Volcanic & Seismic Activity 

Southern England Earthquakes and Sunspots: a clear correlation

A link between solar activity and seismicity on Earth has long been established, with numerous pier-reviewed scientific papers published on the subject.

Southern England has seen a dramatic uptick in earthquakes over the last few months with experts scrambling to find answers for concerned locals.

Maybe the sun can help.

The sun’s activity runs on 11-year cycles — from solar minimum, to maximum and back to minimum again.

Prolonged spells of low solar activity are known as Grand Solar Minimums — they occur approximately every 400 years.

By matching all southern England earthquakes from 1762 to the 400 years of sunspot observations, a clear correlation is unveiled.

With periods of weak solar activity comes an increase in seismicity.


Periods with Zero Earthquakes in Southern England:


1762 – 1810

This period of quake-less years matches with the increase in solar activity after the Maunder Minimum.

1836 – 1877

This baron spell corresponds to the ramping up of the sun after the Dalton Minimum.

1897 – 2000

In these 103 years just one earthquake was recorded. This period is known as the modern maximum and saw the highest solar activity for almost 1000 years.

Almost 50 earthquakes have been recorded in Southern England since 1762 — but barely a handful during times of high solar activity.


Recent Uptick in Earthquakes:


2001 – present

Recent years have seen a dramatic uptick in southern England earthquakes — corresponding with a reduction in sunspots.

Eight earthquakes have been detected since April 2018 in Surrey alone — a region that has no record of an earthquake for 300 years.

1718 takes us back to the Maunder Minimum and the last prolonged period of dramatic solar decline.

This recent uptick in Surrey has prompted the the British Geological Survey (BGS) to build new stations there to better understand what the hell is going on.

Surrey Earthquake July 5th 2018


With periods of weak solar activity comes an increase in seismicity, the correlation is clear.

As we enter into this next Grand Solar Minimum, I think we can expect the regularity and intensity of earthquakes to increase, worldwide.

[historical southern England earthquake data — Southampton University]


A better understanding of the link between solar activity, cosmic rays and earthquakes can be found in this recent scientific paper — https://arxiv.org/pdf/1403.5728.pdf

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