Saturday, January 03, 2009

Yellowstone situation update: quakes are stronger today!

Situation [culled from various sources]

At 11:32 this morning a 3.5 magnitude earthquake was reported 38 miles east southeast of West Yellowstone, Mont., in Yellowstone National Park — the latest in a swarm of earthquakes that has hit the area in the past week. The 3.5 tremor was followed this afternoon by a 3.2 magnitude quake at 12:40 and a 3.0 at 1:15. The swarm of tremors is the largest series of back-to-back quakes to hit the area in years, according to scientists. Today's quakes came on the heels of a series of tremors on New Year's Day, including a 3.0 at 6:30 p.m. and a 3.1 at 6:21 p.m. "The December 2008 earthquake sequence is the most intense in this area for some years," said the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

The observatory said the National Park Service in Yellowstone is being fully informed of the ongoing seismic activity by the University of Utah and the U.S. Geological Survey. The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security is reviewing Earthquake Response Plans and also monitoring the seismic activity that has been felt by Park Service employees and guests at the park.

Over the past two days, more than 37 temors have shaken the earth below Yellowstone Lake, causing scientists to speculate on the cause and field questions on whether the quakes were a prelude to an eruption of the park’s super volcano.

“It’s an energetic earthquake swarm,” said Mike Stickney, director of the earthquake studies office for the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. “I’m hearing reports that people in the park have been feeling some of them.”

Stickney said mild earthquakes swarms are relatively common for the Yellowstone region. This round of quakes, however, may be more vigorous than in recent years, though the cause is just as puzzling.

“There have been two other swarms this fall that come to mind,” said Stickney. “But they weren’t as many and they weren’t as large as what we’re seeing now.”

webicorder data:


Brandon said...

We finally have our harmonic tremor answer. This just happened.

Example of harmonic from USGS:

Reading from Old Faithful seismograph:

Elizabeth Prata said...

O boy, that is classic harmonic!

Did you know Brandon that within this last hour there was a 7.8 quake in Indonesia and another shortly after (a 6.2) in Afghanistan?

Brandon said...

I had no idea.

Don't you just get this strange feeling that something weird is going on? I dunno. Maybe it's just the Chinese food I had for lunch.

But I will be keeping an eye on it while watching the NFL Playoffs.

Brandon said...

WOW. A 7.5 magnitude EQ just hit the same area that got the 7.6 less than two hours ago.

Elizabeth Prata said...

wow, two that are over 7.5...I looked at the USGS map and they are right on top of each other. The RSOE map still shows THREE. USGS must've taken one down and decided that two of them were the same

Well, the Lord said we would have earthquakes in diverse places...I think Papua, Afghanistan and Yellowstone qualify as globally diverse!

Anonymous said...

We constantly have earthquakes in diverse places. Literally every hour of every day. So, yes, the Lord is right. We will have earthquakes in diverse places, just as we have had for millions of years.

Elizabeth Prata said...

Yes, eqs have esisted for millions of years. But this past year they increased in size, frequency, and intensity.

Note the two following examples, this taken from one of the many articles citing 2008 as the worst year ever for natural disasters:
"The past year has been one of the most devastating ever in terms of natural disasters, one of the world''s biggest re-insurance companies has said. Munich Re said the impact of the disasters was greater than in 2007 in both human and economic terms."

and the graph I posted at the top of thepage,compiled from information from USGS, shows the earthquakes increasing dramatically these last two years