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Swarm of earthquakes recorded in Yellowstone

Anonymous Coward
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10/24/2006 07:10 AM
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Swarm of earthquakes recorded in Yellowstone
[link to www.helenair.com]

BILLINGS (LEE) - A swarm of more than 70 small earthquakes shook the ground earlier this month near Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful geyser.

The largest was a magnitude 2.4, barely enough to be felt. The swarm of 74 quakes lasted several hours Oct. 14, according to recently released information from the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

The tight cluster of earthquakes was moderate compared with others in Yellowstone's past, including in April 2004, when more than 400 earthquakes were recorded over three days.

''It piques our curiosity, but it's not out of the range of normal behavior,'' Henry Heasler, Yellowstone's principal geologist, said of the latest set of earthquakes.

On most days in Yellowstone, there are between one and 20 earthquakes recorded. Several times a year, there are swarms of earthquakes that show up on a network of instruments spread through the park.

The clusters of earthquakes are likely not caused by the migration of magma but may be related to the underground movement of hot water and gas, according to park officials.

On Oct. 14, dozens of small earthquakes were picked up at a monitoring station about seven miles northwest of Old Faithful. Between Oct. 10 and Oct. 19, 87 earthquakes were recorded in that area.

The largest swarm recorded in Yellowstone was in the fall of 1985 when about 1,800 earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 1 to 4.9, shook the park. It roughly coincided with a change in the huge caldera at the center of Yellowstone. Around that time, the caldera stopped slowly rising and began slowly falling.

Anonymous Coward
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10/24/2006 07:13 AM
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Re: Swarm of earthquakes recorded in Yellowstone
Mt. St. Helens has been rumbling a lot too.

[link to earthquake.usgs.gov]