Seismologists and geologists have taken the opportunity to collect new and more accurate data about the earth’s crust.
The slowdown of human life by the confinement, as a result of the pandemic coronavirus, could have caused the Earth to move less than normal.
The Royal Observatory of Belgium recorded a decrease in the seismic noise, which is defined as a vibration with relatively persistent in the earth’s surface. Although many natural events, like earthquakes, cause the earth’s crust to move, not are these the sole causes: also the cause of some human activities.
In dialogue with CNNThomas Lecocq, seismologist and geologist of the above-mentioned observatory, said that Brussels (the belgian capital) is experiencing a reduction in the 30% to 50% in the seismic noise environmental since the city went into quarantine.
This situation, caused in large part by the fall in the flow of transports (trucks, trains and cars) and the pause in the operation of industrial machinery, has also allowed the experts to collect new data and with more accuracy, because without those noises has increased the capacity of detect other signals that occur in the same frequency. So, there have been better earthquakes of lower intensity, and has improved the monitoring of the volcanic activity, among other seismic events, something that in normal times is practically impossible.
The signals you are getting less noise in the earth’s crust. This “will allow to extract a bit more information of these events”, said Andy Frassetto, a member of a research institution seismological Washington, who added that if they continue the restraints in the coming months, the locations of the replicas of telluric movements will be more successful than usual.
The seismic stations are usually installed outside of urban areas, where there is less noise human, which makes it easier to detect the subtle vibrations in the ground. Brussels, however, was built more than a century ago and since then the city has expanded around it. Therefore, the current phenomenon of health, has had a effect particularly interesting in that city.
Scientists in the United Kingdom and the united States have noted a similar trend in other locations.
Stephen Hicks, of the Imperial College, london, shared at the end of march on Twitter data from a seismometer that captured the significant reduction in the average level of seismic noise near to a motorway british, after the restrictions put in place by the United Kingdom.
The #covid19UK lockdown as seen by a seismometer. This week has seen a reduction in average daytime background seismic noise level (purple line). Data is from @BGSseismology station SWN1 located close to the M4 motorway, so this probably reflects less traffic out on the roads. pic.twitter.com/uNhtKmeCdf
— Stephen Hicks 🇪🇺 (@seismo_steve) March 26, 2020
For her part, Celeste Labedz, a phd student in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology, commented on the publication of Hick to add a seismographic record similar to that of a monitoring station in Los Angeles during the month of February.
“The fall [del ruido sísmico] it’s really wild,” he wrote.