Much Ado About Nothing at Yellowstone

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The Pink Flamingo has repeatedly been telling that there is very little danger of the Yellowstone Super Volcano blowing it’s top at this current time.   Swarms are common at Yellowstone. I do find interesting the fact that the quakes were on a northerly migration.

Swarmmap
Swarmmap
Image 1. Yellowstone Lake showing location and times of the recent earthquakes from Dec. 27, 2008 (blue) to Jan. 8, 2009 (red). The M 3.0 and greater earthquakes are shown as stars, the smaller earthquakes are shown as circles. During the swarm, the earthquake locations appear to have moved north. For more information on the depths of the earthquakes, see the cross section from X to X’ below.

There are sources that are trying to hype up the situation by linking to the USGS, claiming to be part of it, and issuing dramatic statements about a volcanic alert.

The earthquake swarm that has been causing so much consternation has dramatically decreased. In other words – much ado about nothing.  According to the USGS “Swarms Are Normal”.

“…The recent swarm is well above typical activity at Yellowstone. Nevertheless it is not unprecedented during the last 40 years of monitoring. Earthquake swarms within the Yellowstone caldera are typical, with magnitudes occasionally ranging above 4.0. The 1985 swarm on the northwest rim of the caldera lasted for three months, with earthquakes up to M4.9 and over 3000 total events recorded.

The magnitudes of earthquakes in this swarm range from zero to 3.9. Earthquakes with magnitudes less than 3.4 are generally not felt by people unless they are very shallow and you are standing very close to the epicenter (point on the earth’s surface above the hypocenter). For perspective, earthquakes of magnitude 3.4 to 4.5 are often felt and there were multiple reports of felt earthquakes during this swarm. A magnitude 5 or greater is generally required to produce damage to buildings or other structures….”

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