Data released today has shown a dramatic decrease in human activity across Ireland as a result of the current restrictions on movement and economic activity.
Seismic noise is what seismologists call the ground vibrations made by humans, which can be produced by cars, trains, building sites and other industries.
Instruments used by the INSN track this ‘noise’, as well as ground motions from natural phenomena, such as earthquakes and volcanoes.
Commenting today, Dr. Martin Möllhoff, Director of Seismic Networks at DIAS, said that these human-induced vibrations vary with the human activity.
“Worldwide social restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic affect not only levels of air pollution, but also how much the ground beneath our feet vibrates,” he said.
“With the current COVID-19 restrictions on human movement, INSN seismic noise levels have been markedly reduced. In Ireland, seismic noise levels are now up to three times lower than they were before the restrictions were introduced.”
Professor Chris Bean, Head of the Geophysics Section and Director of the School of Cosmic Physics at DIAS, said: “Such lowered seismic noise levels can enhance the capability of a seismic network to detect small earthquakes and are testament to the high levels of compliance with COVID-19 movement restrictions.
The findings released by DIAS today mirror findings from seismologists across the world, who have been tracking how COVID-19 restrictions have impacted on levels of seismic noise.