For years, seismologists in Italy have puzzled over odd and persistent seismic signals, seemingly caused by subterranean magma movements but far from active volcanoes. Now, a new analysis has unveiled a concrete and much more prosaic trigger: the machinery in huge cement factories. Researchers analyzed the patterns of hundreds of low-frequency rumbles and discovered ties to many of the country’s 57 cement plants. For instance, 342 events (yellow circles) occurred within 150 meters of the Ghigiano factory. Moreover, there were far fewer occurrences at night, on weekends, and in August, when the giant plants are shuttered. The vibrations may rattle up to half the country, researchers report online this week in Geophysical Research Letters, so seismologists must take them into account when they analyze other low-level seismic signals—yet another example of earthly noise caused by humans.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. VA, Defense Bureaucracies Frustrate Efforts To Streamline Military Health Care The Associated Press/Washington Post: Panetta, Shinseki Acknowledge Frustration In Streamlining Military Health CareSecretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki acknowledged Wednesday that they have been frustrated by departmental bureaucracy in their attempts to streamline military health care for severely wounded service members (7/26).
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