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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Earthquakes Giving Yellowstone Area The Jitters

Above, volcanic activity occurs all over Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Last Wednesday, a 5.8 earthquake struck the state of Montana, raising fears in some that the super volcano known as Yellowstone National Park is set to blow anytime soon.

According to the U.K.'s Daily Star:
The epicentre of the tremor was just 240 miles away from Yellowstone Park – the site of a dormant supervolcano with destructive potential. 
Panicked residents of Montana feared the worst when the quake struck, with concerns over the stability of the Yellowstone volcano. 
But the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the volcano is not due to erupt anytime soon. 
Nontheless locals were freaking out on Twitter.

A spokesperson for USGS said: “The location and focal mechanism solution of this earthquake are consistent with right-lateral faulting in association with faults of the Lewis and Clark line, a prominent zone of strike-slip, dip slip and oblique slip faulting trending east-southeast from northern Idaho to east of Helena, Montana, southeast of this earthquake.” 
The huge quake came just weeks after a swarm of around 900 smaller earthquakes rocked the region. 
A massive basin of lava that lurks beneath Yellowstone National Park was hit by the flurry of seismic activity in June.
Meanwhile, Montana Public Radio says the seismic activities in the region is no cause for panic.
Yellowstone National Park took to Facebook today to tamp down ongoing speculation that a cataclysmic seismic event is imminent. 
Jeff Hungerford is the park’s chief geologist and volcanologist.

Sitting in front of Mammoth Hot Springs, Hungerford told his Facebook Live audience the Yellowstone region’s recent earthquake swarm is perfectly normal: 
“They can make up about 50-percent of our earthquakes that we have yearly," Hungerford said. "It happens all the time. It’s why we’re here. Yellowstone National Park is a beautiful, wonderful place because it is an active area.”

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