Coronavirus may be assisting earthquake research


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Scientists are starting to notice stay at home orders across the world may be having an impact on the Earth.

We’re talking specifically about Earthquakes, and oddly enough it has to do with less cars on the road.

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Cars, trains, even factories contribute to culture noise levels picked up on readings seen by seismologist.

University of Kentucky seismologist Seth Carpenter said, “There was one station where we did see improved performance in other words the noise levels were dropping.” Dropping, because of the Coronvirus pandemic, social distancing and stay at home orders.

Carpenter adds, “The benefit of lower noise levels in general is that you can record smaller Earthquakes.” This is an important part of Earthquake research because studying and understanding small Earthquakes is the key to understanding large Earthquakes.

The process is a bit complicated; unfortunately to get accurate data Carpenter says they need more than one station with lower cultural noise. “It turns out that you need usually more than one station to do a very careful assessment of an earthquake to know a lot about it. So have one station with reduced noise levels is helpful but not having a network with improved levels we don’t anticipate having a great increase in performance.”

So it turns out we won’t be predicting earthquakes anytime soon but understanding the data of small earthquakes is certainly the key. Carpenter says, “Small Earthquakes help us to understand where there may be faults that could potentially produce larger earthquakes that would be more important and significances to society.”

Small Earthquakes are equal interest to us to investigate damage in the earth’s crust.
So for carpenter and his team 100 small earthquakes could make a larger earthquake and that’s why they continue to study.

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Meteorologist Justin Roth weather forecasts can be seen weekend evenings on ABC 36 at 6:30 PM at 11 PM. Justin will also forecast the weather at 10 PM (MyKY 36.2) three days a week. Justin comes to WTVQ from the NBC affiliate in Casper, WY and interned in Knoxville, TN all where he gained the understandings of forecasting mountainous terrains and rapidly changing environments. His forecasts are for YOUR day and making YOUR life just a bit easier. Justin was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Western Illinois University with Minors in Broadcasting and Mathematics. His interest in weather began at a young age when his parents gave him a book, ‘First Field Guide To Weather’ for his Birthday, ever since then weather has been a passion of his from forecasting to chasing tornadoes. When not forecasting the weather, Justin enjoys exploring new places and anything outdoors. He’s a self-proclaimed history buff and loves rooting for favorite sport teams, The St. Louis Cardinals and Blues. Please feel free to share any outdoor picture you’d like to share with him send them his way at And be sure to follow him: Twitter - @JustinRothWx Instagram - @JustinRothWx