Seismic activity around Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, US, is not uncommon, but the heavy concentration experienced recently has people very concerned.
Since June 12, there has been over 1,400 tremors in the region, and experts state that the swarm could go on for another month.
The Yellowstone Caldera supervolcano last erupted 70,000 years ago but a spike in seismic activity around the national park has unsettled some nerves.
If the Wyoming volcano were to erupt it would kill an estimated 87,000 people immediately and make two-thirds of the USA immediately uninhabitable. The as the large spew of ash into the atmosphere would block out sunlight and directly affect life beneath it creating a “nuclear winter” and threatening ALL life on earth.
The volcano is 80 km (50 mi) long 20 km (12 mi) wide and the 1500F chamber of molten rock beneath the surface is seven miles deep.
The massive eruption could be a staggering 6,000 times as powerful as the one from Washington’s Mount St Helens in 1980 which killed 57 people and deposited ash in 11 different states and five Canadian provinces.
Additionally, a climate shift would ensue as the volcano would spew massive amounts of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, which can form a sulphur aerosol that reflects and absorbs sunlight.
Following Montana’s biggest earthquake in 34 years, a 5.4 tremor in early June, which is on the same fault line as Yellowstone, and coupled with the swarm of quakes in the National Park, many are convinced that the supervolcano is now ready to blow.
One local wrote on Twitter: “Earthquake in Bozeman = truly terrified Yellowstone volcano gonna go off.”
However, seismologists state that there is nothing to be concerned about yet.
Jamie Farrell at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City told New Scientist: “This is a large swarm but it is not the largest swarm we’ve recorded in Yellowstone.
“Earthquake swarms are fairly common in Yellowstone.
“There is no indication that this swarm is related to magma moving through the shallow crust.”