Did you think there was no earthquake hazard in Central Europe? Don’t worry unless you live in Italy, Greece, or Turkey? Wrong! There’s significant hazard not only in W Germany, S Spain and on the Balkan Peninsula – take into account mining induced events, too…
An earthquake of magnitude 4.6 occurred in SW Poland last night in very shallow depth. 19 copper miners were trapped inside the mine for hours after a tunnel collapsed and communication was cut. All miners were rescued, one suffered minor injuries.
The area is known as the Lubin mining area (coal and copper) and one of the hot spots in Central Europe’s seismicity.
The seismicity map since 2004 (EMSC data) shows an astonishing number (> 2000) of small earthquakes in shallow depth.
Here, mining induced seismicity seem to be a major cause, in contrast to the neighbouring Vogtland area where (volcanic) swarms regularly occur. Not only small quakes are known, but also events of magnitude 4.6 and above.
Last night’s M4.6 event was loacally felt, although some media also report very minor shaking in Czech Republic and Germany, too:
- Gibowicz, S.J., Droste, Z., Guterch, B. and Hordejuk, J. 1981. The Belchatow, Poland, earthquakes of 1979 and 1980 induced by surface mining. Engineering Geology 17(4), 257–271.
- Gibowicz, S. J. 1986. Seismic moment and seismic energy of mining tremors in the Lubin Copper Basin in Poland. Acta geophysica Polonica 33(3), 243-257.
- Lasocki, S. and Idziak, A. 1999. Dominant Directions of Epicenter Distribution of Regional Mining-induced Seismicity Series in Upper Silesian Coal Basin in Poland. In: Seismicity Caused by Mines, Fluid Injections, Reservoirs, and Oil Extraction. Pageoph Topical Volumes, 21-40.
- Schenk, V., Schenkova, Z., Kottnauer, P., Guterch, B., Labak, P. 2001. Earthquake hazard maps for the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. Acta Geophysica Polonica, 49(3), 287-302.
- Zuchiewicz, W., Bzdura, J. and Jarosiński, M. 2007. Neotectonics of Poland: an overview of active faulting. Studia Quaternaria Selected, 24, 5-20.
- Horálek, J. and Fischer, T. 2008. Role of crustal fluids in triggering the West Bohemia/Vogtland earthquake swarms: Just what we know (a review). Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica 52(4), 455-478.