It’s like Chevy Chase monitoring the status of Generalissimo Francisco Franco: the swarm isn’t quite dead, but it’s surely not alive, either. The most recent reports from the field — which you can see here — show a series of small (1.3 or less on the Richter scale) earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park, most centralized in an area 10 miles northwest of Old Faithful and nine miles southeast of West Yellowstone. Whether two small quakes in a day can be considered a “swarm” is a question left up to the experts, but let’s face it: the activity has definitely leveled off, the caldera seems to be unaffected and we are no closer to End Times than we were two months ago.
Fourteen of the earthquakes have been magnitude 3.0 or greater. The larger quakes have been felt by people in Old Faithful, West Yellowstone, Canyon, Mammoth Hot Springs, Grant Village, Madison, and Gardiner. No damage or injuries have been reported.
The consensus in the scientific community: the swarm of earthquakes is caused by tectonic shifts, not anything to do with the Yellowstone caldera. These same shifts are causing more severe earthquakes in areas like Haiti and Oklahoma. Other monitoring stations indicate no change at all in activity with the caldera and the Yellowstone supervolcano.
Almost 80 swarms have been recorded in Yellowstone since 1995.
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