Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Swarm of Earthquakes at Yellowstone National Park Intensifies

My browser keeps shaking away from Yellowstone National Park earthquakes. The past three days there's been a whopping 424 earthquakes at the park. The last one happened just minutes ago when I wrote this article and was the largest at, a 3.6. (I know because my FireFox browser was shaking wildly.)

This "swarm" as they call it, has come after an 11 months of quiet seismic activity. The most devastating earthquake in recent history in Yellowstone was in 1959 and a magnitude of 7.3.

According to scientists, this swarm isn't anything abnormal and doesn't indicate any impending volcanic eruption activity.

At this time the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory does not consider the swarm to be unusual and the earthquakes are likely related to tectonic fault sources. Also there is no indication of premonitory volcanic or hydrothermal activity, but ongoing analyses will evaluate these different sources. Information on the earthquake can be viewed at the University of Utah Seismograph Stations: http://www.seis.utah.edu/.

Seismograph recordings from stations of the Yellowstone seismograph station can be viewed online at: http://quake.utah.edu/helicorder/yell_webi.htm.

Anyone who has felt earthquakes in the swarm are encouraged to fill out a form on the USGS Community Felt reports web site: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/.