Yellowstone Supervolcano was Hit By 450 Earthquakes In One Week

Posted by on 6/26/2017 to News
The first of the swarm of earthquakes began on June 12th and continued in the following days, including up to a 4.5M earthquake.  There do not appear to be signs that this swarm of earthquakes is leading to an eruption.

Geologists have monitoring systems setup surrounding the Yellowstone supervolcano that can detect seismicity underground. This monitoring system both provides data for researchers to better understand the volcano and as an early warning system. In this case, the most recent swarm of earthquakes likely was a result of the magma within the supervolcano moving through channels and conduits as it continues to fill.

This isn't the first time earthquake swarms have hit Yellowstone, but the latest swarm was 7 years ago in 2010. In fact, it's not uncommon that earthquakes tend to hit in swarms. As crustal rock breaks and produces an earthquake, strain is transferred to another location and often times causes a chain of crustal breaks.

However, it's important to keep in mind the devastating power this supervolcano has displayed in the past. The volcano erupted 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago, and 630,000 years ago. Given the semi-regularly spaced cadence in eruptions and decades of research, scientists can clearly say that Yellowstone will erupt again. It is nearly impossible to predict the date of eruption and therefore scientists are limited to using geologic history, analogues, and statistics. 

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