Yellowstone Earthquakes Increase in Number

Yellowstone is stirring. I’m not saying it’s about to erupt but over the last month we’ve seen an uptick – over 100 – in the number of small earthquakes in and around the caldera, and over 60 in the last week alone, which appear clustered in a small area.

That’s what an earthquake swarm looks like (left, last 6 days, right, last 30 days):yellowstone1yellowstone2

What’s an earthquake swarm? Geologists look at them as signs of magma movement – molten rock that shifts its position underneath dormant volcanoes either to recharge an existing magma chamber or as a prelude to eruption. And if that’s that’s what’s happening under Yellowstone, watch out because this is a super volcano.

If Yellowstone erupts, it would change life as we know it in this country and across the world. Think mass starvation, nuclear winter, etc. By the way I’m a geologist but this doesn’t mean you should listen to me because I haven’t used my geology degree in decades. Still I know this: if Yellowstone pops, lots of people in this area will die:

yellowstone3

Just keep an eye out for news from the USGS to see if they mention anything going on underneath America’s supervolcano. In the meantime, you can play with the Yellowstone monitoring data here.

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