The earthquake swarm in Yellowstone National Park has reached epic proportions as experts called it one of the longest and largest on record with 2,357 earthquakes recorded from June through August 30, according to Newsweek.
The most powerful earthquake during the current earthquake swarm was a magnitude 4.4 on June 15. The biggest one most recently was a 3.3 on August 21. Most have been small at a 1.0 magnitude or less.
Jamie Farrell, a research professor at the University of Utah where seismic activity in Yellowstone is monitored, told Newsweek the swarm is "nothing out of the ordinary" and had "slowed down significantly."
Yellowstone experiences thousands of earthquakes annually but an earthquake swarm is when numerous earthquakes occur "over the course of weeks or months with no clear sequence of main earthquakes and aftershocks," Newsweek reported. The largest earthquake swarm was 3,000 earthquakes in 1985; it lasted three months.
Now, the neighboring state of Idaho is also shaking, with an earthquake swarm that began Saturday evening and continued into Tuesday.
The Idaho State Journal reported 101 earthquakes in the southeastern part of the state, all near Soda Springs in Caribou County, which is less than 170 miles from Yellowstone.
"There were five quakes Tuesday morning, 28 throughout the day on Monday, 34 throughout the day on Sunday and 34 on Saturday night," the Idaho State Journal wrote. "All 101 of the quakes were reported by University of Utah Seismograph Stations."
The most powerful earthquake measured a 5.3 magnitude with others measuring between 3.1 and 4.1, according to the Inquisitr.
Experts told residents they should be prepared for the worst, though the worst-case scenario—a very destructive 7.0 magnitude earthquake—is highly unlikely.
"While we can't guarantee that there won't be a larger quake in this area, the possibility is extremely low," Shannon Kobs Nawotniak, an Idaho State University geosciences assistant professor who studies earthquakes, told the Idaho State Journal. "We live in a seismically active area, so everyone should always be up to date on their earthquake safety, just like they would for a fire drill. It is prudent to be prepared, even when the likelihood of the event is very low."
Caribou County emergency management officials told the newspaper the current swarm in Idaho could continue for another two weeks.
Dr. David Pearson, a geologist at Idaho State University, told the Idaho State Journal that the Idaho earthquake swarm had nothing to do with the detonation of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea over the weekend, as some wondered about. Neither does it mean there's going to be a volcanic eruption at Yellowstone.
"This has nothing to do with North Korea or Yellowstone," Pearson said.
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