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1,033 Yellowstone quakes
January 24, 2010
4:26 am
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sandra
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1,033 Yellowstone quakes recorded in week

Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:00

"The Volcano Alert Level at Yellowstone National Park remained at “normal” Friday, despite a swarm of earthquakes large enough to trigger seismographs in the Flathead Valley and cause chatter on Twitter.

Working around the clock, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Volcano Observatory had recorded more than 1,033 earthquakes since Monday, including at least eight events over magnitude three.

The Earthquake Studies Office in Butte is also monitoring the activity using the Montana Seismograph Network.

The string of temblors has kept scientists busy plotting data and passing real-time information on to public safety officials in and around Yellowstone Park.

Despite the flurry of activity, however, many Yellowstone locals haven’t felt a thing, and scientists are calling the swarm of quakes typical for the seismically prone region that is home to one of the world’s larger volcanoes.

“This is a big swarm,” said Robert Smith. “These things don’t happen very often. They may have a deep volcanic connection, but right now, it seems to be related to tectonics.”

There was a similar swarm in 2009. Over a 13-day period last year, geologists recorded around 900 quakes in the Yellowstone Lake Area. Of those, 111 were greater than magnitude 2 and 18 were greater than magnitude 3.

As of Friday morning, geologists had already plotted more than 1,033 quakes, including a magnitude 3.7 event on Wednesday night, followed 15 minutes later by a 3.8 magnitude event.

“We’re recording the bigger ones all the way up in the Flathead,” said Debbie Smith, a seismic analyst at the Earthquake Studies Office in Butte. “The magnitude three or better we’ll see on all our Montana stations.”

Joe Kruzic of the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce and the Montana Visitors Center said he hasn’t felt the earth move, though his wife did on Wednesday night when back-to-back temblors struck just after 11 p.m.

“It took her a minute to realize what it was,” Kruzic said. “But when you nearly get thrown out of bed, it doesn’t take you long to know what’s going on.”

Kruzic has lived in the tourist town perched on Yellowstone’s western edge for more than 15 years. While the quake activity gets visitors excited, he said the locals spend more time talking about the economy than the quakes.

Like Kruzic, Shellie Dowdle at the Alpine Motel hasn’t felt the recent activity, nor has Glenn Bell of the Faithful Street Inn. Still, Bell said, tourists arriving in town from nearby city centers come with questions.

“I haven’t felt anything, but I’ve sure read about it,” Bell said. “I’ve had some questions from tourists about it. It’s been in the papers down in Salt Lake City. I don’t know if it’s big news or not.”

The activity is big enough to get people talking in cyberspace. The Denver Post, along with other news sources, is using Tweets to stay on top of the latest earthquake news.

Dina Venezky, a geologist with USGS, said the swarm is on par with an event in 1985 in which scientist recorded more than 3,000 quakes.

“We’re getting a lot of data right now,” Venezky said. “It’s interesting, with swarms, the earthquakes can start up small. There’s no one big earthquake, there are just a bunch of smaller quakes that can increase in intensity and go back down.”

Venezky said scientists had no way of knowing how long the swarm would last, though the 1985 went on for months."

http://www.helenair.com/news/l.....03286.html

“Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great
astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”
“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.”
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

January 28, 2010
1:57 am
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greeney2
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How does this compare to normal activity? I know that earthquake activity is one reg flag, but there are others that will occur the closer you get to eruptions. I think they include certain gases, and a few other things that happen. One thing I believe they watch real close is the water level of Yellowstone lake. I herd on time during underground changes if pressure, the lake shifted its water height about 2 feet from the underground bulging.

I wouldn't worry much if it blows, becasue nobody will survive if it does. Laugh Laugh No joke actually, if Yellowstone has a major event, it will be a earth altering event.

January 28, 2010
11:52 am
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sandra
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Yes even though they consider this somewhat 'normal' activity in Yellowstone, it is not often this many are recorded in one week. In fact I believe the average per year in Yellowstone is around 1,000-3,000 anually. The other week alone there were 1033, and some of a higher magnitude than usual. In 1959 they had a quake larger than 7.5, only killing 28 people. And greeney, scientists say that a supervolcano eruption in the future has 100% probability, uhh hmm don't like that chance. :mrgreen: 😕

When you have so many small background quakes things can become unstable creating a much larger quake at any time, with little to no prediction of its timing. Although geologists do not believe the recent quakes in yellowstone are not due to hydrothermal activity and underground movement of magma, which they would find in the water activity. Thats pretty much why I brought this up, they believe it has to do more with tectonics and plate movements, or shifting. Which means they end up having more of a rippling effect. I know its common for yellowstone to have quakes from other seismic activity that is more closely directed towards their hydrothermal system. Makes me wonder with the quake in Haiti, I know thats far off, but its not like 7.0 Earth quakes or greater is average activity, and I'm not very aware of how much plate movement effects the rest.

Every year there about 18 earthquakes of 7.0 or greater worldwide. But that is an average some years are much lower, some have been quite higher!

I was looking on this site, researching the activity since Haiti. If there had been any notable changes in frequencies or magnitudes worldwide. Within the past couple weeks since January 12th and even a few weeks ahead. They have alot of great info on the site, still looking into alot of it.

http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/qed/

“Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great
astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”
“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.”
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

January 28, 2010
4:09 pm
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Aquatank
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A little bit of info
http://www.mshinstitute.org/research/Mo ... 0Eruptions
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/v.....edict.html
http://www.yellowstonegis.utah...../home.html

Yellowstones chances of erupting right now 1 in 730,000 (0.00014%) about the same as an ELE asteroid hit. Pediction of the event will either be in weeks to years in advance of the event, in otherwords atleast time to hunker down, escape to a different nation, or panic and clog traffic Remember a super eruption will cause massive damage both the hit and the ash fallout consequences

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/.....drama.html

damage possible

January 29, 2010
7:46 pm
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greeney2
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In Geological terms a heartbeat for the earth is thousands of years, so a major yellowstone event could be in the next 0-20,000 years. The 1959 quake you are talking about may have been when the lake tilted the water level. OUr family went through yellowstone when I was a kid, moving out to California in 1960. Wonder if my parents even knew it had an earthquake that recently. When you grow up in the east, Volcanos and earthquakes are the furthest thing from your mine. However, when you live in sunny Southern California, its a way of life, and you are well aware, the west coast has several active volcanos.

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