Drop in noise pollution a bonanza for earthquake scientists

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By Mia Rabson, National Observer, April 14, 2020

For earthquake scientists, having hundreds of millions of people off the streets and out of the skies is providing a bonanza of data about the planet.

All those planes, trains and automobiles that aren't running because of stay-home policies meant to fight the spread of COVID-19 have cut noise pollution in some cities by more than half, allowing seismologists to record sounds from inside Earth they never could before.

John Cassidy, an earthquake seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, says holidays like Christmas are the closest we ever get to these low levels of background noise and that's only for a day at a time.

 

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