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Home / Science / The COVID-19 shutter was quiet enough to hear the earthquakes

The COVID-19 shutter was quiet enough to hear the earthquakes



The hustle and bustle of the average day is usually pretty loud, depending on where you live: cars driving on the roads, builders ending hours on concrete, and people shouting through the sound negotiating to be able to talk to someone.

But new research says a blocked world during a coronavirus pandemic has devastated human-induced vibrations, which have fallen by an average of 50% on Earth – the quietest humanity in history.

A team of international scholars says the unrest is likely to be the result of measures of social exclusion, business closures and a decline in tourism and travel, according to a report from Imperial College London that contributed to the research.

As a result of the behavioral changes, researchers had the opportunity to listen to earthquake signals, usually obscured by human activity, which could help seismologists determine if the threat was real and bluffing as an indicator of human behavior.

A study was published in the journal Science last week.

“As urbanization increases and the world̵

7;s population grows, more people will live in geologically dangerous areas,” the press release quoted the study’s lead author, Dr. Thomas Lecocq from the Royal Observatory of Belgium. “So it’s more important than ever to differentiate between natural and man-made noise so we can ‘listen’ and better monitor the movement of the earth beneath our feet.”

Decades of observing the vibrations felt by sensors on the ground buried hundreds of meters underground have shown that seismic noise is gradually increasing as the economy and population grow.

This type of noise is propagated by waves and is usually caused by earthquakes, bombs, volcanoes, and human activities such as travel, which is why some researchers have created the longest and most striking silence recorded in the “anthropouse.”

Noise from humans is usually reduced on holidays, weekends and at night, but “the reduction in vibration caused by the COVID-19 lock obscures even those seen during these periods,” the researchers said in a statement.

According to the study, the team examined data from 268 seismic stations in 117 countries and found that noise was reduced at 185 at those station locations between March and May. The “waves of peace” began in China around the end of January, and Europe and the rest of the world followed in March, when it stalled.

The researchers said the strongest falls occurred in densely populated urban areas such as Singapore and New York, but they also occurred in more remote parts of Germany and Namibia, South Africa.

Uncommon shocks of silence have also been found around schools in Boston and Cornwall, England – the noise drop was 20% higher than during a normal school holiday, the report said.

Also in countries like Barbados, where tourism is on the rise, noise has dropped by 50 percent. – this trend was in line with flight data, which showed that tourists flew home weeks before the official lock-up.

“The blockades caused by the coronavirus pandemic may have given us an insight into how human-natural noise interacts on Earth,” said study co-author Dr. In a report by Stephen Hicz of the Department of Science and Engineering of the Imperial Land. “We hope that this insight will provide new research to help us better listen to the Earth and understand the natural signals we would otherwise have missed.”

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Katie Camero is McClatchy’s national science real-time reporter. She graduated from Boston University and has articles in the Wall Street Journal, Science, and The Boston Globe.




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