Stronger Than Normal Earthquake Rocks Yellowstone
Earthquakes are a normal occurrence in Yellowstone - after all, it is a supervolcano. But, according to the United States Geological Survey, the National Park typically experiences minor earthquakes of a magnitude 2 or below on the Richter Scale. On Tuesday, May 11, that was not the case when a magnitude 4.2 earthquake rattled Yellowstone.
Yellowstone Earthquake Details
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations detected the 4.2 magnitude quake at around 7:32 a.m. on the 11th. If you happen to have a map of Yellowstone handy, you can locate the epicenter of the quake by finding Little Saddle Mountain; the quake occurred along the Lamar River. You can view a map of the quake here.
The event stands out against other earthquakes in the area for two reasons: One, the magnitude is higher than the average Yellowstone quake. Two, only five quakes above a level 3 magnitude had originated from the area since 1962, according to U of U. The last earthquake to reach a similar magnitude to yesterday's happened on March 28, 2005, when a 4.2 quake shook the National Park.
Should Wyomingites Be Concerned About The Quake?
However, despite the increased magnitude of the quake, it's not something folks near Yellowstone need to be concerned about. As previously noted, Yellowstone is a seismically active location. While most quakes are not noticeable to humans, a 4.2 magnitude quake is relatively mild on the Richter Scale, which rates a quake by frequency and magnitude on a scale of 1 (mild) to 9 (extreme). Humans feel a 4.2 quake, but typically, they only cause damage only near the epicenter of the quake.
For more information regarding Yellowstone's Earthquake activity, visit the USGS by clicking here.