Yellowstone volcano: Total of 292 earthquakes rock US supervolcano in a single month

Yellowstone volcano: 'Super-eruption' predicted by expert

Earthquake trackers positioned across Yellowstone National Park have had a busy month last December. Nearly 300 tremors rocked the volcanic hotspot last month among widespread fears and rumours Yellowstone volcano is overdue another eruption. Yellowstone’s three biggest blasts went off some 640,000, 1.3 million and 2.1 million years ago – a pattern with intervals of 600,00 to 800,000 years.

And though scientists at the US Geological Survey (USGS) assure this is not the case, many people believe Yellowstone is overdue another big eruption.

Social media, in particular, is rife with unfounded claims about activity at the US supervolcano.

One person bizarrely tweeted: “Don’t forget we have several Super Volcanoes that are 200,000 overdue to erupt. MASSIVE.

“Pompeii and Yellowstone with nothing in comparison. These will be five to seven times greater. Prepare.

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“The encouraging part is, that as humans, we are a bit more resilient in advanced.”

Another person said: “Yes humanity will inevitably come to an end.

“If we act soon regarding climate change and continue to be able to combat problems like it well, then I give us max 50,000 years. If not, maybe 150 years.

“Either way we could all die at any point. Yellowstone is well overdue to erupt.”

The unwarranted fears follow the USGS’s latest activity report for the Yellowstone area in December 2020.

Throughout the month of December, a network of seismograph stations operated by the University of Utah detected 292 tremors in the park’s region.

Of these earthquakes, the strongest events was a magnitude 2.6 quake about nine miles north-northeast of West Yellowstone in Montana on December 8.

Earthquake activity last month also included three earthquake swarms on between December 1 and 14, December 7, and December 24 to 25.

The tremors all ranged between magnitude -0.7 and 2.6, making them fairly minor events.

According to the USGS, Yellowstone earthquake activity remains at background levels.

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The US park is typically struck by about 1,500 to 2,500 earthquakes each year and 2020 has not been out of the norm.

The USGS said: “In fact, 2020 was the third year in a row with less than 2000 located earthquakes.”

December also saw two eruptions of the world-famous Steamboat Geyser on December 11 and 20, respectively.

In total, the geyser has erupted 48 times last year, equalling 2019 for the number of eruptions.

None of this, of course, is evidence of worrying activity at the supervolcano.

According to the USGS, Yellowstone volcano is incredibly unlikely to erupt within our lifetime.

The USGS said: “Future volcanic eruptions could occur within or near Yellowstone National Park for the simple reason that the area has a long volcanic history and because there is hot and molten rock, or magma, beneath the caldera now.

“Yellowstone is monitored for signs of volcanic activity by YVO scientists who detect earthquakes using seismographs and ground motion using GPS (Global Positioning System).

“YVO has not detected signs of activity that suggest an eruption is imminent.”

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