Ground vibrations from traffic decreased by half due to corona

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A recent study showed, that the earth tremors resulting from traffic and industrial works fell in half globally during the closure of the Corona virus, as social divergence, and fewer cars on the roads, and trains in tourism and travel led to the longest and clearest period of seismic noise in recorded history.

According to the British newspaper "Daily Mail", seismic noise refers to vibrations in the ground, caused by traffic or heavy machinery and natural phenomena such as earthquakes and bad weather.

Global seismic (anthropogenic) seismic noise decreased by 50% during the period from March to May, as provinces entered a closure to prevent the spread of Corona infection.

The largest decrease in seismic noise was also recorded in the most densely populated areas around the world, such as Singapore and New York City.

However, a decrease in seismic noise was recorded in remote areas as well, such as the German Black Forest and Rondo in the African country of Namibia.


The closure gave geologists an opportunity to uncover natural events that may have remained unexplored, especially during the day when there is more man-made noise.

This relative calm allowed researchers to listen to previously hidden seismic signals, and could help distinguish between human and natural seismic noise more clearly than ever before.

The study, which includes contributions from experts at Imperial College London, provides the first evidence that seismic signals that it previously concealed seemed more evident in urban seismometers during closure, this could help ecologists find ways to predict future natural disasters.

"As urbanization increases and the world's population grows, more people will live in geologically dangerous areas," said lead researcher Dr. Thomas Lockoc of the Royal Belgian Observatory.

"So it will be more important than ever before to distinguish between natural and human-induced noise so that we can better listen to and monitor the ground movements under our feet," Lockook added.

The researchers used devices called seismometers to measure seismic noise, which travel like waves and can also be caused by earthquakes and volcanoes, in addition to daily human activity such as travel and industry.