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Questions About Quakes
Studies have shown that Yellowstone is one of the most seismically active regions in North America. Members of the Hayden Survey of 1872 named a camp on the northeast shore of Yellowstone Lake “Earthquake Camp” because of the frequency of shocks they experienced.
Most of the earthquakes in the Yellowstone region are too small to be felt.
The size of an earthquake is given by its magnitude. A small quake is one with a
magnitude of less than three on the Richter Scale. On this scale, an earthquake
wave increases by a factor of ten for each unit on the scale.
Fractures that allow Yellowstone’s underground water to circulate are kept open
by earthquakes. Sometimes quakes may change the temperature of hydrothermal
features or alter the frequency of geyser eruptions.
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