Covid-19 lockdowns have caused the Earth's crust to stop shaking
Covid-19 lockdowns around the world has brought close to 4 billion people, more than half of the world's entire population, to a complete and utter standstill. This is having a surprising effect on nature, from more visible wildlife interactions in cities to the earth's upper crust shaking less than usual.
Scientists have noted that machinery and car movement across the globe that cause imperceptible shakes to the Earth's crust have effectively stopped. Seismologists around the globe have reported a drop in seismic noise, according to an article in the scientific journal Nature.
Usually this kind of drop in seismic activity occurs around Christmas day and experts say that they can now find smaller earthquakes and monitor volcanic activity a lot better.
In Belgium, vibrations caused by human activity have decreased by approximately one-third since Covid-19 isolation measures were introduced by the government. The reduction in noise is 100% related to the closure of offices and schools as well as a ban of all non-essential travel on March 18.
Update for Brussels (Station BE.UCCS): The background level remains low and stable (~-33%). We've added more time to the plot so last weeks are more in context. #StayHomeBelgium #StayAtHome #StayHome @CrisiscenterBE pic.twitter.com/bRSPeuxNcG— Seismologie.be (@Seismologie_be) March 27, 2020
But it's not just in Belgium. Seimic activity has decreased in these places as well:
A marked reduction in human activity due to the #COVD19NZ Level 4 lock-down continues in Auckland, New Zealand, as measured by @Geonet's Herne Bay seismometer.#COVID19 @ChiefSciAdvisor https://t.co/KpalNxuydV pic.twitter.com/IVuQ28AxFR— ******* Pax (@matarikipax) April 1, 2020
Bit late to the party but here is the University of Aberdeen COVID-19 seismic 'noise' decrease from @healy_dave's office @raspishake in the Meston Building. Last normal day on campus was 18/3. @abdngeology @UoAGeosciences @aberdeenuni Thx @seismotom for the Jupyter notebook. pic.twitter.com/K001CW9W0W— Dave Cornwell (@seismodave) April 3, 2020
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
How does @Princeton "sound" different now that everyone must #stayathome? Here is the seismic "noise" we record in the basement of Guyot Hall. Campus really is quieter now, especially after the tighter restrictions were put in place. Code via @seismotom. pic.twitter.com/YqkRdHObaC— Jessica Irving (@jess_irving) April 2, 2020
Le bruit sismique ambiant en France a légèrement diminué depuis le début du confinement améliorant ainsi notre capacité de détection des séismes. #restecheztoi (anecdotiquement tu aideras aussi les sismologues ...) pic.twitter.com/8Vo8Nn2KuJ— jerome vergne (@jerome_vergne) March 20, 2020
While we're all stuck at home, atleast we know most of us are listening to offical advice and staying home.