Europe Science

Significant drop in seismic noise near cities detected by seismologists

seismic noise

According to seismologists, reduced human activity on Earth causes the planet to move less hence the detectible reduction in seismic noise. As the world continues to grapple with the Covid-19 outbreak, the hustle and bustle that causes significant movements on Earth have significantly reduced.
Intercontinental flights have been halted, fewer electric trains are carrying people and it seems the rush is over. Cities look deserted as lockdown measures are effected to contain COVID-19.

50 percent reduction in seismic noise

Since the lockdown came to effect in Belgium, Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist, and geologist in Belgium’s Royal Observatory remarked that Brussels is undergoing a 50 percent decline in seismic noise since the lockdown initiative began.
The reduction in seismic noise leads to more efficient detection of earth tremors even in situations where data collection facilities are situated in town centers.
Andy Falsetto, from the Washington DC seismology research institution, the reduction in seismic noise has helped the station to achieve clear signals which allow them to add more information pertaining to the tremors.
Similar cases were recorded in London and Los Angeles. However, scientists who collect data from areas far away from human civilization might not notice any changes.

Implications of seismic noise findings

The reduction in seismic noise is a good indicator that people from all walks of life are quarantining away from the deady virus and letting it run its course.
Due to the proliferation of human activities on earth, scientists in Brussels depend on the underground borehole station to get clear seismic events. A pipe is led deep down the crust of the earth. Coincidentally, due to the reduction of activity on the ground, readings on the ground surface are similar to the readings made in the underground station.
Through her Twitter handle, Paula Koelemeijer indicated that West London had been affected too after the government announced the lockdown.
However, seismologists say that the reduction of seismic noise is a reminder of the deadly virus that has infected approximately a million people and killing tens of thousands with normal lives coming to a standstill.
Paula shared the photo below to indicate a reduction in seismic noise while taking seismic measurements.Image
Featured image credits: Bing


Martin Ngahu

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