Posted 26 November 2012 – 08:21 PM

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The global “hum” of the Earth is now helping scientists probe the planet’s deep interior, a group of researchers say. Since this hum — called seismic noise, which is generated by sources such as storm-driven ocean waves — is detectable everywhere on Earth, it could help scientists analyze the innards of the planet worldwide, investigators added in a new study detailed in the Nov. 23 issue of the journal Science.

Traditionally, researchers peer into the interior of the Earth by analyzing seismic waves generated by earthquakes. The way seismic waves zip through the planet depends on physical properties of the Earth’s innards, such as rock composition, temperature and pressure. As such, the way the waves behave offers useful clues about details of Earth’s geology that are otherwise largely hidden from view. ….

Image credit: USGS