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Earth and Environmental Sciences pres.

Smith Lecture: Global Quieting of Anthropogenic, High-Frequency Seismic Noise Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown Measures

Thomas Lecocq, Royal Observatory of Belgium

Zoom Meeting ID: 99893078888
Human activities causes high-frequency vibrations that propagate into the ground as seismic waves. "Lockdown" measures were enforced all around the world to mitigate the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The widespread changes in human activities had a direct impact on the environment, for example with the reduction of air pollution or audible noise. It also led to a months-long reduction in seismic noise. The 2020 seismic noise quiet period is the longest and most prominent global anthropogenic seismic noise reduction on record. The reduction is strongest at surface seismometers in highly populated areas, but this seismic quiescence extends for many kilometers radially and hundreds of meters in depth. This period provides an opportunity to detect subtle signals from subsurface seismic sources that would have been concealed in noisier times and to benchmark sources of anthropogenic noise. A strong correlation between seismic noise and independent measurements of human mobility suggests that seismology provides an absolute, real-time estimate of human activities. The initial lockdown rules were usually immediate and strictest in the beginning. Then, the lifting of the rules was more progressive. This could allow for studying and separating different noise sources. In this communication, we will also shortly present the community behind this study, the tools and ways we used to coordinate the analyses and to write the article.

Livestream Information

November 13, 2020 (Friday) 1:30pm
Meeting ID: 99893078888

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