This animation shows the motion of the ground as detected on USArray seismometers after the M7.7 earthquake that hit between Jamaica and Cuba on January 28, 2020.
Each dot is a seismic station and when the ground moves up it turns red and when it moves down it turns blue. And the footage is just too trippy!
Waves generated by an earthquake travel around and through the earth, but they attenuate as they move away from the earthquake location, just like ripples in a pond.
Once the earthquake waves are far enough away from the location from the epicenter they can no longer be felt by people but are still detected by sensitive seismmometers.
That’s exactly what happened in most of the US. Most of the waves of the M7.7 Jamaica earthquake were too small to be felt, but were still recorded by seismic intruments.
The animation above shows the very small waves from the M7.7 earthquake traveling both through the earth and across earth’s surface in the USA.