Measures to curb coronavirus spread have reduced seismic ‘noise’, scientists say

Measures to restrict traffic in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus have begun to have a positive impact on the environment and even on the Earth itself, which has not only become quieter and cleaner, but is also shaking less, with scientists recording a marked drop in seismic “noise”.

In addition to the reduction in air pollution levels over Europe seen by satellites, the measures have had another more unexpected “side effect”. Their characteristic seismic footprint is already visible in Greece, based on data recorded by the United National Seismological Network, according to Greek scientists.

The original research was carried out by Professor Efthymios Sokos of the Seismology Laboratory of the Department of Geology of the University of Patras, Dr. Christos Evangelidis, lead researcher at the Geodynamic Institute of the National Observatory of Athens, and the seismologist Dr.Dimitrios Giannopoulos.

The results reveal a gradual decline in seismic noise levels, which began immediately after the first set of traffic restriction measures (closure of restaurants, cafes and leisure facilities, shopping malls, etc.) and the closure of schools.

According to the researchers, “seismic noise levels show a steady decline after the first announcement of the measures, with the levels reaching the lowest levels immediately after the second announcement, which concerned the implementation of measures of universal restrictions of public movement (lockdown) on March 23.”


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