Over many decades of geophysical observations, scientists have studied hurricanes and earthquakes quite well. However, more recently, they had to face a new phenomenon, previously unknown to science - "storm earthquakes", when powerful hurricanes cause seismic activity that can last for hours or even days.
According to Florida State University geophysicist Wenyuan Fan, in the northeastern United States during the storm season, hurricanes transmit energy to the ocean, and this, in turn, interacts with the land through huge waves, generating seismic activity in it.
Wenyuan Fan and his team analyzed observational data over the past 12 years and recorded more than 14, 000 storm earthquakes off the coast of the United States, Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.
Additional research will probably be required to confirm a previously unknown natural phenomenon, but scientists are confident that it also occurs in Western Europe and Western Australia.
The researchers estimate that storm earthquakes are fuzzy seismic signals from ocean-land interactions that were previously perceived as background noise. They can migrate along with hurricanes, forming point seismic sources with a magnitude of 3.5 points.
Fortunately, storm earthquakes are not hazardous. According to scientists, the information received about them provides valuable baseline data for studying the structure of the Earth in coastal regions.