Yellowstone Volcano: USGS Reports Deformations And 71 Earthquakes Around The Supervolcano

Patrick Frye - Author
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Oct. 13 2014, Updated 5:09 a.m. ET

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has provided September’s monthly update on the Yellowstone volcano and 71 earthquakes were registered in the area of Yellowstone National Park, which is less than half of the 207 earthquakes reported in August and only slightly less than the 99 earthquakes from July. But although Yellowstone’s caldera continues to shake, scientists say there’s nothing to worry about.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, some doomsday preppers are concerned that a Yellowstone supervolcano eruption in modern times could trigger global cooling and some are already advising people to stock up on winter supplies.

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According to the USGS, the current Yellowstone volcano alert level is “normal” and the aviation color code is “green,” indicating that there should not be any expectation of an imminent eruption.

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“During September 2014, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports 71 earthquakes were located in the Yellowstone National Park (YNP) region. The largest event was a small earthquake of magnitude 3.2 on September 24, at 3:41 AM MDT, located about 9 miles south of Mammoth, YNP. There were no earthquake swarm sequences during the month of September. Yellowstone earthquake activity in September is at low background levels.”

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As comparison, the largest Yellowstone earthquake in the past 30 years registered as a 4.8 magnitude on the richter scale. Despite this event occurring in April of 2014, U.S. Geological Survey scientist Peter Cervelli says the earthquake was unremarkable.

“Sometimes the most important thing we do is tell people when the volcano is not erupting. Really, it’s kind of what we expected,” he said. “Like the stock market, (the deformation) cannot just keep going. And eventually what we find is that it went down, and it went down really abruptly.”

According to the Associated Press, Cervelli also noted that ground sensors at Norris Geyser Basin were showing movement over the past year.

“This really caught my attention because of something else that happened right around that time, which was the eruption of Steamboat Geyser for the first time since 2005,” Cervelli said. “In spite of the fact that I was really mesmerized by this coincidence in time, in retrospect it turned out it probably doesn’t have anything to do — that is the Steamboat eruption is probably totally independent from this other observation.”

This ground deformation was also noted in the latest report from the USGS.

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“Deformation in north-central Yellowstone continues, although the subsidence rate at the NRWY GPS station has slowed considerably. The total subsidence now comes close to matching the amount of uplift that had occurred previous to April 2014.”

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