The first quake to hit Newdigate, near Dorking, Surrey, was recorded at 4.49am with a magnitude of 1.7, before the second one came at 2.33pm with a magnitude of 2.

It comes a fortnight after a magnitude 3 quake was recorded locally, with six quakes now observed in just a month in the area around London Gatwick Airport.

Stephen Hicks from the University of Southampton and David Hawthorn from the British Geological Survey install a monitoring station in Surrey this week to meisure seismic activity

Special monitoring equipment was installed only a few days ago at Horse Hill in Horley to better understand what is happening beneath the surface of the area.

quakes london gatwick
Six quakes have now been observed in just a month in the area around London Gatwick Airport
British Geological Survey seismologist David Galloway said the first tremor today was quite shallow at a depth at between 0.4km (0.2 miles) and 0.8km (0.5 miles).

It was reported as felt to the BGS by 20 residents in Newdigate and Charlwood, with some complaining of their homes 'shaking' and others awoken by 'a loud bang'.

Mr Galloway said there had been more than 800 reports from the magnitude 3 tremor on July 5, adding: 'We are seeking to better understand what's going on.
london gatwick quake
This graph shows the seismic activity in the Surrey area at 4.49am this morning from two of the British Geological Society's new stations - called 'Rush' and 'Hors'
'We will find out what is the cause. We live on a dynamic planet, but we are looking at the issue of oil exploration in the area to see if it is connected.

'But it could be entirely natural. Plates move about all the time. They're bashing and moving away from each other.'

There have been fears that the quakes are being caused by fracking, which sees water pumped into the ground to crack subsurface rocks, releasing oil and gas.

But oil exploration company UKOG has insisted in recent weeks that there is no link with the quakes because of its work at its Horse Hill site.

The firm said this is because it does not involve subsurface drilling and so has little to no seismic impact on the surrounding area.

Comment: The fracking company destroying the UK's water table are lying - unsurprisingly - there is a direct link between fracking and quakes - but that doesn't mean it's to blame, there are much greater shifts occurring which could be behind the uptick in tremors.

There are roughly 200 to 300 quakes in Britain every year, but the vast majority are so small that no one notices them.

However, between 20 to 30 are over a magnitude of 2, which can be felt over a wider area. Quakes are most often attributed to glacial rebound.

Until about 10,500 years ago, much of the north of the UK was covered by a thick layer of ice - which pushed the rocks down into the underlying mantle.

These rocks have been slowly rising back up ever since the ice melted, causing occasional earthquakes in the process.

The UK is also subject to tectonic stresses caused by the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean, which is slowly pushing the entire of Eurasia to the east.

Britain is also affected by the northward motion of Africa, which is pushing into Europe from the south.

london gatwick quake twitter
london gatwick quake twitter
london gatwick quake twitter
How many quakes have hit UK in recent years?

Britain expected to have an earthquake measuring 5 or higher on the Richter scale about once every eight years.

Tremors between 1 and 1.9 are expected every two-and-a-half days.

The biggest earthquake in recent years was on February 27, 2008, with Market Rasen, Lincolnshire at its epicentre.

It measured 5.2 on the Richter scale and was felt across much of Britain.

In the past five years there have been 14 earthquakes in the UK.
Does fracking cause earthquakes?

Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault.

This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake, and in extreme cases can even split the Earth's crust up to its surface.

Fracking works by injecting huge volumes of water into the rocks surrounding a natural gas deposit or hydrothermal well.

The water fractures the rocks, creating dozens of cracks through which gas and heat can escape to the surface.

Fracking can cause earthquakes by introducing water to faultlines, lubricating the rocks and making them more likely to slip.

When two blocks of rock or two plates rub together, they catch on one another.

The rocks are still pushing against each other, but not moving, building pressure that is only released when the rocks break.

During the earthquake and afterward, the plates or blocks of rock start moving, and they continue to move until they get stuck again.