FILE - This Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Irene, a category 2 storm with winds up to 100 mph and located about 400 miles southeast of Nassau. According to a study published Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists have discovered a real life mash-up of two feared disasters _ hurricanes and earthquakes _ called “stormquakes.” It’s a shaking of the sea floor during a hurricane or nor’easter that rumbles like a magnitude 3.5 earthquake. It’s a fairly common natural occurrence that wasn’t noticed before because it was in the seismic background noise. (Weather Underground via AP)

Scientists discover big storms can create 'stormquakes'

October 16, 2019 - 8:48 am

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.