Strong storms can generate quake-like seismic activity
discovered a new geophysical phenomenon where a hurricane or a strong storm can
produce vibrations in the nearby ocean floor as strong as an earthquake of magnitude of 3.5 on Richter scale.
Wenyuan Fan, an assistant professor of Earth,
Ocean and Atmospheric Science at Florida State University and lead author of a
new study, published inAmerican Geophysical Union’s journal Geophysical
Research Letters, termed the new phenomenon as ‘stormquakes’.Certain strong
storms transfer energy into the ocean and the waves interact with the solid
earth producing intense seismic source activity, according to him.
The researchers analyzed seismic and oceanographic records spanning a decade and found a connection between strong storms and intense seismic activity - vibrations in Earth's crust - near the edge of continental shelves or ocean banks. Not all hurricanes cause stormquakes, but when they do, the stormquakes seem to be concentrated in certain hotspots.The finding points to new level of understanding of seismic waves.