Yellowstone Earthquake Swarm of 2010 fizzling out?

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!

8 Responses to Yellowstone Earthquake Swarm of 2010 fizzling out?

  1. Ed Darrell says:


    1. None of those reports suggest there is any imminence to any eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera.

    2. There is no “gag order” issued on USGS or Volcano Observatory notes.

    3. Nothing suggests there is a swarm of quakes in Yellowstone right now.

    4. The most recent swarms may, in fact, suggest the caldera is going quieter. See here:


  2. […] “Yellowstone earthquake swarm of 2010 fizzling out?” January 27, 2010 […]


  3. Mister G. says:

    [quote=S. Persaud]you dont know what it will do…….(yellow stone)

    Neither do YOU, but nobody really cares. No one could stop it if it DID blow up.

    Send it to SPAM and let us move on…


  4. paul laschet says:

    I know what it’s overdue to do, statistically speaking. Is this a good sign (releasing energy) or a bad sign (shifting equilibrium in the wrong direction)…..? Geologists…?


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Any reason not to send Mr. Persaud’s post to spam?


  6. stephen persaud says:

    you dont know what it will do…….(yellow stone)


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