Does Earthquake Swarm in Yellowstone Mean The Super Volcano is About To Blow?
Over the past week Yellowstone has seen a big increase in earthquakes, with over 230 in the past week alone and 64 on Friday June 16th, including a 4.5 temblor. The latest was recorded today (6/19/17) a 3.0 magnitude earthquake that struck about 8 miles northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana. Does this mean a volcanic eruption is eminent?
First of all, if Yellowstone does erupt, there's not a hell of a lot you or I can do about it..There wouldn't be much warning to pack up your crap and get the hell out of here..and where would you go if you could?
This past week has been an active one for earthquakes at Yellowstone with what is referred to as an earthquake swarm that hit the park over the past 5 days.
The quick answer to whether Yellowstone is getting ready to blow is that nobody knows for sure. The only thing experts can agree on is that the Yellowstone Super Volcano will some day erupt again, and it will be huge, with some believing that it could destroy at least 100 to 200 miles or more in every direction.
Unfortunately there is no absolute way to predict a volcanic eruption, but most eruptions are usually preceded by a series of earthquake swarms similar to what's been seen in the past week in Yellowstone....but once again, that does not mean that Yellowstone is getting ready to erupt, it only means that there is a lot of magma activity below the surface of the giant caldron.
The USGS reported that a moderate 4.5 earthquake hit Yellowstone last week....which was followed by aftershocks that ranged into the 2.7 to 3.1, range. The earthquake was felt by people living in the towns of West Yellowstone and Gardiner, Montana, and by people in Yellowstone Park, itself. According to the USGS website, this is the largest recorded earthquake in Yellowstone since a 4.8 happened back in March of 2014.
The earthquake swarm which began last Monday 6/12 appears to be slowing. The USGS said in an article that appeared in Newsweek: "the current activity appears to be slowly winding down” and that “no other geological activity has been detected.”
You can check out all recent earthquake activity on the USGS website.