Week 2014.15 (April 13-19) ~ A visit from Mexico

Welcome to another edition of One Week on Earth. This week’s program begins almost immediately with the distant “whoop” of an earthquake under western Idaho (4.9), followed by a stretch of relative quiet that allows our ears to settle into the pleasing ambience of the Earth’s microseismic background “noise”. But please don’t turn up your volume yet, for the calm is soon interrupted by the arrival of surface waves from an earthquake under the Solomon Islands (7.4) — a continuation of last week’s sequence of large earthquakes in that South Pacific region. Over the next minute, a few more small events from the Solomon Islands are heard, along with a gradual intensification of the background ambience, as a wind and rain storm approaches Maine. At about 01:45 surface waves arrive from an earthquake (5.9) under the Bouvet Islands, in the remote South Atlantic ocean.

A few seconds later, at 01:51 we reach the morning hours of April 1, when many night-owls in North America witnessed the first of a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses. But you won’t hear a trace of the eclipse in this recording, since eclipses have no measurable effect on the Earth’s seismic activity. Moving on, the hissing and crackling from the gathering windstorm approaches a climax at midweek, near 02:30. Over the next minute the local winds die down, but the seas continue to build offshore, causing the background noise to build in intensity and slide slowly downwards in pitch. Gradually the ocean swell fades away, allowing a few more distant earthquakes from the Solomon Islands to peek through (03:44) . Without warning, at 04:30 we hear the magnificent crash of the surface waves from a major earthquake in Mexico (7.2), followed about ten seconds later by a back-to-back pair of earthquakes from under Alaska (5.5 and 5.4). The remainder of the week is dominated by more aftershocks from under the ever-restless Solomon Islands. The program ends with a scarcely audible earthquake under Chile (5.8).

What else was going on this week:

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