Nearly A Dozen Earthquakes Shake Yellowstone In 24 Hours

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West Yellowstone in Montana reported eleven earthquakes on Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The U.S.G.S. data showed the strongest quake was measurable up to a magnitude of 3.1. The area was hit by 34 other quakes in the past month, the Idaho Statesman reports.

The quakes have ranged between 1.6 to 3.1 magnitudes and were about three miles deep.

A swarm of earthquakes is not unusual for the area. Yellowstone is one of the most seismically active places in the U.S., recording around 700 to 3,000 quakes per year, according to the national park's website.

In April, the USGS found there had been 113 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) swarms of small tremors and consecutive earthquakes increasing in magnitude can sometimes act as precursors, but are not guaranteed to do so.

Experts have previously warned that Yellowstone could be becoming active since some of its geysers are now spewing steam more often, so the situation should be heavily monitored. There is also the issue that beneath Yellowstone magma the size of Chicago in the Norris Geyser Basin is pulsating, but the exact causes of any specific movement are difficult to pin down and the scientists noted that this doesn't mean that Yellowstone is any more likely to erupt.

Still, previously researchers urged caution that Yellowstone's supervolcano has the potential to blanket the U.S. in a “nuclear winter.”

Though Yellowstone has been dormant for more than 70,000 years, scientists say that we can’t rule out the possibility that an eruption may someday take place.

According to the seismologists, it would be one thousand times as powerful as the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption if the supervolcano were to erupt. Such an eruption would cause a significant loss of life with an estimated — 90,000 people killed in its path and with the aftermath.

An in-depth report by HowStuffWorks reveals the process that would take place if the volcano were to blow.

It says that a mixture of magma, rocks, vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases would eventually push out from the ground, creating a dome shape with cracks.

The dissolved gases would them explode, releasing the magma across the park.

Scientists have also put out warnings that Yellowstone is the least of our worries expressing during a previous Ask-Me-Anything event on Reddit that there are other volcanoes much more active like Kilauea Volcano and Mount Rainier.

A Forbes writer who is also a volcanologist has said that Yellowstone is not going to erupt anytime soon and we shouldn't be worried. However, other top scientists argue it could be a matter of decades than centuries and the event could happen sooner than expected.

While many people say that it is already overdue for an eruption, Jacob Lowentern, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory's Scientists-in-Charge said: "When you see people claiming it's overdue, usually the numbers they come up with say the last eruption was 640,000 years ago, but it erupts every 600,000 years."

"But, in fact, if you average the eruption intervals, there's 2.1 million to 1.3 million and then another 640,000 years ago. If you average those numbers you come up with something that's over 700,000 years. So, in reality, even if you tried to make this argument, it wouldn't be overdue for another 70,000 years,"  said Lowentern.

Although we should still remain vigilant since thousands of animals were fleeing Yellowstone and continue leaving the area beginning just last year.

 

 

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Alex Baldridge is an activist and freelance journalist from the midwestern United States who was inspired to become a writer after watching the development of the Wikileaks story and the persecution of Julian Assange. Alex is especially interested in topics like surveillance, the rise of automation, foreign policy, prison reform, and the legal system.