Wednesday, February 17, 2010
There have been more than 1270 tiny earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park since January 17, 2010. This swarm of earthquakes have struck between Old Faithful and West Yellowstone. The strongest earthquakes have ranged between 3.0 and 3.7 magnitude.
This started about the same time as the Haiti earthquake and has left me feeling a bit uneasy. Why does it concern me? Well, I live in Bozeman, Montana and Yellowstone is basically my backyard playland.
Seismologists say that earthquake swarms are farely common for Yellowstone, however, this has been the largest swarm of earthquakes since 1985.
One of the world's largest volcanoes sleeps at the core of Yellowstone. The volcano last had a caldera-forming eruption 640,000 years ago and last spewed lava 70,000 years ago. Geologists say Yellowstone could erupt again, although the probability of an eruption within anyone's lifetime is extremely low.
The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory says the earthquakes are probably related to tectonic fault sources (fault slippage) and that there have been no indication of volcanic or hydrothermal activity, but they are keeping a close eye on it and conducting ongoing evaluations and analizing the different sources.
There is some speculation floating around out there that predict the Yellowstone Volcano will play a part in the ending of the world in 2012. In fact the 2012 movie that came out last year included that theory. I don't believe 2012 will be the end (I'll save that for another post). But if that volcano did erupt, those of us who live around here would be toast.