Earth Day Read: Coronavirus lockdowns have changed the way Earth moves

Geoscientists have observed a drop in seismic noise, the noise created from vibrations of the Earth’s crust. This drop has been observed in areas of Belgium as well as Los Angeles. Scientists tie this noticeable decrease to transportation networks, as well as other human activities, being shut down as governments attempt to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Belgian seismologists compare this drop in seismic noise to a much briefer drop experienced around Christmas time. This allows seismologists to record information about smaller earthquakes, as seismometers are more sensitive without an abundance of seismic noise. If this trend continues, seismologists will be able to better determine the location of earthquake aftershocks using city-based detectors.