More than a hundred earthquakes struck Yellowstone in the past month, sparking fears of a devastating eruption from the volatile super-volcano. Mike Poland, the chief scientist in charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, revealed the number of recent earthquakes in an overview of activity at Yellowstone during June. Speaking on behalf of the US Geological Survey (USGS), Mr Poland confirmed that 102 earthquakes had just struck the area.
The earthquakes were detected by the University of Utah seismograph stations which are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Yellowstone seismic network.
Earthquakes are closely monitored at Yellowstone because the super-volcano at the site is feared by many to be overdue another cataclysmic eruption that could wipe out the United States.
Yellowstone volcano’s last big eruptions went off about 640,000, 1.2 million and 2.1 million years ago.
When Yellowstone last erupted – an event known as the Lava Creek eruption – the supervolcano covered an estimated an estimated 2,900 square miles (7,500 square km) with ash and fallout.
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However, Mr Poland tried to play down fears of a impending volcanic disaster.
On the number of earthquakes recently, he said: “That’s pretty normal for the region where we see typically about 1500 to 2500 earthquakes every year on average.
“So in fact, we’re sort of on the low side of average this month.”
The largest earthquake of the month took place on June 5th when a magnitude 2.8 struck.
He added: “There are also some aftershocks from the magnitude five event that occurred in mid March in the Salt Lake City area.”
The National Park Service have repeatedly tried to dismiss catastrophic fears around Yellowstone.
They recently said: “Yellowstone is one of the most seismically active areas in the United States. Approximately 700 to 3,000 earthquakes occur each year in the Yellowstone area; most are not felt.”
While an eruption may not take place soon, the US Geological Survey (USGS) have said: “If another large, caldera-forming eruption were to occur at Yellowstone, its effects would be worldwide.”