This week, scientists from the University of Utah detected approximately 60 earthquakes beneath Yellowstone National Park. Their report has caused some tourists to express concern about the safety of visiting the region, which is known for its seismic activity.
The earthquakes all occurred within a 12-hour span on March 28. That may seem intense, but Fox News reports that the recent rumblings are nothing to worry about. For one thing, the biggest quakes were only about 3.0 in magnitude. That’s enough to shake small objects or send a rumbling sensation through your feet, but it’s rarely enough to cause damage. The recent quakes don’t seem to have disturbed any park infrastructure or Yellowstone wildlife.
Rumors have been circulating for years that Yellowstone is a hotbed of volcanic activity that could be just waiting for its moment to blow. But even this recent Yellowstone National Park news is no reason to raise the alarm, scientists say. It’s not uncommon for this region of the West to experience earthquakes, even within such a small time window.
“Approximately 700 to 3,000 earthquakes occur each year in the Yellowstone area,” the park writes on its website. “Yellowstone earthquakes tend to occur in swarms—close together in time and space.”
This is because of the numerous small faults in the earth beneath the park. These same faults are responsible for the region’s stunning geysers and geothermal pools. Though the most recent series of quakes might seem worrisome to onlookers, it wasn’t even enough to merit a Yellowstone National Park news release.
According to the University of Utah, Yellowstone has experienced dozens of quakes over the past few decades that have been 3.0 in magnitude or bigger. None have caused any appreciable damage or interrupted visitation.