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Very rare triple swarm of quakes rock Yellowstone

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posted on Sep, 24 2013 @ 09:25 PM
A geophysics professor out of University of Utah, Bob Smith, says that in his 53 years of tracking seismic activity he has never seen even two swarms at Yellowstone, but between September 10 and 16, there were three.

A swarm is when a series of earthquakes occur over a short period of time in a limited geographic area.

Speaking about the event, Smith called it “remarkable,” asking, “How does one swarm relate to another? Can one swarm trigger another and vice versa?”

No answers are available to Smith’s questions, however, because simultaneous swarms haven’t been detected before.

Smith says he believes that at least two of the swarms are probably related to each other though.

The three swarms hit in the following areas: Lewis Lake, the Lower Geyser Basin and the northwest part of Norris Geyser Basin.

Earlier this month, on September 15, the largest earthquake to rock Yellowstone in over a year occurred about six miles north of the Old Faithful Geyser. Its magnitude was about 3.6 at its epicenter. It takes a magnitude of about 3.0 for people to feel it, a Yellowstone representative named Al Nash told the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

Earthquake swarm rocks Yellowstone

The U of Utah put out a statement saying there were 130 total quakes with a magnitude of .6 to 3.6 with four of them strong enough to be felt.

Smith said he believes that these swarms may be related to a very large quake that struck Yellowstone in 1959.

According to Nash, a strong enough earthquake, like the 7.3-7.5 quake that shook the Hebgen Lake area in 1959, has the potential to change the activity of the geysers in the area. And, in fact the 1959 quake did. It caused nearly 300 features to erupt, included 160 where there were no previous records of geysers. None of the current earthquakes were powerful enough to create these types of changes, however.

Smith says he believes that the current swarms of earthquakes may, in fact, be related to the 1959 earthquake. “We think that much of the seismicity is still aftershocks from that event in 1959. It can go on for hundreds of years.”

I'm not sure if there is much significance to this. Would like to hear from some of our Yellowstone experts. I know ATS has a few. This professor Smith said that usually only about a half dozen quakes hit Yellowstone per year so this level of swarm activity is unusual.

posted on Sep, 24 2013 @ 10:26 PM
Yeah, I read that the other day on TA's Yellowstone thread.

West Yellowstone had a 3.2 today and I believe at least 10 more smaller ones.

This below is not what he said though? Surely not?

This professor Smith said that usually only about a half dozen quakes hit Yellowstone per year so this level of swarm activity is unusual.

There are thousands of tremors there each year and at least a 3 or more mag will hit each year there too. The swarm activity is the concern, I think.

Here is a good read on Old Faithful.
edit on 24-9-2013 by MamaJ because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 25 2013 @ 08:27 PM
reply to post by MamaJ

Thanks for clearing that up Mama. That's what the article states at the end of it so it's probably a misquote on the author's part, unless he meant higher mags such as 2.5's and they left that out.


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