With many places on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, studies have shown that the earth is “shaking less” and making “less noise” as people stay home.
According to different seismologists and geologists, the coronavirus pandemic has seen a drop in ambient seismic noise. This means that there has been less noise coming from vehicles and people doing their daily routines.
I've updated the graph, including the whole 2020 data, so we can compare with other weeks of lower activity, like school holidays in Feb or XMas holidays. The current mean noise level is 33% lower than before the #StayHomeBelgium measures. https://t.co/mL9j48e134
— Thomas Lecocq (@seismotom) March 27, 2020
This was first pointed out by Belgian seismologist Thomas Lecocq from the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels. He said that after coronavirus lockdown measures were implemented, there has been a drop in the seismic noise in Brussels.
Seismologists in other major cities in the world have also reported the same findings. For example, Celeste Labedz, Ph.D. candidate from the California Institute of Technology, also said that Los Angeles had lower seismic noise these past few weeks.
Here's daily mode noise power from a station in Los Angeles over the past month; the drop is seriously wild.
— Celeste Labedz (@celestelabedz) March 26, 2020
Likewise, seismologist Paula Koelemeijer also posted a graph reporting lower noise levels in West London.
How the seismic noise on our little @raspishake seismometer running in West London (Twickenham) has been affected by the #covid19UK lockdown. This is a month of data for station R091F. The average noise levels are down reflecting fewer trains, buses and cars. pic.twitter.com/WmJLmAO18k
— Paula Koelemeijer (@seismo_koel) March 31, 2020
With this, the decrease in ambient seismic noise may help scientists to better study the natural activity of the Earth’s crust.
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