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.
Earthquake swarm rocks Yellowstone
Speaking about the event, Smith called it “remarkable,” asking, “How does one swarm relate to another? Can one swarm trigger another and
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.
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.