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The effect of 2020 COVID-19 lockdown measures on seismic noise recorded in Romania

Abstract : After the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020, Romania followed the example of many other countries and imposed a series of restrictive measures, including restricting people's mobility and closing social, cultural, and industrial activities to prevent the spread of the disease. In this study, we analyze continuous vertical component recordings from the stations of the Romanian Seismic Network - one of the largest networks in Europe, consisting of 148 stations - to explore the seismic noise variation associated with the reduced human mobility and activity due to the Romanian measures against COVID-19 in detail. We focused our investigation on four frequency bands - 2-8, 4-14, 15-25 and 25-40 Hz - and found that the largest reductions in seismic noise associated with the lockdown correspond to the high-frequency range of 15-40 Hz. We found that all the stations with large reductions in seismic noise (>∼ 40 %) are located inside and near schools or in buildings, indicating that at these frequencies the drop is related to the drastic reduction of human activity in these edifices. In the lower-frequency range (2-8 and 4-14 Hz) the variability of the noise reduction among the stations is lower than in the high-frequency range, corresponding to about 35 % on average. This drop is due to reduced traffic during the lockdown, as most of the stations showing such changes in seismic noise in these bands are located within cities and near main or side streets. In addition to the noise reduction observed at stations located in populated areas, we also found seismic noise lockdown-related changes at several stations located far from urban areas, with movement of people in the vicinity of the station explaining the noise reductions.
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, February 26, 2022 - 8:35:33 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 12:01:21 PM
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Bogdan Grecu, Felix Borleanu, Alexandru Tiganescu, Natalia Poiata, Raluca Dinescu, et al.. The effect of 2020 COVID-19 lockdown measures on seismic noise recorded in Romania. Solid Earth, European Geosciences Union, 2021, 12, pp.2351-2368. ⟨10.5194/se-12-2351-2021⟩. ⟨insu-03589886⟩



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