Seismologists Detect Blast-Like Waves as Baltic Sea Pipeline Ruptures
Seismologists from Nordic and Baltic regions have reported the detection of blast-like waves following a gas pipeline rupture in the Baltic Sea. While the cause of the explosion remains uncertain, data collected by seismology institutes in Finland and Estonia suggest that the damage may have been caused by a deliberate act involving mechanical force.
The Norwegian seismology institute, NORSAR, analyzed the data and identified a probable explosion near the pipeline on Sunday. The seismic signal detected had a magnitude of around 1, significantly weaker than minor earthquakes or the explosions that damaged the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year. However, the analysis was complicated by stormy weather in the Gulf of Finland.
Pipeline Rupture and Investigation
Authorities in Finland and Estonia, who own and operate the Balticconnector pipeline, suspect that a deliberate act caused the rupture. Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation found external marks on the seabed beside the pipeline and is reviewing vessel movements to determine if anchor damage was the cause. While mechanical damage is the most likely explanation, an explosion has not been ruled out.
Seismologists are still investigating the cause of the explosion. One theory suggests that a ship may have dragged the pipeline, causing a hole and subsequent blast. However, it is too early to confirm this hypothesis. The proximity of the explosion site to the Nord Stream gas pipelines raises concerns about potential further damage.
The seismic data collected indicates a blast-like event rather than an earthquake. Seismologists from Sweden’s University of Uppsala and the University of Helsinki support this interpretation. They believe the signals recorded likely indicate a man-made event, possibly an explosion.
Further investigation is necessary to determine the exact cause of the explosion. The seismologists emphasize that the data suggests an explosion, but the source and nature of the explosion require additional analysis. The unique characteristics of blast-induced seismic waves differentiate them from those caused by earthquakes.
The incident in the Baltic Sea serves as a reminder of the vulnerability of gas pipelines and the potential for deliberate acts of sabotage. As investigations continue, authorities will seek to ensure the safety and security of critical infrastructure.