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Glenrock Rattled By 3.7 Magnitude Earthquake

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

San Francisco. Central America. Even Yellowstone National Park. But eastern Wyoming…?

The wide open plains of central and eastern Wyoming aren’t what most people think of when earthquakes are mentioned.

But the sleepy town of Rolling Hills, Wyoming (population 450), was jolted out of a quiet evening Sunday around 9:50 p.m. by a nearby earthquake.

“It was very quick, it was very loud, and it felt like something hit the north side of our house,” said Teresa Montgomery, who works for the Town of Rolling Hills, about 4 miles north of Glenrock. The epicenter of the 3.7 magnitude quake was 11 miles west of the small town on the plains of eastern Wyoming.“

My husband and my son were out looking around trying to figure out what it was,” Montgomery explained. “And my husband noticed all the other neighbors out looking around trying to figure out what it was. I wouldn’t have said it was an earthquake, though. You know how, you see in California that houses shake and things like that for a long time? It didn’t do that, it was very quick.”

A series of Facebook posts show that the earthquake was felt as far away as Casper. Some reported that they felt as if their house had been hit by a vehicle; others said the rumble moved furniture or sloshed the drink in their glasses. Residents reported that animals were spooked, and some noted that they thought an explosion had occurred.

The website volcanodiscovery.com reports that in the past 30 days, Wyoming has been shaken by one earthquake of magnitude 4.1, five quakes between 3.0 and 4.0 and 49 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0.

There were also 236 quakes below magnitude 2.0 – which experts say aren’t usually noticeable. Montgomery said it’s been a long time since there’s been an earthquake in their part of the state.

“There was one years and years ago,” she recalled. “And I remember being asleep, and kind of waking up because the house was shaking, and thinking, ‘Well, that was an earthquake,’ and then I went back to sleep, it wasn’t that strong. But this one was very loud.”

According to the website Shakeout.org, earthquakes have been reported in every county in the state, with most occurring in the Wyoming’s western third. The Wyoming State Geological Survey reported that the largest earthquake recorded to date in Wyoming occurred Aug. 18, 1959, in Yellowstone National Park.

The earthquake registered as a magnitude 6.5, and is considered to be an aftershock of the magnitude 7.5 quake at Hebgen Lake in southwestern Montana that killed 28 people.

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Yellowstone Seeing Swarm Of Small Earthquakes This Week

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Yellowstone National Park has seen almost 300 small earthquakes in the last week, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The event is a fairly typical earthquake swarm, the USGS said.

Earthquake swarms are sequences of elevated earthquake activity with no clear originating event and are common in Yellowstone and other places.

The park saw 280 earthquakes in just a few-day period, the USGS reported on Saturday on social media.

“Earthquake sequences like these are common and account for roughly 50% of the total seismicity in the Yellowstone region,” the USGS said on social media over the weekend. “This swarm is similar to one that occurred in about the same place during December 2020.”

Swarms occur in a variety of volcanic and tectonic settings and have several possible causes, ranging from a slow fault slip at a few patches between two tectonic plates or magma-filled cracks pushing their way through the crust.

The most common way swarms are generated, though, is when water enters and interacts with pre-existing fault lines in the earth’s crust, which is probably what caused the most recent swarm in Yellowstone, according to the USGS.

Yellowstone National Park’s seismic activity increased in 2020, with the park experiencing about 500 more earthquakes than in 2019. At least 1,722 earthquakes were recorded, an increase from 2019, when the park experienced 1,218 earthquakes.

The park can experience anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 earthquakes per year, according to historical records.

Only three of the 1,722 earthquakes recorded in 2020 could actually be felt, meaning people reported some shaking.

Around 890 of the earthquakes occurred as a part of 26 swarms.The largest swarm occurred the week of Sept. 10, when 123 earthquakes happened in a one-week period.

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Report: Yellowstone Had More Than 1,700 Earthquakes In 2020

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Yellowstone National Park’s seismic activity increased in 2020, with the park experiencing about 500 more earthquakes than in 2019.

At least 1,722 earthquakes were recorded in the park in 2020, according to the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory’s annual report. This was an increase from 2019, when the park experienced 1,218 earthquakes.

