Yellowstone Earthquake Swarm of 2010 fizzling out?

January 27, 2010

Inside Yellowstone noted just three earthquakes in the Yellowstone swarm in a 24-hour period covering most of Saturday.

It wasn’t the End of the World as Old Faithful Knows It, after all.

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) suggests the swarm continues, however — but doesn’t suggest anyone should be too concerned about it.

As of January 26, 2010 9:00 AM MST there have been 1,360 located earthquakes in the recent Yellowstone National Park swarm. The swarm began January 17, 2010 around 1:00 PM MST about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of the Old Faithful area on the northwestern edge of Yellowstone Caldera. Swarms have occurred in this area several times over the past two decades.

There have been 11 events with a magnitude larger than 3, 101 events of magnitude 2 to 3, and 1248 events with a magnitude less than 2. The largest events so far have been a pair of earthquakes of magnitude 3.7 and 3.8 that occurred after 11 PM MST on January 20, 2010.

The first event of magnitude 3.7 occurred at 11:01 PM MST and was shortly followed by a magnitude 3.8 event at 11:16 PM. Both shocks were located around 9 miles to the southeast of West Yellowstone, MT and about 10 miles to the northwest of Old Faithful, WY. Both events were felt throughout the park and in surrounding communities in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

See the University of Utah Seismograph Stations for the most recent earthquake data and press releases. The team is working 24/7 to analyze and communicate information about the swarm. Seismograph recordings from stations of the Yellowstone seismograph network can be viewed online at:

You can get the information from the horse’s mouth (Dragon’s Mouth?) — some enterprising earth sciences, geography or general science teacher can probably work up a great assignment for students to deal with the data and make sense from them.

Ground deformations in the Yellowstone Caldera, from satellite photos - imageGround deformations in the Yellowstone Caldera, from satellite photos - image

Ground deformations in the Yellowstone Caldera, from satellite photos, in 2005 - image (This isn't really directly related to the earthquake swarm, but it's a cool image.)

Update, March 12, 2011: This post has been mighty popular over the last week.  Can someone tell me, in comments, whether this post was linked to by another site?  Why the popularity all of a sudden — even before the Japan earthquake and tsunami?  Please do!

Happy birthday, Wolfie!

January 27, 2010

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart came into the world on January 27, 1756 — younger than Franklin, younger than Madison barely.  I try to keep his life chronology in relation to U.S. history.  Mozart died on December 5, 1791, the day the Bill of Rights was ratified.

Our local classical station, WRR-101.1 FM promises appropriate playing of his music, even taking requests with that modern device, the internet:

Listen to WRR, Classical 101.1 as WRR plays works exclusively by Mozart, born Jan. 27, 1756. All your favorite symphonies, concertos, opera overtures and chamber works by this musical titan will be spotlighted.

Something from Mozart you’d like to hear? Share it with us at and we may add it to the birthday celebration!

Personally, I hope someone plays one of Mozart’s two works for glass harmonica.  Dr. Franklin’s musical invention has a small repertoire, but a solid one, considering Mozart’s contribution.

Mozart’s stock rose in the 1990s with the production of the play and movie Amadeus! I like to think it rose at least partly because people like his music, too, as this essay suggested way back then:

Turn your channel to PBS, where Hugh Downs or Peter Ustinov is narrating a Mozart special. Turn to one of the commercial channels, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 466 and “Little” G Minor Symphony K. 183/173dB are selling MacIntosh computers, Don Giovanni gives class to Cheer laundry detergent, The Marriage of Figaro hawks the Sirocco automobile, the Requiem’s Lacrymosa seemingly sanctifies Lee Jeans, and another piano concerto (K. 482) perks Maxwell House coffee. The recovery of a Mozart symphony, even if juvenilia, receives front-page coverage from The New York Times. Dealers and collectors will go to any extreme for a piece of the action; Mozart autographs sell at the same prices as fine paintings, and dealers in one case dismembered the “Andretter” Serenade K. 185, retailing it piecemeal for greater profit. The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni now rival the box-office receipts of La Boheme and Madame Butterfly.

So, what will you do to celebrate?

In a chldren's play, every one but his sister has forgotten Mozart's birthday.  Photo by Chalemie

In a chldren's play, everyone but his sister has forgotten Mozart's birthday. Photo by Chalemie

Invite others to celebrate, too!

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

LeveeGate? KatrinaGate? Republicans arrested trying to bug Sen. Landreiu’s NOLA office

January 27, 2010

You don’t think it’s political?

Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise has links, summaries and good original reporting at her site.

Four men were arrested with a carload of electronic bugging gear, allegedly and apparently while trying to install bugs in the office of Louisiana’s U.S. Sen. Mary Landreiu.  One of the men arrested was James O’Keefe, the guy who posed as a pimp in a sting on the Washington offices of the ACORN low-income housing advocacy group.

Beyerstein has more details here, here, and here.  Astoundingly, the four men appear to have been working to plant bugs in a federally-owned building.  That will make it a federal crime, a felony.

Illegal spying on Democrats was big news in 1972no one believed anyone could stoop so low, however, and so the news went under-reported for months.

Today?  Everybody expects Republicans to play so dirty — and so the news goes under-reported.

Bookmark Beyerstein’s site.

In their attempt to turn back the clock on so many issues, have the Republicans resorted to the Dirty Tricks of the Nixon era, too?


This is a post you should read, for your own peace of mind

January 27, 2010

Or, perhaps, this is the sentence linking to the post you should read for your own piece of mind.  This is the three word sentence, starting with “At,” which points to Coyote Crossing, and which lacks a subject and a verb.  This sentence urges the reader to be sure to read the comments at the link.

What's this?  The masthead from Chris Clarke's Coyote Crossing blog. Nice painting by Carl Buell.

What’s this? The masthead from Chris Clarke’s Coyote Crossing blog. Nice painting by Carl Buell.

This sentence offers the trite shake of a scrub brush, symbol of this blog, to the blogger who linked to the blog to which the previous sentence linked.

Lou Dobbs is from Rupert, Idaho?

January 27, 2010

He should have spent more time with the spud farmers and sheep ranchers.  He should have spent more time with the Basques who herded the sheep.

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