Earthquake trackers located around the Yellowstone volcano and national park area have had a busy time in March. A total of 105 earthquakes rocked the Yellowstone region last month, including three “major water eruptions” of the world-famous Steamboat Geyser. Although the activity is within the norms of Yellowstone’s monthly output, many people live in fear the US supervolcano is overdue for another major eruption.
Yellowstone’s three biggest volcanic blasts went off about 2.1 million, 1.3 million and 640,000 years ago, leading some people to think the volcano erupts like clockwork.
Although the fears are unfounded, social media is rife with claims Yellowstone is a ticking time bomb waiting to take the world by surprise.
The past three eruptions are estimated to have blanketed much of the western half of North America in ash and volcanic debris.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the eruptions deposited material “a third of a meter deep several hundred kilometres” from the volcano, and centimetres thick even farther out.
Will this happen again any time soon? That is very unlikely but people are still needlessly worried about Yellowstone.
One Twitter user said: “I’ve decided to live my life with the knowledge that we’re 30,000 years overdue for the Yellowstone volcano eruption so I might as well have fun.”
Another person said: “Currently thinking about how the Yellowstone volcano is overdue for an eruption and when it does erupt it’ll destroy the entire continental US.”
And a third person said: “At any moment the Yellowstone supervolcano could erupt and we’d all die.”
But if the USGS does not believe the US supervolcano is overdue for another blast, why have there been so many earthquakes in the region last month?
The US supervolcano experiences anywhere up to 3,000 earthquakes each year, many of which hit in the form of earthquake swarms.
March 2021 has been a fairly busy month with 105 tremors, of which 12 hit in a swarm between March 9 and 16.
The USGS said: “The largest event was a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.4 located 16 miles southeast of Mammoth, WY, on March 3 at 2.31pm MST.
“A small swarm of 12 earthquakes, with magnitudes between -0.1 and 1.8, was recorded in the area of Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, during March 9 to 16.