Volcano Update from Archive



YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY INFORMATION RELEASE
Friday, January 2, 2009 19:30 MST (Saturday, January 3, 2009 02:30 UTC)


YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO (CAVW#1205-01-)
44.43°N 110.67°W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)
Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Yellowstone Lake Earthquake Swarm Update: 2 January 2008

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that as of 1800 MST on 2 January 2009, seismicity of the ongoing Yellowstone earthquake swarm continues. Over 500 earthquakes, as large as M 3.9, have been recorded by an automated earthquake system since the inception of this unusual earthquake sequence that began Dec. 27, 2008. More than 300 of these events have been reviewed and evaluated by seismic analysts. Depths of the earthquakes range from ~ 1km to around 10 km. We note that the earthquakes extend northward from central Yellowstone Lake for ~10 km toward the Fishing Bridge area, with a migration of recent earthquakes toward the north. Some of the dozen M3+ earthquakes were felt in the Lake, Grant Village and Old Faithful areas. Personnel of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory continue to evaluate this earthquake sequence and will provide information to the NPS, USGS and the public as it evolves.

This earthquake sequence is the most intense in this area for some years. No damage has been reported within Yellowstone National Park, nor would any be expected from earthquakes of this size. The swarm is in a region of historical earthquake activity and is close to areas of Yellowstone famous hydrothermal activity. Similar earthquake swarms have occurred in the past in Yellowstone without triggering steam explosions or volcanic activity. Nevertheless, there is some potential for hydrothermal explosions and earthquakes may continue or increase in magnitude. There is a much lower potential for related volcanic activity.

The University of Utah operates a seismic network in Yellowstone National Park in conjunction with the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. These three institutions are partners in the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. Seismic data from Yellowstone are transmitted to the University in real-time by radio and satellite links from a network of 28 seismographs in the Yellowstone area and are available on the web.

Seismologists continue to monitor and analyze data from this swarm of earthquakes and provide updates to the NPS and USGS and to the public via the following web pages.

Information on U.S. earthquake activity including Yellowstone can be viewed at the U.S. Geological Survey web site: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsus/.

Information on earthquakes can also be viewed at the University of Utah
Seismograph Stations web site: http://www.seis.utah.edu/.

Seismographic recordings from Yellowstone seismograph stations can be
viewed online at: http://www.quake.utah.edu/helicorder/heli/yellowstone/index.html.

An article on earthquake swarms at Yellowstone is available at the following: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/publications/2004/apr04swarm.php

Persons who felt any of the earthquakes are encouraged to fill out a survey form on the USGS 'Did You Feel It?' web site: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/.

Geologic information, maps, and monitoring information for Yellowstone can be found on the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory web site at:
http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/.



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The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) is a partnership of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone National Park, and University of Utah to strengthen the long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake unrest in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park. YVO is one of the five USGS Volcano Observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.