In YVO's monthly update, which came out October 1, they admit that seismicity levels were elevated, but despite this, they never changed the alert
level to yellow. Following is the update:
YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 12:57 PM MDT (Tuesday, October 1, 2013 18:57 UTC)
YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO (CAVW #1205-01-)
44°25'48" N 110°40'12" W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
The U.S. Volcano Observatories will remain operational during the lapse of federal government appropriations. Basic volcano monitoring will continue,
as will forecasts and regular updates of volcanic activity. However, because of reduced staff, instrument network maintenance will cease, meaning that
our monitoring capability will degrade over time. Our websites will remain functional, but only those pages containing information about current
volcano hazards will be maintained.
September 2013 Yellowstone Monthly Earthquake Activity Report
During September 2013, the University of Utah reports 469 earthquakes were located in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event was a
minor earthquake of magnitude 3.6 on September 15, 2013 at 09:53 AM MDT, located about seven miles north of Old Faithful, WY.
September seismicity in Yellowstone was marked by five distinct clusters of episodic earthquakes:
1) A notable swarm of 246 earthquakes, ~5 miles north of Old Faithful, WY, began September 13 and tapered off September 20th, including the largest
event of the month on September 15 (magnitude 3.6).
2) 81 events occurred in an episodic swarm ~17 miles east-northeast of West Yellowstone, MT, with swarm activity occurring September 13 and again from
September 24, through September 30. The largest earthquake of the swarm (magnitude 3.5) occurred September 13, at 06:56 AM MDT~16 miles
south-southwest of Mammoth, WY.
3) A small swarm of 27 earthquakes, ~6 miles north of West Yellowstone, MT, took place on September 27 and 28, with the largest event (magnitude 2.3)
occurring September 27, at 09:40 AM MDT.
4) A small swarm of 23 earthquakes, ~9 miles north-northeast of Old Faithful, WY, began September 3 and ended September 5. The largest earthquake
(magnitude 2.2) occurred September 4, at 06:10 AM MDT ~9 miles north-northeast of Old Faithful, WY.
5) The southernmost September 2013 swarm of 21 earthquakes, ~7 miles south-southwest of West Thumb, WY, occurred September 10. The largest earthquake
(magnitude 3.3) took place in the center of the swarm at 06:46 AM MDT.
Yellowstone earthquake activity in September was at elevated levels during the above swarms but, has returned to a relatively normal background
level by October 1, 2013.
Slow subsidence of the caldera, which began in early 2010, continues. Current deformation patterns at Yellowstone remain within historical
I was on top of these multiple, concurrent swarms literally the second they started, reporting here in the following thread:
Highlights of that thread included reports that the foremost expert on YS, Bob Smith, had never seen anything like it in the 53 years he's been
So the question then, is why didn't the YVO err on the side of caution and raise the alert level to Yellow, for elevated seismicity above normal,
background levels? Huh? I mean they do it at lesser volcanoes- heck I even gave you guys an example with Iliamna. I mean they state it right there in
your face with that update that YS was in elevated unrest- and "has returned to a relatively normal background level..." But no alert level change?
I guess some things are just too big and scary for that, eh, YVO? Or is it perhaps the vast sums of tourism dollars that you could stand to lose? I
mean hey, you get to always fall back on the position that "no one knows when it's going to erupt," --- right?
If that thing had erupted, or it still does all of a sudden after a lull in the activity (which a lot of volcanoes do exactly that- go quiet after
intense seismicity- and then BOOM), the money was more important than raising that alert level, was it?
I mean what is going on here? How can you play with people's lives like this?
You people up there need to decide between politics and science. Now. Or risk losing the public trust.
edit on Wed Oct 2nd 2013 by TrueAmerican
because: (no reason given)