This week a powerful storm passed through the northeastern US, bringing with it high winds, heavy rains, and a dramatic roar of seismic energy in the Earth’s crust that lasted for days.
If you listen closely at 03:27 you’ll hear a faint tsssk briefly peeking through the din, like the sound of a pinch of sand tossed against a piece of paper. This was a magnitude 2.7 earthquake in coastal Connecticut. Earthquakes here are infrequent, but not unusual.
What is remarkable, however, is how the human ear can pull out the sound of this one small earthquake from the roar of the background noise. You may not hear that earthquake at first; it may at first all sound like noise to you. But if you listen to this section a few times, you can train your ear and brain to distinguish between the various kinds of “noise”. Gradually, structure appears in the great wash of sound, the unfamiliar grows familiar, and order emerges from the chaos. Suddenly the Connecticut earthquake will pop out at you, and you’ll wonder how you could have missed it in the first place.
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Here are some highlights of what we heard here this week:
- Hokkaido, Japan Region (magnitude 6.0; 6,250 miles away)
- Gulf of California (5.0; 2,685 miles)
- Near Coast of Guerrero, Mexico (4.7; 2,648 miles)
- Tonga Islands Region (5.1; 7,844 miles)
- Near Coast of Oaxaca, Mexico (4.3; 2,567 miles)
- Vancouver Island Region (4.0; 2,839 miles)
- Samoa Islands Region (5.0; 7,811 miles)
- Ecuador (5.1; 3,184 miles)
- Puerto Rico Region (4.5; 1,825 miles)
- Near Coast of Guerrero, Mexico (5.8; 2,652 miles)
- Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge (5.4; 3,963 miles)
- Eastern Mediterranean Sea (4.6; 4,890 miles)
- A powerful low pressure system arrives in New England, bringing strong winds and heavy rains to the area. The storm peaks at about 03:30 (the morning of Thursday, August 14), but the crustal vibrations stirred up by the offshore ocean swell continue for another day or two.
- Northern Chile (5.3; 4,515 miles)
- 5Km SW of Deep River Center, Connecticut (2.7; 334 miles)
- E. Caroline Islands, Micronesia (4.9; 8,709 miles)
- Southern Sumatera, Indonesia (4.6; 9,309 miles)