Yellowstone Volcano: Super eruptions 'are very rare' says expert
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Earthquake trackers positioned across the US national park were inundated with reports of hundreds of tremors over a two week period starting on June 24. Yellowstone volcano and the surrounding areas are on the US’s most seismically active regions – a reputation that only serves to highlight the supervolcano’s terrifying status.
According to the University of Utah Seismograph Stations (USS), a total of 351 earthquakes rocked Yellowstone between June 24 and July 7.
The earthquakes included one swarm of at least 181 tremors over an 11 day period.
Earthquake swarms are a regular occurrence in Yellowstone and account for about 50 percent of all seismicity in the park.
Some people, however, consider such intense activity to be a sign of Yellowstone’s supposed ticking time-bomb status.
Although geologists have assured Yellowstone volcano is not going to blow anytime soon – certainly not within our lifetime – social media is rife with unfounded fears and claims about Yellowstone’s future.
The volcano’s three biggest eruptions went off about 2.1 million, 1.3 million and 640,000 years ago, leading some to wrongly believe the volcano erupts like clockwork.
One person on Twitter said: “Always thinking about Yellowstone and how it’s overdue for an eruption that could end all of humanity.”
Another person tweeted: “But here’s a scary thought, one science person warns that 5 billion people in US will be lost if the Yellowstone Caldera erupts in modern era.
Yellowstone volcano compared to ‘Siberian Traps’ by expert
“I may experience it myself if it happens but it has a low-chance for overdue eruption.”
Luckily for us all, there is absolutely no reason to believe Yellowstone is about to pope.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone experiences between 100 and 200 earthquakes every single month.
But this is just the average and as many as 1,000 quakes have been known to strike within a single month.
When put into perspective, the USS report does not seem so scary after all.
According to the earthquake trackers, the June 24 to July 7 earthquakes ranged in magnitude between -0.9 to 3.1.
A swarm of 51 quakes was detected between June 29 and June 30, about six miles east-southeast of Grayling in Montana.
That same day, a swarm of 36 earthquakes began about 14 miles north-northeast of Old Faithful Geyser and ended on July 4.
A swarm of 181 tremors was also recorded between June 25 and July 4, reaching magnitudes between -0.9 and 3.1
The swarm was located about 11 miles northeast of West Yellowstone in Montana.
According to the USGS, most of Yellowstone’s swarms happen in the area between Hebgen Lake, Norris Geyser Basin, and near Madison Junction.
The earthquakes are the product of numerous faults in the area, moving groundwater and a crust weakened by heat.
The bottom line is: Yellowstone is not about to erupt and you should not lose any sleep over this.
The USGS said in a recent tweet: “No need to freak out! Yellowstone has earthquake swarms all the time – Yellowstone being Yellowstone!”
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