global quieting

via Todd Richmond

An interesting side effect to the global pandemic – better earthquake hunting. Human activity, particularly industrial and transportation, generates a lot of “seismic noise”. This paper in Science documents the decrease in seismic background noise, which has the benefit of enabling researchers to monitor small magnitude events. Also gives perspective of human impact on the earth as this has been the “quietest” global anthropogenic seismic noise period on record. Scientists have typically put sensors outside of urban areas due to the noise generated by human activity, particularly during the daytime. If there are long-term changes in human behavior due to the pandemic, scientists may want to revisit their sensor networks and experimental design. There will no doubt continue to be 2nd order effects from the pandemic, as the human-nature relationship continues to be dynamic.

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