Thursday, January 01, 2009

Yellowstone Quake Swarm Update 6

There is a new statement from the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory tonight.  One interesting item to be gleaned is that though scientists have been reviewing the many quakes as rapidly as possible, they are at a point where they've only been able to analyze the larger quakes in the swarms, and have a backlog of as many as 400 events in the series yet to evaluate.  That is quite a backlog, and as long as the quake activity remains anywhere near the volume of the last five days, the backlog will only grow. 

Using the guarded language one would expect, the statement indicates that scientists are considering the possibility of hydrothermal explosions, or less likely, volcanic events, but it reads to me that they simply don't have the data available to predict what the follow on might likely be, and therefore rely on the statistically small likelihood that this is anything other than a larger than normal, longer than normal series of quakes.  Only time will tell. 

"The December 2008 earthquake sequence is the most intense in this area for some years. No damage has been reported within Yellowstone National Park, nor would any be expected from earthquakes of this size. The swarm is in a region of historical earthquake activity and is close to areas of Yellowstone famous hydrothermal activity. Similar earthquake swarms have occurred in the past in Yellowstone without triggering steam explosions or volcanic activity. Nevertheless, there is some potential for hydrothermal explosions and earthquakes may continue or increase in magnitude. There is a much lower potential for related volcanic activity."



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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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