The new study analyzed geophones from around the world, and found that blockades - including full isolation, physical isolation, travel restrictions, and closure of businesses and services - have resulted in a significant reduction in seismic signals from human activity.
The measures to novel coronavirus pneumonia have caused widespread changes in human activities, which resulted in an 50% reduction in seismic noise in a few months, the study said.
The research paper points out that seismic noise generated by human activities is continuously measured to help early warning of local geological disasters. Generally speaking, in areas where Christmas and new years day are celebrated, there is less noise at night, weekends and holidays. But now, because of the new outbreak, scientists are seeing more noise reduction around the world than at Christmas. Seismic noise reduction began in China in January, spread to Europe in March, and spread to the rest of the world in April.
During the blockade, high frequency seismic environmental noise (hifsan) in New York Central Park was reduced by about 10%. In Belgium, hifsan fell by 33%. In holiday destinations like Barbados, which have been affected by fewer tourists, hifsan fell by 45% after the blockade in March and April, and by 50% compared with the same period in previous years.
Overall, the global median hifsan fell by 50% between March and may 2020, according to the report.