As the world gradually becomes still, with everyone sitting at home rather than driving, flying or commuting, seismologists have noted that the Earth is moving less.
According to CNN, geologist and seismologist at the Royal Observatory in Belgium Thomas Lecocq has noted a 30 to 50% drop on the ambient noise since the lockdown began.
Vibrations are usually created by people driving, airplanes, buses and people going about their daily lives. Without these, it appears the Earth upper crust is moving less.
This is beneficial for those in the field as they can now identify even slighter tremors and movements. These had previously been over shadowed by our usual hustle and bustle.
“You’ll get a signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little more information out of those events,” Andy Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology in Washington DC told Nature.
Seismologists in the UK and the US have also identified smaller earthquakes and movements as a result of this quiet. They have been posting to social media, showing the drops in their areas after schools closed and people were told to stay indoors.
How the seismic noise on our little @raspishake seismometer running in West London (Twickenham) has been affected by the #covid19UK lockdown. This is a month of data for station R091F. The average noise levels are down reflecting fewer trains, buses and cars. pic.twitter.com/WmJLmAO18k
— Paula Koelemeijer (@seismo_koel) March 31, 2020
While positive for science, this also means that lockdowns are being adhered to, even if it may not seem like it overall.