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Series of large earthquakes shake Yellowstone Park and surrounding areas
By John Vibes
WYOMING (INTELLIHUB) — A 4.8 earthquake hit the northern part of Yellowstone National Park early Sunday, after a smaller series of shocks occurred throughout the region. This past week has seen a great deal of intense seismic activity worldwide, with hundreds of shocks felt in both California and Chile.
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reported that the earthquake occurred at 6:34 a.m. about 4 miles north-northeast of the Norris Geyser Basin. The university reports it was felt in the Montana border towns of West Yellowstone and Gardiner, both about 20 miles from the epicenter.
Since Thursday, there have been at least 25 recorded earthquakes in the area around Yellowstone National Park.
According to Yellowstone observatory, seismic activity is fairly common in this area, but the earthquakes usually aren’t this powerful. The observatory reported that 1 to 20 earthquakes occur every day, however they are very weak, often measuring much less than magnitude 3.
The earthquake on Sunday was the most powerful to hit the park since 1980.
The recent seismic activity has raised concerns about the super volcano that lays dormant in the park.
“Our best evidence is that the crustal magma chamber is filling with molten rock,” said seismologist Robert B. Smith, lead author of the study and professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.
“But we have no idea how long this process goes on before there either is an eruption or the inflow of molten rock stops and the caldera deflates again,” he added.