Planet Earth Became ‘Quieter’ Since COVID-19

2 min read When the announcement of the Coronavirus was made earlier this year, a new mind set settled in for America.

Earth with lights

Photo Credit: (NASA) Studies from seismologists worldwide started to notice less traffic on the roads, caused by less ambient seismic noise from Earth's vibrations.

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By Dustin Staples | dstaples1@radford.edu

When The World Health Organization announced COVID-19 earlier this year, a new mindset settled in for Americans. 

As many stockpiled for the long haul, many businesses, universities, and schools closed for safety purposes. These closings resulted in many people stuck at home, which resulted in a quieter time on Earth.

These closings resulted in many people stuck at home, which resulted in a quieter time on Earth.

Studies from seismologists worldwide started to notice less traffic on the roads, caused by less ambient seismic noise from Earth’s vibrations. 

From a report from CNN, Thomas Lecocq, a Geologist and Seismologist from Royal Observatory in Belgium, began to notice a shift in Earth’s dynamic movement in mid-March.

There was at least a “30 to 50 percent reduction in ambient seismic noise since mid-March, around the time the country started implementing school and business closures,” the CNN report stated. 

Celeste Labedz, a Ph.D. student from California Institute of Technology, also noticed a population decline due to more people complying with stay-at-home orders in the United States.

Graph
Photo Credit: (Stephen Hicks) The #covid19UK lockdown as seen by a seismometer. This week has seen a reduction in average daytime background seismic noise level (purple line).

“From the seismological point of view, we can motivate people to say, ‘OK look, people. You feel like you’re alone at home, but we can tell you that everyone is home. Everyone is doing the same. Everyone is respecting the rules,'” Lecocq said in the CNN report.