Tremor tracker

181214 bubble chart refracktion

Relative magnitude of seismic events at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool. Chart:

This post tracks the series of earth tremors linked to fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site in Lancashire.

A red event, measuring 0.9ML was recorded at 13.41 on 14 December.  It followed 7 smaller tremors which had all occurred in the previous 45 minutes.

The largest tremor to date  measured 1.5ML, recorded at 11.21 on 11 December. It followed as series of much smaller events measuring 0.1 to -0.4ML earlier that morning. Cuadrilla confirmed the day before that it had resumed fracking after a break, probably dating back to 2 November 2018.

Before the 10 December event, the most recent was a 0.7ML tremor, recorded at 16.24 on 4 November 2018, about 48 hours after fracking.

We update this post regularly to show events that triggered the red and amber levels of the traffic light system regulations.

We’ll show how the location of the events has changed. There are also links to more detailed DrillOrDrop reports about the tremors.

This post uses data from the British Geological Survey online list of earthquakes around the British Isles in the last 100 days. It also uses information from Environment Agency reports of operations at Preston New Road.

Last updated: 5.45pm 14 December 2018

Key facts

Total events so far


Days of tremors so far


Number of times Cuadrilla says it has paused fracking


Red events

Red events are seismic activity above 0.5ML when fracking is taking place

  • 11.30 (GMT) 29/10/2018:  1.1ML
  • 11.36 (GMT), 26/10/2018: 0.8ML (measured as 0.76 by Cuadrilla)
  • 13.41 (GMT) 14/12/2018 0.9ML

Trailing events above 0.5ML

Trailing events are seismic activity above 0.5ML when fracking is not taking place

  • 11.21 (GMT), 11/12/2018: 1.5ML
  • 16.24 (GMT), 4.11.2018: 0.7ML
  • 18.01 (GMT), 29/10/2018: 0.5ML
  • 10.55 (GMT), 27/10/2018: 0.8ML

An event measured at 0.5ML by the British Geological Survey at 13.02 (GMT) on 24/10/2018 was not counted by Cuadrilla as a trailing event because it measured it at 0.48ML.

Amber events

Amber events are seismic activity from 0.0-0.5ML when fracking is taking place

  • 14.59 (GMT), 25/10/2017: 0.3ML
  • 14.45 (GMT), 23/10/2018: 0.4ML


There are larger versions of these maps in the Excel workbook linked below.

181214 tremor tracker

Recorded tremors at Preston New Road from 10/12 up to 14:52 on 14/12
Data:BGS, Background photo: Google Earth; Graphic: DrillOrDrop

181104a tremor tracker

Recorded tremors at Preston New Road up to 16:24 4/11/2018
Data:BGS, Background photo: Google Earth; Graphic: DrillOrDrop

181211 Location of earth tremors

Location of seismic events. Chart by Professor Roy Thompson FRSE, Professor Emeritus and Honorary Professorial Fellow Univ. Edinburgh.


Spreadsheet of earth tremors near Preston New Road up to 14:51 on 14 December 2018  (Excel 4MB download)

14 December 2018

0.1 at 2.51pm
0.9 at 1.41pm (Red event)
-0.5 at 1.36pm; -0.3 at 1.35pm; -0.1 at 1.18pm;
0.1 at 1.09pm; (possible Amber event)
-0.5 at 1.07pm; -0.2 at 1.06pm; -0.6 at 1.06pm

13 December 2018

0.0 at 13.25

11 December 2018

1.5 at 11.21am
0.0 at 10.34am; -0.5 at 10.24am; -0.4 at 10.20am; 0.0 at 10.18am; -0.1 at 10.06am
0.1 at 9.53am; -0.4 at 9.51am; -0.2 at 9.34am; -0.1 at 9.35am

Cuadrilla said it had stopped fracking when the 1.5ML earth tremor was recorded. It said it would pause fracking for 18 hours.

10 December 2018

-0.3 at 10.30am. Link to DrillOrDrop post

5 November – 9 December 2018

No tremors recorded by BGS

4 November 2018

0.7ML at 16.24, nearest seismicity to the shale gas site

3 November 2018

No tremors recorded by BGS

2 November 2018

-0.5ML at 22.59

-0.5ML at 17.44

Reportedly the last time fracking operations were carried out at Preston New Road

1 November 2018

-0.3ML at 06.50

31 October 2018

No tremors recorded by BGS

30 October 2018

-0.3ML at 01.37; -0.5ML at 14.36; -0.4 at 15.55

29 October 2018

1.1ML at 11.30; -0.2ML at11.44; -0.4ML at 11.43; 0.0 at 11.58; 0.5ML at 18.01; 0.1ML at 21.13

Cuadrilla confirms that it paused fracking for 18 hours Link to DrillOrDrop post

27 October 2018

-0.3, 0.8 trailing event (fracking not taking place), -0.2, 0.0, -0.4

26 October 2018

0.2, 0.2, 0.8 red event (fracking taking place), -0.1

Cuadrilla confirms that it paused fracking for 18 hours Link to DrillOrDrop post

25 October 2018

0.3 amber event (fracking taking place), -0.1, -0.6 Link to DrillOrDrop post

24 October 2018

0.5 (measured at 0.48 by Cuadrilla, fracking not taking place), 0.4, -0.1, 0.1, 0.0,
Link to DrillOrDrop post

23 October 2018

0.4 amber event (fracking taking place)

Cuadrilla confirms that it paused fracking for the day Link to DrillOrDrop post

20 October 2018


19 October 2018


18 October 2018

-0.2, -0.8, -0.3 Link to DrillOrDrop post

17 October 2018

Mini frac using 21.4m3 of fracturing fluid without proppant Link to source information

Main frack using 296.7m3 of slickwater with proppant. Flow back volume of 24.9m3 stored for reuse. Microseismic events plotted from the mini and main frac stage showed events plotting below the lateral section of the well to a depth of 96.8m and laterally to a length of 191.5m. No induced seismicity noted and no breach of sub-surface permit boundary. Link to source information Link to source information

16 October 2018

Mini frac of stage 1 of 12.8m3 fresh water without additives or proppant. Link to source information

Main frack of 149.9m3 containing slickwater without proppant.Link to source information

15 October 2018

Fracking starts Link to DrillOrDrop post

Mini-frac at Stage 1 of PNR1z well. Lasted for five minutes. No proppant was used during this mini-frack. 1.87m3 was pumped into the formation. Purpose was to measure the pressure in the shale formation when injected with hydraulic fracturing fluid. A further 15m3 mini-frac was not conducted. No microseismic events detected beyond the permit boundary. Link to source information

DrillOrDrop background articles

Cuadrilla accepted tough controls on fracking earth tremors six years ago 30/10/2018

The shadow of Preese Hall over UK fracking regulations 28/10/2018

What does a red light mean for fracking? 25/10/2018

27 replies »

  1. Yes I agree Linda, constant great coverage from DOD about this toxic industry.
    Some interesting and informative comments too, it is just a shame we have to sift through some of the rubbish by certain contributors [edited by moderator]

  2. Boy that tremor tracker sure doesn’t look as menacing now as it did a couple weeks ago.. Wouldn’t suit the DoD agenda to highlight that though, huh?

  3. Seem to have exercised(a 1.5) the same fault on 11th Dec with the ‘improved’ fluid formula as that fault found on the 29th Oct (a 1.1). Clearly a slicker operation now. Greasing the faults good and proper!

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