World quarantine has changed the seismic activity of our planet

At this extremely difficult time, due to the outbreak of Covid-19, an interesting and very unusual natural effect was discovered in front of seismologists at the Royal Observatory of Belgium. Since the time when self-isolation measures of the population were introduced in different countries, the world has seen a noticeable decrease in the level of seismic noise in the earth's crust.

In Brussels, where the data were obtained, seismometers measured the level of vibration caused by moving vehicles and industrial equipment. It turned out that it dropped by about a third. Thanks to this, the scientific equipment has the opportunity to determine the presence of weakly expressed earthquakes and other seismic phenomena in the thickness of the earth's mantle. Thomas Lecock, a seismologist at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, shared that such jumps in the sensitivity of instruments of this kind were previously observed only at Christmas.

However, in some regions of the planet, the effect of quarantine may be less pronounced. Emily Wolin, a researcher at the US Geological Survey in Albuquerque, New Mexico, explains that some seismic monitoring stations are specifically located away from noisy cities to minimize human interference. But it is unprofitable to keep such stations, therefore their number is small and, most likely, will decrease.

Seismic noise levels in Belgium before and after quarantine