For three straight days, Yellowstone National Park has been shaken by a serise of small earthquakes. Scientists are watching to see whether the tremors are signaling something bigger to come. (ABC News Photo Illustration)
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – Yellowstone National Park was jostled by a host of small earthquakes for a third straight day Monday, and scientists watched closely to see whether the more than 250 tremors were a sign of something bigger to come. Swarms of small earthquakes happen frequently in Yellowstone, but it’s very unusual for so many earthquakes to happen over several days, said Robert Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.
“They’re certainly not normal,” Smith said. “We haven’t had earthquakes in this energy or extent in many years.”
Smith directs the Yellowstone Seismic Network, which operates seismic stations around the park. He said the quakes have ranged in strength from barely detectable to one of magnitude 3.8 that happened Saturday. A magnitude 4 quake is capable of producing moderate damage.
“This is an active volcanic and tectonic area, and these are the kinds of things we have to pay attention to,” Smith said. “We might be seeing something precursory.
– Yellowstone National Park Hit by Hundreds of Small Earthquakes (Bloomberg)
“Could it develop into a bigger fault or something related to hydrothermal activity? We don’t know. That’s what we’re there to do, to monitor it for public safety.”