LONDON: A study found that the coronavirus lockdown worldwide has sharpened the scientists’ ability to hear the earth’s natural signals.
Vibrations travel through the earth like waves, creating seismic noise from earthquakes, volcanoes, wind, and rivers as well as human actions such as travel and industry. In the study, scientists found that human-linked earth vibrations dropped by an average of 50 percent between March and May this year.
“The 2020 seismic noise quiet period is the longest and most prominent global anthropogenic seismic noise reduction on record,” the research stated. Beginning in China in late January, and followed by Europe and the rest of the world from March to April, researchers saw a wave of quietening as worldwide lockdown measures to slow the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
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Travel and tourism were all but halted, millions of schools and industries closed, and many people were confined to their homes. “It has yielded a new window on the natural seismic signals, and could let us see more clearly than ever what differentiates human and natural noise,” he said.
The study said its findings also showed that seismologists can help establish how long people take to react to the imposition and lifting of lockdown measures.