Science reveals that lockdown has caused a 50% reduction in human-linked vibrations around the Globe
This quiet period between March and May 2020 is pronounced the longest and most quiet period of seismic noise ever recorded in history.
The recent research led by the Royal Observatory of Belgium together with Imperial College London and the other five institutions around the world has revealed that earth vibrations caused by humans dropped by an average of 50% since March.
According to this research, this period gave researchers a chance to listen in to past concealed earthquake signals and they were able to distinguish between human and natural seismic noise more clearly than before.
Dr. Stephen Hicks from Imperial’s Department of Science and Engineering said this is the longest dampening of human-caused seismic noise since they began monitoring the earth. He said they were using vast monitoring networks of seismometers.
“Our study uniquely highlights just how much human activity affects the solid Earth and could let us see more clearly than ever what differentiates human and natural noise, “Said Dr. Hicks.
The science reports reveal that there has not been a decrease in earthquakes but this reduction in human-caused noise is unprecedented. Research shows that the strongest drops were found in urban areas.
According to Science News, large drops were seen in more populated places like Singapore, New York, and other remote places like Rundu, Namibia. Human noise slows down during Christmas and New Year period however, this drop was due to COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Lead author Dr. Thomas Lecocq from Royal Observatory of Belgium, said the increasing urbanization and population growth mean that more people will occupy geologically dangerous areas, therefore it is becoming more important to differentiate between natural noise and human-caused noise.
“We better ‘listen in’ and monitor the ground moving beneath our feet. This study could help to kick-start this new field of study.” He added.