Seismic noise in Earth's crust 'dramatically' reduced globally due to coronavirus lockdown, finds study
New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: In an interesting news, the reseachers and scientists have found that the vibrations in Earth's crust has reduced due to coronavirus-induced lockdown. A study that was led by Royal Observatory of Belgium and five other institutions around the world including Imperial College London (ICL) has noted a reduction in seismic noise -- the hum of vibrations in the crust of the Earth.
Terming it "dramatic", the researchers said that the ‘dramatic’ reduction is caused due to the global lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which has afflicted nearly 1.60 crore people across the world.
The seismic noise, which is caused by the vibrations in the Earth’s crust, which travel like waves triggered by the earthquake, volcanoes and also by human activities like travel and industrial activities, using heavy machinery. The seismic noises are measured by special instruments called seismometers.
“This quiet period, likely caused by the total global effect of social distancing measures, closure of services and industry, and drops in tourism and travel”, the study published in the journal ‘Science’, stated.
The study also highlighted that the reduction in seismic noise caused by humans is more noticeable in densely populated areas.
“Our study uniquely highlights just how much human activities impact the solid Earth, and could let us see more clearly than ever what differentiates human and natural noise,” said study co-author Stephen Hicks from ICL in the UK as reported by news agency IANS.
The researchers conducted the study by monitoring the seismic data of 268 seismic stations across 117 countries and found that the noises have reduced a lot as compared to before any lockdown was imposed at 185 of those stations. They tracked the ‘wave’ of quietening between March and May as worldwide lockdown measures were put in place.
Researchers found that the highest reduction in noise was noticed in most densely populated areas like New York in the US and Singapore. They also found that considerable reduction was also noticed in some remote areas like Germany’s Black Forest and Rundu in Namibia.
The citizen-owned seismometers, used to measure localised noise, noted considerable reductions around universities and schools around Cornwall, UK and Boston, US – a drop in noise 20 per cent larger than seen during school holidays.
The findings showed that countries like Barbados, where lockdown coincided with the tourist season, saw a 50 per cent decrease in noise.
“The changes have also given us the opportunity to listen in to the Earth’s natural vibrations without the distortions of human input,” the study authors wrote.
(With IANS Inputs)
Posted By: Talib Khan