February 26, 2024

Residents in Kimelford, Argyll, Scotland experienced a magnitude 2.0 earthquake on Christmas Eve at 5:16 am. The tremor was felt in other Scottish isles including Lochgilphead, Mull, and Lismore. This was the 12th tremor recorded in the area, with the most recent before the Christmas Eve earthquake occurring on December 15. The region has experienced about 12 earthquakes since October 10, with the majority being under 2.0 magnitudes and going unnoticed. The largest known Scottish earthquake on land occurred near Loch Awe in 1880, with a magnitude of 5.2. Earthquakes in the UK, particularly in Scotland, are largely attributed to glacial rebound, as much of the north of the UK was covered by ice until about 10,500 years ago. The UK is also subject to tectonic stresses caused by the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean and the northward motion of Africa, causing occasional earthquakes. Overall, the UK experiences about 200-300 earthquakes every year, with 20-30 being over 2.0 magnitude and felt over a wider area. Residents described the Christmas Eve earthquake as sounding like a military jet, a loud, low rumble, and a loud bang that woke them up. Despite the frequency of earthquakes in the area, the majority are relatively small and go unnoticed.

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