DOUBTS have emerged that a small earthquake reported in the Yorkshire Dales earlier this week was genuine.

Rather than detecting a sudden release of energy in the earth's crust, it has been suggested that seismic sensors may have picked up a blast from a nearby limestone quarry.

According to the British Geological Survey, a quake measuring 1.9 in magnitude was detected at 11.03am on Monday near the market town of Leyburn.

No Leyburn residents reported feeling tremors from the quake, however this was not though to be surprising, as according to experts, an earthquake of anything less than 3.5 is not normally felt at all and it takes one of a magnitude of up to 6 to cause minor damage to poorly constructed buildings.

But locals have become suspicious after a map on the British Geological Survey website revealed that the 'quake' occurred within yards of Wensley Quarry, an active limestone quarry .

The quarry lies near the village of Redmire, about four miles away from Leyburn.

One local resident said: "It seems a bit of a coincidence that the earthquake occurred about 20ft from a quarry where they use dynamite to blow the rock apart."

Nobody from the British Geological Survey or quarry operator Tarmac was available for comment on Friday evening.

In an average year, about 100 earthquakes are detected around Britain, of which just 20 per cent are felt.