BUTTE, Mont. – Seismologists are studying a swarm of 500-plus earthquakes that have rattled the Yellowstone Park area since June 12.
Most are centered 8 miles north-northeast of West Yellowstone. That is just a few miles east of the Hebgen Lake Basin, the site of the historic 1959 quake. That one measured 7.3 on the Richter scale, killed 28 people and created Quake Lake, near the Gallatin National Forest.
Mike Stickney, of the Earthquake Studies office at Montana Tech, said earthquake swarms are normal this time of year. He says many are smaller. When we checked we found dozens that measured under 2.0 on the Richter scale.
However, Stickney said he hasn’t seen such an extensive swarm of earthquakes in Yellowstone since 2010. But he stressed each is small enough that no one is in immediate danger.
Stickney told us, “We live in earthquake country. We can never say that this isn’t leading up to something bigger. But at this point, we have no reason to believe its portending to be anything more drastic.”