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A busy, but typical geological month at Yellowstone Park


YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (KIFI/KIDK)-There were 1,718 earthquakes located in the Yellowstone region during 2020.  The USGS Yellowstone Volcano Observatory says that is about usual for the region.  Yellowstone usually records between 1,500 and 2,500 earthquakes every year.   

Steamboat Geyser was active through the year and there were two water eruptions during the past month.  One happened on December 11 and the other on December 20.   There were 48 eruptions of the geyser last year, equaling a record set in 2019.  

During December,2020 the University of Utah Seismology located 292 earthquakes in the Yellowstone Park region. The largest was a minor quake of 2.6 magnitude, about 9 miles north-northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana on December 8.

Three earthquake swarms were detected in December including one of 148 earthquakes near the middle of Yellowstone Lake on December 6, another of 37 quakes on December 7, about 5 miles north of West Thumb, and a third of 48 earthquakes on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, also about 5 miles north of West Thumb.

USGS considers that level of activity “background levels.”

The USGS’ Yellowstone Volcano Observatory provides long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone region. 

The University of Utah Seismograph Station is responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network.

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