We know that to avoid the coronavirus from spreading globally, roughly half the world’s population have been asked to isolate themselves in their homes, which does not sound good at all. Things are getting worse since the past few weeks, and the only good thing reported is that the major decrease in normal human activity has ended up in a surprising shift in Earth’s vibrations.
Recently, the researchers who study the movement of the Earth has confirmed that the temporary halt of the transportation systems and the shutdown of the businesses and other human activities has made Earth-shaking noticeably less than usual. A reduction in seismic noise(the vibrations on the planet’s crust) is offering scientists a remarkable opportunity to observe little earthquakes, volcanic activities and other small quakes which are normally obscured by human activity.
Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist at the Royal Observatory in Brussels, noticed the quieter movements and published an article in the newspaper nature this week. According to Lecocq, the noise reduction is normally only noticeable at the time of Christmas. It is a very dramatic decrease in seismic noise, Lecocq added.
Lecocq found that, after COVID-19 isolation steps were adopted by the government, vibrations caused by human activity in Belgium have dropped by about a third. Noise reduction is specifically related to closing schools, restaurants and other public areas in the country on 14 March and banning non-essential travel on 18 March.
Reports have confirmed that though individual human activity including driving vehicles and construction sites results in a very small amount of vibrations in the Earth’s crust, all these combines together to produce such an amount of “background noise” that it makes nearly impossible for the scientists and researchers to detect natural events. Such a situation can be used well by the researchers to closely monitor even the smallest earthquakes and other volcanic activities.