Nature

Swarm of Earthquakes In Yellowstone Renews Fears Of Supervolcano Eruption

Is COVID-19 here for a reason? Did we learn the lesson? No, we haven’t. nature has decided to teach us a lesson for all the damage we have caused. It’s powerful and full of energy. Nature is wise and merciless. It regained its power during the lockdown.

But, something awful may happen in the near future.

The US Geological Survey is monitoring the area around Yellowstone National Park. They have noticed a swarm of earthquakes, and experts are worried. The underground volcano may cause serious damage.

According to the US Geological Survey, the chances are one in 730,000 that the supervolcano will erupt this year. However, a single eruption will be equivalent to 1,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

Last month, the area West Yellowstone in Montana noticed 34 low-magnitude earthquakes three miles underground. The strongest earthquake was 3.1.

“Yellowstone is one of the most seismically active areas in the United States…. Approximately 700 to 3,000 earthquakes occur each year in the Yellowstone area; most are not felt,” the official website of the national park reads. “They result from the extensive network of faults associated with the volcano and surrounding tectonic features.”

Park officials reveal that the earthquakes are caused by volcanic fluids entering shallow rock cracks. The park rests on one of only three supervolcanos in the nation.

The Yellowstone volcano is 34-45 miles wide and three miles below the surface. It fits in three overlapping calderas that mark the past eruptions from hundreds of thousands or even millions of years ago.

The last eruption spat out 2,000 times the amount of ash Mount St. Helens dumped. Reports reveal that 57 people lost their lives and the ash covered 11 states and five Canadian provinces.

Swarms of earthquakes are a common “phenomenon” in this area.

“Yellowstone commonly experiences “earthquake swarms”—a series of earthquakes over a short period in a localized area,” the website reads.

“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.”

If the supervolcano goes off, it will cause a nuclear winter. “The sky will darken, black rain will fall, and the Earth will be plunged into the equivalent of nuclear winter,” BBC reported at the time.

Hundreds of thousands of years passed since the last big eruption. We are thousands of years away from the next eruption, so let’s just say the nation is safe now.

Experts haven’t identified “long-period (LP events)” attributed to the movement of magma. If they notice LP events, the population will be warned.

But this doesn’t mean that the volcano will erupt. LP earthquakes are common at many other volcanoes around the globe.

Volcanists explain that large earthquakes and the hydrothermal blast may hurt the millions of tourists that visit Yellowstone.

Over 300 people have died in that area due to injuries caused by the fumes emitted by the hydrothermal vents, and some of them have fallen off of 800-foot cliffs or dived into 200-degree boiling water. Yikes!

Sources:

www.usgs.gov

www.express.co.uk

www.insider.com

www.nps.gov