Keeping Tabs on Shaky Yellowstone

It has been tens of thousands of years since the Yellowstone region of Wyoming saw a major volcanic eruption. All is still relatively peaceful in the National Park, however, researchers are closely monitoring a “swarm” of tiny quakes.

In an article on the New York Times website, Kirk Johnson reports that as of last Sunday, there had been 1,608 quakes at Yellowstone since January 17th. There was a similar swarm of mini-quakes around this time last year, and they are relatively common in the area, says the article.

Henry Heasler, a coordinating scientist for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, told Johnson there is no discernible pattern yet, but that his team is “ready to ramp up” in case the swarm intensifies or continues longer than expected. One way to monitor the quakes is to watch Old Faithful – the park’s geyser that emits steam and water at regular time intervals – for changes in water temperature or signs of mud in the normally clear pools of hot water.

To read the New York Times article, please click here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/01/science/01yellowstone.html