Scientists discover big storms can create ‘stormquakes’

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Scientists have discovered a mash-up of two feared disasters – hurricanes and earthquakes.

They’re calling them “stormquakes.”

It’s a shaking of the sea floor during a hurricane or nor’easter that rumbles like a magnitude 3.5 earthquake. The quakes are fairly common, but they weren’t noticed before because they were considered seismic background noise.

And stormquakes can last for days.

The study’s lead author was Wenyuan Fan, a Florida State University seismologist. Fan says this is more an oddity than something that can hurt you, because no one is standing on the sea floor during a hurricane.

Fan’s team found 14,077 stormquakes between 2006 and 2015.

The study is in this week’s journal Geophysical Research Letters.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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