Yellowstone National Park Registers 130 Earthquakes in Less Than a Week

yellowstone-national-park

Waterfall at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, United States.

A total of 130 earthquakes shook Yellowstone National Park between Sept. 10 and Sept. 15, according to a University of Utah press release, though most were too small for a person to feel.

Bob Smith is a geophysicist who has spent the last 53 years monitoring seismic activity in and around the Yellowstone Caldera. During this time, he told The Associated Press, he only recently witnessed two simultaneous earthquake swarms, or groupings. Then, last week, he detected three.

“It’s very remarkable,” Smith said. “How does one swarm relate to another? Can one swarm trigger another and vice versa?”

The answers aren’t clear, though Smith said he “wouldn’t doubt” if at least two of the swarms were related.

Until recently, Bob Smith had never witnessed two simultaneous earthquake swarms in his 53 years of monitoring seismic activity in and around the Yellowstone Caldera.

Now, Smith, a University of Utah geophysics professor, has seen three swarms at once.

“It’s very remarkable,” Smith said. “How does one swarm relate to another? Can one swarm trigger another and vice versa?”

Because concurrent swarms have never been detected in the past, the answers aren’t in yet, Smith said. The geophysicist said he “wouldn’t doubt” if at least two of the events were related.

Temblors from the three quake swarms mostly hit in three areas: Lewis Lake, the Lower Geyser Basin and the northwest part of Norris Geyser Basin.

The largest earthquake shook the ground near Old Faithful Geyser on Sept. 15.

The epicenter of the magnitude 3.6 quake, the largest in Yellowstone in about a year, was just 6 miles to the north of Old Faithful.

“Generally speaking it needs to be 3.0 or higher for individuals to feel it,” Yellowstone National Park spokesman Al Nash told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “This one was somewhat stronger than that and it was in an area where a lot of people are.”

Yellowstone’s recent earthquake swarms started on Sept. 10 and were shaking until about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 16.

“A total of 130 earthquakes of magnitude 0.6 to 3.6 have occurred in these three areas, however, most have occurred in the Lower Geyser Basin,” a University of Utah statement said. “Notably much of seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms.”

Including smaller events that have not been verified, there were many more quakes, Smith said.

The recent swarms produced roughly four quakes that were large enough to feel.

The first, a magnitude 3.5, struck Sept. 13 about 17 miles northeast of West Yellowstone, Mont. Then, in the early hours Sept. 15, two quakes, a magnitude 3.2 and magnitude 3.4, were detected in quick succession at 5:10 and 5:11 a.m., about 15 miles southeast of West Yellowstone. The magnitude 3.6 that marked the peak of the swarm struck nearby about 4 1/2 hours later.

“They weren’t big earthquakes,” Smith said, “but they were felt.”

About half a dozen earthquakes are felt in Yellowstone in an average year, he said.

“This is pretty unusual, to be honest,” Smith said.

None of the recent quakes, Nash said, were strong enough to cause damage or throw off the cycle of the Old Faithful geyser’s eruptions.

“We know that a significant enough earthquake in the region has potential to alter geyser activity,” the spokesman said. “A strong enough earthquake, like the one that occurred out at Hebgen Lake in 1959, did change the interval of Old Faithful eruptions.”

That quake, a 7.3 to 7.5 on the Richter magnitude scale, caused nearly 300 features on the Yellowstone landscape to erupt, 160 of which had no previous record of geysers.

Smith traced the three recent earthquake swarms to the Hebgen Lake quake.

“These are a really related,” he said.

“We think that much of the seismicity is still aftershocks from that event in 1959. It can go on for hundreds of years.”

According to the University of Utah press release, the school’s seismograph stations will continue “to monitor Yellowstone earthquakes and will provide additional information if the earthquake swarm activity increases.”

Source; http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/4118/20130923/yellowstone-national-park-registers-130-earthquakes-less-week.htm

Advertisements

30 responses to “Yellowstone National Park Registers 130 Earthquakes in Less Than a Week

  1. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  2. Hi to every body, it’s my first visit of this blog; this web site consists of remarkable and genuinely good stuff designed for readers.

  3. Hi! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  4. I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  5. Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

  6. Fine way of telling, and nice paragraph to obtain information on the topic of my presentation subject matter, which i am going to convey in institution of higher education.

  7. Hey! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  8. It’s truly very complicated in this full of activity life to listen news on Television, thus I simply use internet for that reason, and obtain the hottest information.

  9. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, awesome site!

  10. Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of info on your page. Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hey there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll certainly digg it and in my view suggest to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

  11. If you are going for best contents like I do, just pay a visit this web page all the time because it offers quality contents, thanks

  12. Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

  13. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  14. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  15. Valuable info. Fortunate me I discovered your site by chance, and I’m stunned why this twist of fate did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s