Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2021-25
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2021-25

  14 Jun 2021

14 Jun 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Covid-19 lockdown effects on the seismic recordings of Central America

Mario Arroyo-Solórzano1, Diego Castro-Rojas2, Frédérick Massin3, Lepolt Linkimer1, Ivonne Arroyo1, and Robin Yani2 Mario Arroyo-Solórzano et al.
  • 1Escuela Centroamericana de Geología y Red Sismológica Nacional, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica
  • 2Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrología, INSIVUMEH, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
  • 3ETHZ-SED, Swiss Seismological Service, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. A noticeable decrease in seismic noise was registered worldwide during the lockdown measurements of 2020 to prevent the Covid-19. In Central America, strong lockdown measures started during March of 2020. We have used seismic stations from Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua to study the effects of these measures on seismic records by characterizing temporal variations in the high-frequency band (4–14 Hz) via spectral and amplitude analyses. In addition, we study the link between the reduction of seismic noise and the number of earthquake detection and felt reports in Costa Rica and Guatemala. We found that seismic stations near the capitals of Costa Rica, Guatemala, and El Salvador, presented a decrease in the typical seismic noise level from 200 to 140 nm, 100 to 80 nm, and 120 to 80 nm, respectively. Our results showed that the largest reduction of ~50 % in seismic noise were observed in seismic stations near main airports, busy roads, and densely populated cities. In Nicaragua, the seismic noise levels remained constant (~40 nm) as no lockdown measures were applied. We noted that the decrease in seismic noise levels allowed to improve earthquake locations and increment the number of reports of low magnitude felt earthquakes. Our results imply that seismic data can be useful to verify the compliance of lockdown measures and to explore effects of the decrease in the seismic noise in the earthquake detection and felt reports.

Mario Arroyo-Solórzano et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on se-2021-25', Valerio de Rubeis, 06 Jul 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Mario Arroyo Solórzano, 27 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on se-2021-25', Alan Kafka, 11 Jul 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Mario Arroyo Solórzano, 27 Jul 2021

Mario Arroyo-Solórzano et al.

Mario Arroyo-Solórzano et al.

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Short summary
We present the first seismic noise variation levels during Covid-19 in Central America using ten seismometers. We study the impact of the seismic noise reduction on the detectability of earthquakes and in the felt reports. Our results show maximum values (~50 % decrease) in seismic stations near airports and densely cities. The decrease in seismic noise levels allowed to improve earthquake locations and reports. Our results show that it can be useful to verify the compliance of measures.