Coronavirus lockdown halted seismic noise caused by humans across the world! High frequency noise which is usually generated by traffic, industrial activities and other human activities has declined sharply at a time when there are stringent norms of lockdown and social isolation across countries. The impact has been studied by a team of seismologists from many universities including the Imperial College, London, the IE reported. According to the report, the frequency in seismic noise has dropped by whopping 50 per cent between March and May this year. The global health crisis period has led to the longest and prominent noise reduction that has been recorded till now, claimed the report.
To be sure, seismic noise are vibrations within the Earth that can be triggered by any natural or man-made activities like volcanoes, earthquakes or bombs. These vibrations and the noise are recorded via seismometers. Human activities like manufacturing in factories, traffic, sound of planes or even people walking down the street also contribute to generating seismic noise. However, these noises are usually considered as a background noise for seismologists. Now, as the Coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc, these background noises have been silenced by a large degree.
The report said that the team of seismologists has analysed the data which has been collected from 268 seismic sensors located across 117 countries. As many as 185 seismic sensors recorded a dip in human-generated noise. The maximum drop in these noises have been observed in highly-populated urban areas like Singapore, New York, Barbados and some parts in Europe.
Now it is important to understand how reduction in these background noises are beneficial. The report highlighted that with a decline in these seismic noises, scientists are now able to identify weaker signals which previously have been masked by human activities. This allows more clarity while monitoring a whole range of seismogenic behaviour which means that even a smallest earthquake or early signs of volcanic activity can be looked at and help in creating the assessment for hazards more accurately.