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Seismology - Earthquakes

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
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GEUS is responsible for maintaining a seismic service to monitor seismic activity in Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Very sensitive instruments (seismometers) register ground motion 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The seismometers detect many different kinds of tremors:

  • local earthquakes
  • large earthquakes on the other side of the globe
  • nuclear test explosions
  • smaller explosions in our own region
as well as noise from traffic and in some cases strong winds near the instruments.
Analysts and seismologists in Copenhagen process the data and extract interesting signals from the noise.
The seismic service has been operating continuously since 1926.

Contact information: seismologi@geus.dk

Earthquakes in Denmark

In Denmark the ground typically shakes two to ten times a year due to a small local earthquake. Only a few of these tremors are strong enough to be felt by anyone, as the magnitude lies somewhere between 1.5 and 4.5 on the Richter scale.

People living in Thy or in North Zealand have the best chance of experiencing a Danish earthquake. In Greenland the earthquakes are concentrated along the coasts, with the highest concentration in the north-east corner of the island.

On a global scale Denmark is a seismically quiet region. The majority of the world's earthquakes occur along the edges of the large lithospheric plates. The lithosphere is the outer hard shell of the earth, and it consists of large plates like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.

Due to flow (convection) in the interior of the earth, the plates are moving relative to each other. Many earthquakes occur where the plates bump into each other, where one plate is subducted below another, or where the plates are pulled apart. Our closest plate boundaries are in the mid-Atlantic spreading ridge, and the Alpine Mediteranean region, where the African and European plates collide.

For Current Earthquake Information, please go to the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program Website

Known earthquakes

[Top]   Last modified: 1. april 2008 © Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland - GEUS
Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K - Tel.: +45 38142000 - Fax: +45 38142050 - E-mail: geus@geus.dk
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