Environment Seismic consequences for the quiet earth in lockdown

Seismic consequences for the quiet earth in lockdown

As COVID-19 spread around the world so did a kind of hush.

 An international study involving researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) has found that lockdown restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in an unprecedented drop in noise.

Researchers reviewed seismic data from 300 stations around the world and found that vibrations caused by human activity dropped by 50 per cent.

“The drop in the buzz caused by human activity is unprecedented,” ANU Associate Professor Meghan Miller said.

“This is the longest and most prominent global seismic noise reduction of this kind on record,” she said.

Human movement is constantly driving a seismic buzz.

“Walking around, driving cars, getting the train, construction work – all these things create unique seismic signatures,” Dr Miller said.

Unsurprisingly the strongest noise reductions were found in urban areas, but they were also noticed in remote regions as well.

As well as providing a never-before-seen analysis of how humans generate seismic noise, the study will help scientists understand how to differentiate between human-generated and natural seismic noises from earthquakes and volcanoes.

Make some noise and support our universities as they research their way through the COVID-19 pandemic – sign the petition to #KeepItClever now.