Thursday, January 01, 2009

Yellowstone Quake Swarm Update 5

The number of quakes has declined significantly today, and the webcorders are also showing reduced activity.  This may be the point where the event calms down, or it could be similar to Monday night, when the activity quieted down only to become even more active on Tuesday morning.  We'll see over the next twelve hours or so.  It could also be a precursor to a larger quake like the Hebgen Lake Quake, as there was a swarm followed by relative calm just prior to that event.  Of course, the un likely eruption or hydrothermal explosion is still a possibility,  Finally, the event could go on for weeks, according to Dr. Smith of the University of Utah.  Still no updates from Dr. Smith or his team and it has been since Monday.  The Salt Lake City station KSL reported yesterday that he is in Yellowstone himself monitoring events.  I suppose an update would be unsatisfying anyway, because it would likely include just basic information as it is clear from his earlier comments and follow-up with KSL that the geophysical world just has no data on how supervolcanoes behave prior to eruption or even large hyrdothermal explosions.  This means that many of us will continue to monitor the webcorders, USGS and U of U quake report pages to see what comes next.  Hopefully this will just be an interesting anomalous series of quakes and nothing more.  Hopefully.

The following US Geological Survey chart shows prior supervolcano activity in graphic form for reference on the relative size of the Yellowstone system:

Supervolcano eruption chart

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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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