Originally published on June 15th
(Sheridan, Wyo) The USGS reported an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter Scale in West Yellowstone at about 7:00 pm. Residents of surrounding communities reported feeling movement. This is the largest one yet in a swarm that the University of Utah Seismograph Stations have been reporting since the 12th. According to earthquaketrack.com, Yellowstone has experienced 60 earthquakes in the past week and 264 in the last year. Smaller quakes continue to occur every 5 to 10 minutes this evening.
The Dally will update this story as it develops.
UPDATE 6/17 :
The swarm continues with consistent earthquakes, most around a magnitude of 2. Yesterday at about 5 pm there was a magnitude 3.
There continue to be small quakes in West Yellowstone, but the swarm has been, “slowly winding down,” as one expert for the United States Geological Survey and the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory stated in a Newsweek story. The USGS put out a statement yesterday about the recent swarm. “This is the highest number of earthquakes at Yellowstone within a single week in the past five years,” it said, “but is fewer than weekly counts during similar earthquakes swarms in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010.”
A 2014 USGS report addressed the reality of what a large eruption in Yellowstone would like like. “Yellowstone hasn’t erupted for 70,000 years, so it’s going to take some impressive earthquakes and ground uplift to get things started. Besides intense earthquake swarms (with many earthquakes above M4 or M5) we expect rapid and notable uplift around the caldera (possibly tens of inches per year). Finally, rising magma will cause explosions from the boiling-temperature geothermal reservoirs. Even with explosions, earthquakes, and notable ground uplift, the most likely volcanic eruptions would be the type that would have minimal affect outside the park itself.