There was peace on all peaks
The extensive standstill of public life due to the corona lockdown in spring 2020 offered seismologists the opportunity to better understand disturbing background noise due to human activities in their measurements. So they can take it into account more closely in the future - but also use it.
Three glaciers, a wide view of Alpine peaks in four countries, opportunities for mountaineering and a large ski area in the immediate vicinity: the Zugspitze is an attractive tourist destination that attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year. But on March 16, 2020, the flow of visitors stopped abruptly. As part of the corona protection measures, the operation of the two cable cars and the cog railway was discontinued. Suddenly there was an unusual calm on the Zugspitze.
What not only represented an enormous economic loss for the cable car operators on Germany's highest mountain, offered others unexpected opportunities: Seismologists worldwide recorded a sudden drop in the "seismic background noise" caused by human activity. Noise, which normally overlays the recordings of their highly sensitive measuring devices, was significantly reduced. A 76-strong international research team is now investigating the effects, which also evaluated the data from the measuring station on the Zugspitze and published the results of the study in "Science" …