Hurricane Irma So Strong It’s Registering on Seismic Instruments

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In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands. This image was captured as daylight moves into the area, right, with nighttime features on the left side of the image. Hurricane Irma grew into a dangerous Category 5 storm, the most powerful seen in the Atlantic in over a decade, and roared toward islands in the northeast Caribbean Tuesday on a path that could eventually take it to the United States. (NOAA via AP)

By Greg Richter | NEWMAX

Hurricane Irma, currently barrelling through the Caribbean toward Florida as a strong Category 5 storm, is showing up on instruments used to measure earthquakes.

“What we’re seeing in the seismogram are low-pitched hums that gradually become stronger as the hurricane gets closer to the seismometer on the island of Guadeloupe,” the U.K.’s University of Southampton seismologist Stephen Hicks told USA Today.

The hurricane is not causing earthquakes, Hicks said, but the high winds it produces, as well as the swaying of trees, transfer energy into the ground. Waves crashing against the shore also are a contributor.

Since the seismometer is near the ocean, that energy is picked up, Hicks said.

“Earthquakes occur 10s of (miles) deep inside Earth’s crust, a long way from the influence of weather events, and there is no evidence to suggest that hurricanes and storms directly cause earthquakes,” he added.

Strong storms often show up on seismic instruments.

“We saw this for Hurricane Harvey on seismometers located close to Houston,” Hicks said.

As Irma gets closer to the sensors, “we will see a dramatic increase in the amplitude of the seismic recordings,” he said.

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http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/hurricane-irma-seismic-earthquakes/2017/09/05/id/811828/

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