COVID-19 Causes 50% Global Reduction in Earth Vibrations

Oct, 2020 - By SMI

COVID-19 Causes 50% Global Reduction in Earth Vibrations

According to the researchers, March and May 2020 is the most pronounced and longest quiet period of seismic noise in recorded history.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the world in many ways. The world is on a halt, as many governments across the world issued stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the deadly virus. With fewer planes in the sky and vehicles on the road and many industries and factories on pause, people across the world have seen a sharp drop in air pollution and carbon emissions. Moreover, human-connected vibrations in the Earth have been dropped by an average of 50% between March and May 2020 due to a lack of human activity during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The global pandemic has provided researchers with a unique opportunity to observe some of the human-related impacts on the planet. Now, the research team from Imperial College London focused on what these lockdowns do to the human-caused earth vibration and found that it is the most pronounced and longest quiet period of seismic noise in recorded history. It is mainly due to the total global effect of prevention measures, drops in travel and tourism, and closure of industry and services. Moreover, the prevention measures such as lockdown and social distancing have increased the output of solar panels in certain cities.

During this research, the researchers focused on seismic noise produced by vibrations in the Earth. Though they may generate through natural phenomena such as volcanoes and earthquakes, they can also be produced by human activity such as industry and travel. The team examined data collected from 268 seismic stations across the globe and found that human-linked vibrations in the Earth have been dropped during the lockdown due to a lack of human activity. Previously, these have been seen during New Year and Christmas, however, new research suggests that the COVID-19 lockdown has taken things to a whole new level. The research was published in the Science journal. 

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