New Yellowstone Park earthquake swarm

No. It doesn’t mean the end is near 😉

University of Utah seismic station.

Earthquake swarm in park tops 1,000. Billings Gazette.

Note added 1-24.  As expected, the swarm has dropped off a lot.





  1. JimT Avatar

    Too bad..I was hoping it would take Cheney out…;*)

  2. Cindy Avatar

    Would the kind of swarm we’ve experienced this week cause avalanches up in the Park? I don’t know if the Park has avalanches like we do down here where the hills have been “messed with”, mostly for recreational purposes. I often wonder what the animals think when the ground starts moving. As sensitive as they are about their physical surroundings, they probably feel them even more than we would if we were out roaming.

  3. Cindy Avatar

    ps – JimT – problem with takin’ out Cheney he lives close to me (10 or so miles)!! So we’d have to have the quake isolated to the 10,000 square foot area of his home!

  4. JimT Avatar

    Hey, DARPA probably could do that, Cindy..VBG…

    I feel for you, truly….~S~..Doesn’t that permanent dark cloud look funny, though?…

  5. JimT Avatar

    Actually, the swarm is a good thing since it is acting as a pressure relief valve, unlike what happened in Haiti as the two plates got stuck and couldn’t move past one another, and you have a huge earthquake.

    What is more potentially “interesting” is if the volcano that is Yellowstone Park becomes active…Then, all bets are off for a very large part of Wyoming and Montana…

  6. Chuck Avatar

    Maybe its getting ready for 2012?

  7. Mike Avatar

    What if we miss calculated a year or 2? (2012)?

  8. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Note the comment from “Mike” above is a new person nicknamed Mike on this weblog.

    I have asked him or her to choose a new nickname.

  9. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    Jim T
    If volcano Yellowstone were to have an eruption even smaller than the last big one it could also affect all the wolf (and bison) poplation in Wyoming as well as parts of Idaho and Montana, depending on wind direction at the time.

    Check the limits of ash fall from previous eruptions:

  10. Layton Avatar

    I’ll bet this latest batch of smaller quakes is just the test runs for the volcano/earthquake machine that the right wing has invented to “manage” the wolves as they see fit!!

    I think I saw a black helicopter over the park about midnight.

    Did anybody see my tinfoil hat?? 8)

    Have a good weekend everyone.

  11. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    And you too, Layton. I appreciate your humor, knowledge, and perspective on topics relating to Idaho wildlife.

  12. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    The Yellowstone hotspot doesn’t always just explode, it often sends out huge flows of lava. The hotspot is thought to have produced the huge flows of flood basalt that make up the Columbian plateau in Oregon, Idaho and Washington.
    The Weiser river cuts through some of these flows north of Weiser, Idaho. The authors of Roadside Geology of Idaho speculate that the original hotspot was caused by a meteor strike that punched through the earth’s crust.

  13. Ed Darrell Avatar

    Ralph, the comments on your site are a breath of fresh air, especially compared to those on so many other reality- and science-impaired sites. Your commenters are often as good as your posts, and they have a good sense of humor.

    I found a blog where someone asked, seriously, whether y’all are getting ready to evacuate due to the swarms.

    Reality: Even if we have a tenuous hold on it, we should try to keep it.

  14. gline Avatar

    So the Mike above is not Wilderness Sportsman Mike?

  15. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    No, and I haven’t heard back from him. Maybe he is a one time commenter.

  16. richie, Avatar

    Ralph all kidding aside is their predicability with quakes in Yellowstone, are their any geologist that have an opinion ?

  17. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Yes. This article just appeared in National Park Traveler. “Tectonic Plates Thought Responsible for Swarm of Yellowstone National Park Earthquakes.”


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan