Scientists: Big storms can create ‘stormquakes’

News

October 18, 2019 - 5:38 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have discovered a mash-up of two feared disasters — hurricanes and earthquakes — and they’re calling them “stormquakes.”

The shaking of the sea floor during hurricanes and nor’easters can rumble like a magnitude 3.5 earthquake and can last for days, according to a study in this week’s journal Geophysical Research Letters. The quakes are fairly common, but they weren’t noticed before because they were considered seismic background noise.

A stormquake is more an oddity than something that can hurt you, because no one is standing on the sea floor during a hurricane, said Wenyuan Fan, a Florida State University seismologist who was the study’s lead author.

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