Swarm of Quakes Jolts Yellowstone

Scientists closely monitoring unusual rash of shakers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2008 4:02 AM CST
The Twin Butte Vista Spring is an alkaline siliceous hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.    (AP Photo/Science, David M.Ward)
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(Newser) – Wary scientists are keeping a close eye on developments in Yellowstone National Park after some 250 small quakes jolted the park within three days, AP reports. Yellowstone is no stranger to seismic activity but experts say the number of the quakes is hghly unusual and could signal something bigger brewing in the vast lake of magma that lies beneath the park.

"This is an active volcanic and tectonic area, and these are the kinds of things we have to pay attention to," said a geophysicist. "Could it develop into a bigger fault or something related to hydrothermal activity? We don't know. That's what we're there to do—to monitor it for public safety." No damage has been reported from the quakes, the biggest of which measured 3.8 on the Richter scale. (Read more Yellowstone National Park stories.)