Seismologists: Earth vibrates much less by pandemic

The world also stands still in the literal sense during the coronacrisis. A team of seismologists from 33 different countries says that the Earth shaked significantly less in the past year, due to the coronapandemic.

Because people were significantly less active due to lockdowns, measuring stations around the world perceive up to half less vibration.

Seismologists measure not only striking earthquakes, but also seismic noise. This noise is a constant vibration with various causes, from traffic to industrial work of people. During the various lockdowns worldwide during 2020, traffic declined, many companies closed their doors, and public transport adapted timetables. As a result, a decrease in vibration was measurable.

Wave of silence

The seismologists involved say that the quietest weeks in twenty years have been measured. They describe a ‘wave of silence’ that stretched across the Earth that began in China where the coronavirus was first observed. The wave continued throughout the year to Italy and the rest of Europe, and then to the American continent.

The decrease in seismic noise also made it possible for researchers to detect smaller earthquakes, which normally remain below the radar.