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.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project and the creator of The Wildlife News.

17 Responses to New Yellowstone Park earthquake swarm

  1. avatar JimT says:

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

  2. avatar Cindy says:

    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. avatar Cindy says:

    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. avatar JimT says:

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

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

  5. avatar JimT says:

    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. avatar Chuck says:

    Maybe its getting ready for 2012?

  7. avatar Mike says:

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

  8. 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. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    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. avatar Layton says:

    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. avatar Barb Rupers says:

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

  12. 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. avatar Ed Darrell says:

    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. avatar gline says:

    So the Mike above is not Wilderness Sportsman Mike?

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

  16. avatar richie, says:

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

  17. richie,

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


January 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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