June 21, 2017
The supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park has once again become a point of focus for doomsdayers after scientists picked up some ominous earthquake activity this month.
Scientists from the University of Utah, responsible for monitoring the supervolcano in Wyoming, said a “swarm” of 464 earthquakes began on June 12 – the biggest being a 4.5 magnitude shudder on June 15.
“The epicenter of the shock was located in Yellowstone National Park, eight miles north-northeast of the town of West Yellowstone, Montana,” UU scientists said 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.”
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The 4.5 magnitude quake is the largest to hit the supervolcano since a 4.8 quake struck in March 2014. Scientists noted that the “energetic sequence of earthquakes… included approximately 30 earthquakes of magnitude 2 and larger and four earthquakes of magnitude 3 and larger, including today’s magnitude 4.5 event.”
The added: “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.”
A lot has been trumpeted about the devastating effects of a supervolcano eruption but there seems to be no need to worry on this occasion. The last time a mega-eruption occurred was 640,000 years ago and the supervolcano hasn’t erupted in any discernable way for 70,000 years.
According to experts from the United States Geological Survey, it would take a series of intense earthquakes and ground uplift to get a mega-eruption started.
“Even with explosions, earthquakes, and notable ground uplift, the most likely volcanic eruptions would be the type that would have minimal effect outside the park itself,” a report read in 2014.
Approximately 1,000 to 3,000 earthquakes occur each year in the Yellowstone area but most are not even felt.
This article was posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 6:52 am