Author Topic: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018  (Read 874 times)

Offline adrian paniwnyk

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Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« on: March 23, 2019, 12:34:09 pm »
 I noted with interest on the Pikedaw Calamine Caverns thread that an article on earthquakes and caves is due to appear in Descent.

  My own personal experience of an earthquake underground was in Ogof Igam-Ogam in the Little Neath River valley on the 17th Feb. 2018. The cave is situated on a major fault which comes off the side of the Neath Disturbance. A group of four people including myself were near to Sump 4 in this cave. Malcolm Stewart was packing up his  kit after finally passing the sump after a gap of some 30 years. We were just about to leave, when all four heard a deep ominous bang. The sound lasted about 10 seconds, starting out quite loud and then dying away, while this was happening the walls did not shake or vibrate.
  My initial thoughts  that the bottom of the cave being some 30 metres below the level of the riverbed was flash flooding but when water levels did not rise, it did occur to me that a large collapse may have occurred in the entrance choke regions thus sealing us in.
 As you can imagine a rather worrying exit was made whilst trying to push a dive cylinder through the various contortions of the cave.

 Back on the surface, we quickly learnt that what we had heard had been a shallow, minor earthquake, magnitude 4.4 with an epicentre 20 km NNE of Swansea.It was apparently felt as far east as London and was widely mentioned in the press Maybe the effects of shallow earthquakes causes more pronounced effects at the surface but I'm not totally sure about this. Certainly with a more powerful earthquake our safe exit might not have been assured!


 Please note, I have written this as part of a longer article about recent and past explorations within Ogof Igam-Ogam which is going to appear in the Croydon Caving Club magazine Pelobates, hopefully in the not too distant future!





Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2019, 04:24:45 pm »
Thanks for posting that Adrian; it's of great interest.  :thumbsup:  4.4 is a big one for the UK.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2019, 04:26:38 pm »
P.S. - out of interest, what's the origin of the name "Pelobates"? I've been aware of it for a very long time but never knew why it's called that.

Offline mikem

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2019, 07:01:09 pm »
It's Latin name of spadefoot toad...

Offline adrian paniwnyk

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2019, 07:03:36 pm »
 I was always told by older members of the club that Pelobates man was part of the Piltdown Man hoax, where some bones "found" in Piltdown, Sussex were put forward as being a "missing link" between apes and man. Maybe the latin name of the hoax human species?
  However, on the internet a search for the word Pelobates only reveals that it is the latin generic name of certain frogs and toads so maybe even this is somebody's hoax.   

   

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2019, 10:27:36 pm »
Interesting - I wonder why that name was chosen for a caving publication though? Are there any senior Croydon members who might remember?

Offline adrian paniwnyk

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2019, 09:04:24 am »
I will try contacting some of the more original members of the Croydon CC to see if they know.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2019, 11:51:32 am »
Thanks - it's something I always wondered about.

Offline droid

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2019, 11:26:20 am »
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline adrian paniwnyk

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2019, 07:50:21 pm »
  I had an email back from Paul Selby who was a member of Croydon CC back in the 1960's. He says it was the former editor and Chair of the club Robin M. Walls who came up with the name. He assured club members that it was Greek for "a  walker in mud". "Pelo"-mud and "bates" - to walk. As an aside, Robin Walls was very much involved with entering and reexploring the extensive mine at Bedlams Bank, Surrey. The first issue of Pelobates No.4 came out in Oct. 1967, prior to that there had three Newsletters the first in 1965.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Earthquake in S. Wales 17th February 2018
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2019, 07:01:32 pm »
Great - many thanks for solving a mystery I've wondered about throughout my whole caving career!