The level takes place in the underground mines of the Planet Burbank, which is very seismically-active, and always on the brink of an earthquake. The inhabitants of the planet have somehow managed to "freeze in time" the very geology, which is related to the clocks. This has prevented the earthquake, and a cave-in of the mines, for 125 days.
Since the level "Lorenzen's Soil" is timed, the clocks will give Earthworm Jim more time, extending the timer by 60 seconds when each clock is collected. If the timer runs out, the earthquake will occur.