Superstorm Sandy didn’t just rattle the East Coast, it also jiggled the ground across the country ever so slightly, scientists reported Thursday.
Earthquake sensors located as far away as the Pacific Northwest detected the storm’s energy as it surged toward the New York metropolitan region last year. The network typically records the sudden release of energy in Earth’s crust, but it can pick up shaking triggered by ocean waves, mine cave-ins and tornadoes.
The energy generated by Sandy was similar to small earthquakes between magnitudes 2 and 3, seismologists at the University of Utah estimated.
Other events have also been captured by seismic sensors in recent years. A deadly coal mine collapse in Utah in 2007 registered as a magnitude-3.9 quake. Earlier this year, a meteor that exploded over Siberia’s Ural Mountains sent rippling shock waves that were detected by ground instruments.