However, the increase is not any cause for alarm, the report said. The park can experience anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 earthquakes per year, according to historical records.

Only three of the 1,722 earthquakes recorded in 2020 could actually be felt, meaning people reported some shaking.

Each of the larger earthquakes were 3.1 magnitude and occurred on March 31, May 29 and Nov. 25 in the area between Hebgen Lake in Montana and Norris Geyser Basin in the park, a place that has historically experienced higher magnitude quakes.

Around 890 of the earthquakes occurred as a part of 26 “swarms,” the occurrence of a number of small earthquakes in a small area over a relatively short period. Swarms are common in Yellowstone and usually around 50% of the quakes in the park are a part of a swarm.

The largest swarm occurred the week of Sept. 10, when 123 earthquakes happened in a one-week period.

Earthquakes have been recorded in the park since the 1970s, but most are too small in magnitude to be felt by humans. The Yellowstone region is one of the most seismically active areas in the United States.

Since 1973, more than 50,000 earthquakes have been located in the park, but more than 99% of the quakes are less than a magnitude of 2.

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Earthquake Shakes Worland, Wyoming

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It’s not like the movie “San Andreas” where California got annihilated by a 9.1 earthquake or anything.

But Wyoming did have a “relatively” rare earthquake on Tuesday.

The temblor, registering a magnitude of 3.9, was reported about 40 miles southeast of Worland.

The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake hit at 6:22 a.m. and occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 8.5 miles.

People in many Wyoming towns reportedly felt the earthquake quake from Worland to Ten Sleep to Casper.

While Tuesday’s earthquake was the strongest seen in Wyoming in the last 30 days, it wasn’t the only one, according to “Volcano Discovery,” which maintains a database of earthquakes occurring around the country.

The website said three other earthquakes with magnitudes between 2.0 and 3.0 were detected in Yellowstone National Park on March 25 and in southwestern Wyoming on March 19.

In addition, in the past 30 days there have been more than 90 earthquakes with a magnitude below 2.0, which people do not usually feel.

“Swarms” of small earthquakes are regularly recorded in Yellowstone, which is considered one of the most seismically active locations in the world.

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Yellowstone Saw 67 Earthquakes In February

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Yellowstone National Park saw 67 earthquakes throughout the month of February, although most were small, with the strongest having a magnitude of 2.4.

The U.S. Geological Survey, in its monthly Yellowstone Volcano Observatory update published Monday, said many of the earthquakes seen during the month were part of a swarm of 20 with magnitudes between 0.3 and 2.3, recorded in the area of West Yellowstone, Montana, from Feb. 1-16.

The largest earthquake of the swarm occurred at 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 4 and was located one mile southwest of West Yellowstone.

Earthquake sequences like these are common and account for roughly 50% of the total seismicity in the Yellowstone region.

Of the 67 earthquakes that occurred last month, the strongest was a 2.4 magnitude located 13 miles of Pahaska Tepee that was recorded at 3:08 a.m. on Feb. 2.

Steamboat Geyser had two major water eruptions in the past month, on Feb. 3 and 21. This is typical of winter, when low groundwater levels seem to correlate with longer intervals between Steamboat’s eruptions.

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory provides long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park.

YVO is one of the five USGS Volcano Observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.

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Small Earthquake Shakes Area Near Wright

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

A small earthquake shook parts of northeastern Wyoming earlier this week, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS, on its earthquake reporting website (earthquake.usgs.gov) reported a magnitude 3.6 earthquake occurred about nine miles east of Wright shortly after midnight Tuesday. The epicenter was about 9 miles beneath the surface of the earth.

There were no reports of damage from the earthquake.The earthquake marks Wyoming’s fourth in the last month with a magnitude above 2.5. 

In August, one with a magnitude of 3.3 was reported near Granger in southwest Wyoming.

Another with a magnitude of 2.8 was recorded near Ten Sleep on Sept. 1 and a third with a magnitude of 2.5 was recorded in Yellowstone National Park on Sept. 11.

Swarms of earthquakes with a magnitude of less than 2.5 are frequent in the Yellowstone area.

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