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Earthquake swarm hits Yellowstone National Park - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Earthquake swarm hits Yellowstone National Park

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - Nearly 200 earthquakes have been recorded in Yellowstone National Park in the past two weeks.

Twenty earthquakes were detected with a magnitude higher than 1 on the Richter scale. Most of the earthquakes are not noticeable since most are between a 1 and 2 magnitude.

“I would say that this is not something to worry about. This is a common process that goes on in and around Yellowstone; it appears to be how stress gets relieved as a part of that volcano-tectonic system,” said Geologist Mike Stickney.

Seismologists say that the plate beneath Yellowstone has been moving very slowly over millions of years, displacing much of its volcanic features. This has caused a few very strong earthquakes and eruptions that often occur several years from each other. However, large earthquakes are far more common.

“In 1975 there was a magnitude six earthquake that occurred in the park that was widely felt. It didn’t cause a lot of damage because it was in a remote area, but any one of those things are much more likely than a cataclysmic eruption,” Stickney said.

The park says it has emergency plans in place for any natural event from large earthquakes and small eruption to protocols for a super volcano eruption.

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