An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.9 struck in the middle of the English Channel yesterday, the British Geological Survey said.
Residents in parts of West Sussex reported buildings shaking but no injuries or damage were reported.
The quake struck at 7.59am, it had a depth of 10km and its epicentre was about 85km south-east of Portsmouth.
It was the largest earthquake in the area for almost 300 years.
Residents in parts of West Sussex reported buildings shaking for a few seconds at about 0800 BST.
Sussex Police, Solent Coastguard and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said they had not been called out to any incidents related to it.
David Kerridge, from the British Geographical Survey, said "This is the largest earthquake in this area since a magnitude 4.5 event in 1734."
"Historically, there have been two other significant events nearby - a magnitude 5.0 earthquake in 1878 and a magnitude 4.3 earthquake in 1750.
"In the UK, we experience an earthquake of this magnitude approximately every two years."