By Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily
A 3.5-magnitude earthquake recorded in the Wyoming wilderness in northwest Wyoming over the weekend is likely not a precursor to a devastating eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera supervolcano.
“Based on the magnitude, it’s likely not related to Yellowstone,” said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist and registered geologist in Wyoming, from the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado.
“The quakes we get around the national park are usually in national park, and sometimes we see them south of Yellowstone near the Tetons,” Caruso told Cowboy State Daily on Monday morning. “This one is way out to the east.”
Felt By A Few
More specifically, the temblor reported by three Wyoming residents at about 9:58 a.m. Saturday had its epicenter about 28 miles northeast of Dubois and at a depth of 6.4 miles, according to the USGS.
That only a few people reported feeling the earthquake isn’t a surprise, Caruso said, because the area is generally not populated.
“It looks like (Dubois) was pretty far from the epicenter,” he said, adding that it’s unlikely a 3.5-magnitude earthquake that far away would cause any damage. “We usually don’t see significant damage from quakes until it gets up to about (a magnitude of) 5.5 or so.”
Not Part Of Yellowstone Pattern
Although the area in and around Yellowstone National Park shows considerably more seismic activity, Saturday’s earthquake northeast of Dubois wasn’t close enough to be considered connected with Yellowstone, Caruso said. That includes it not being affiliated with the supervolcano.
“No one can predict earthquakes, and we haven’t seen any evidence the Yellowstone volcano is about to blow,” he said.
‘We’re Still Standing’
That’s good news for those who live in the region, said Debbie Marble, manager at Lynn’s Superfoods in Dubois.
Marble told Cowboy State Daily that she didn’t feel anything from the earthquake and also hasn’t hear her customers talking about it either.
“Nope, not a thing,” she said. “There’s not even been anything about it on Facebook. I’m sure if there was something (related to feeling the quake), we would’ve heard about it.”
She said there’s also no evidence the store was impacted.
“We’re still standing and good to go,” she said.
While not aware of the quake, which according to the USGS registers as “light” impact on a scale from “not felt” to “extreme,” Marble said she’s relieved the supervolcano doesn’t seem to be about to blow.
“Yeah, that’s good to know,” she said.