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Earthquake Update for February 3

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Date: February 3, 2010
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015

Press Release
University of Utah Seismograph Stations

Released: February 03, 2010 10AM MST
 
This release is a continuation of information updates building upon our five previous press releases on the ongoing earthquake swarm on the west side of Yellowstone National Park.
 
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a period of increased seismic activity occurred on February 2, 2010 beginning at ~3:30 PM MST.  This period of increased activity lasted about 6 hours and included at least 2 events that were reported felt in Yellowstone National Park.  The two largest earthquakes during this sequence were magnitude 3.1 and 2.8 that occurred at 7:31 PM and 7:44 PM respectively.
 
These earthquakes are part of an ongoing swarm in Yellowstone National Park that began January 17, 2010 (1:00 PM MST).  The largest earthquake in the swarm as of 7 AM MST, February 03, 2010, has been a magnitude 3.8. 

There have been 1,719 located earthquakes in the swarm of magnitude 0.3 to 3.8.  This includes 14 events of magnitude larger than 3, with 135 events of magnitude 2 to 3, and 1,570 events of magnitude less than 2. 

There have been multiple personal reports of ground shaking from observers inside the Park and in surrounding areas for some of the larger events (for felt reports, please visit http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/).  Earthquake swarms are relatively common in Yellowstone.
 
Yellowstone Volcano Observatory scientists still consider that the swarm events are likely the result of slip on pre-existing faults and are not thought to be caused by underground movement of magma.

Currently there is no indication of premonitory volcanic or hydrothermal activity, but ongoing observations and analyses will continue to evaluate these different sources.
 
Seismic information on the earthquake can be viewed at the University of Utah Seismograph Stations: http://www.seis.utah.edu/.
 
Seismograph recordings from stations of the Yellowstone seismograph network can be viewed online at: http://quake.utah.edu/helicorder/yell_webi.htm.
 
Anyone who has felt earthquakes in the swarm are encouraged to fill out a form on the USGS Community Felt reports web site: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/.
 
This press release was prepared by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory partners of the U.S. Geol. Survey, the University of Utah, and the National Park Service: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/ 

 

Did You Know?

Fire in Yellowstone Pineland in 1988

The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.