The largest earthquake in nearly 30 years shook Yellowstone National Park this morning, rocking the Norris Geyser Basin. While the relatively small 4.8 earthquake caused no damage, it is the most significant earthquake in the region since 1985, when a 4.9 quake shook America’s first National Park.
Many may view this latest earthquake as a sign that the super-volcano which lurks beneath the National Park is coming alive, the USGS was quick to issue a statement saying that this quake is not expected to trigger any volcanic eruptions or activity. The USGS went on to explain that the Yellowstone Calera region experiences anywhere from 1 to 20 quakes a day, some larger than others. During the three months following the 1985 earthquake in Yellowstone, over 3,000 small quakes rocked the region without causing an eruption.
We agree with the USGS when they say we have nothing to worry about. We feel that anyone who thinks that one earthquake is a sign of something larger needs to chill out. Earthquakes are common in many areas, and panicking about this only highlights how uneducated we are when it comes to nature events on earth.
Yellowstone is an active super volcano, which could erupt at any time. Geologists closely study the Yellowstone region for increased activity, and while the caldera does appear to be filling with magma at a faster rate than observed since 1923, we have little to worry about. The magma chamber is constantly in a state of flux, raising and deflating from increased and decreased magma flow.
While scary, the most recent earthquake at Yellowstone National Park should not cause any panic. In fact, it should encourage you to plan a trip and go visit the first National Park. With geysers, animals, amazing waterfalls and a lifetime of memories, let this earthquake serve as the perfect reminder to get outside and enjoy nature…while it is still around.
24 Hours in Yellowstone: Winter
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