Nearly 500 Earthquakes Rumbled Yellowstone This Week – Should We Fear The Supervolcano?
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), here have been nearly 500 earthquakes (477 to be exact) near Yellowstone National Park in the last week. For reference, Yellowstone usually receives between 1,000 and 2,000 measurable earthquakes in ONE year. While most of the earthquakes were merely tremors, on June 15 there was a magnitude 4.5 earthquake that was centered about 5.8 miles underground (it was the largest to hit Yellowstone since a 4.8 struck on March 30, 2014) and there was a magnitude 3 earthquake on Monday, June 19. Some are worried that this concentrated swarm of earthquakes could be a sign that the Yellowstone Supervolcano is gearing up for something big.
“The epicenter of the shock was located in Yellowstone National Park, eight miles north-northeast of the town of West Yellowstone, Montana,” scientists from the University of Utah said of the 4.5 earthquake in a statement. “The earthquake was reported felt in the towns of West Yellowstone and Gardiner, Montana, in Yellowstone National Park, and elsewhere in the surrounding region.”
“This is the highest number of earthquakes at Yellowstone within a single week in the past five years, but is fewer than weekly counts during similar earthquakes swarms in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010,” scientists said. Seismic activity can be an indicator that a volcano has awakened and is preparing to erupt.