Yellowstone National Park experienced 288 earthquakes in May. All that activity has once again drummed up talk of an active “supervolcano” ready to blow its top at any moment, but experts are telling us there is no need to sweat it.
According to the National Parks Service, “Yellowstone commonly experiences “earthquake swarms”—a series of earthquakes over a short period of time in a localized area. The largest swarm occurred in 1985, with more than 3,000 earthquakes recorded during three months on the northwest side of the park. Hundreds of quakes were recorded during swarms in 2009 near Lake Village and 2010 between Old Faithful area and West Yellowstone. Scientists posit these swarms are due to shifting and changing pressures in the Earth’s crust that are caused by migration of hydrothermal fluids, a natural occurrence of volcanoes.”
Did you know: Yellowstone is home to the most diverse collection of natural hydrothermal features in the world – including hot springs, geysers, mudpots, travertine terraces, and fumaroles.
Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, gives an overview of activity at Yellowstone during May 2020.
National Parks Service goes on to say, “In Yellowstone, earthquakes help to maintain hydrothermal activity by keeping the “plumbing” system open. Without periodic disturbance from relatively small earthquakes, the small fractures and conduits that supply hot water to geysers and hot springs might be sealed by mineral deposition. Some earthquakes generate changes in Yellowstone’s hydrothermal systems. For example, the 1959 Hebgen Lake (7.3 M) and 1983 Borah Peak (6.9 M) earthquakes caused measurable changes in Old Faithful Geyser and other hydrothermal features.”
We hope the experts are right because all 2020 needs to go down as the worst year ever is for a supervolcano to blow it’s top in the heart of America.