Moderate earthquake reported at Yellowstone Park
The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook an area 23 miles east-northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana at 6:34 am MDT Sunday, March 30th. The quake occurred at a depth of 4.2 miles and was preceded by two measurable foreshocks of 2.8 and 3.0.
There were no initial reports of damage or injury.
Several aftershocks followed the main quake, ranging from 2.5 to 3.3. The activity occurred within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, and are significant because the Park is situated within a what is known as a caldera, an active volcanic zone which has generated huge eruptions in the past, most recently 1350 BC.
The term 'supervolcano' has been used to describe the type of activity which has occurred here in the past, and is potentially possible in the future.
Sunday’s quake in Yellowstone was the largest to occur here since February 22, 1980, when another 4.8 quake also occurred.
Scientists analyzing recent and cumulative data, emphasize there is no imminent danger of volcanic activity in the region despite the presence of a large body of molten magma beneath the park.
At the same time, an eruption at Yellowstone might be preceded by very little warning. This conclusion has been reached by close examination of crystals formed in previous eruptions in the region.
Coincidentally, Sunday's Yellowstone quake occurred on the same day as a swarm of quakes in Oklahoma, three of which were greater than 4.0.