Category: Seismic Activity

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Argentina 5.9 Magnitude EQ 11/29/2015 photo Argentina 5.9 mag EQ_zpst6sagbyf.png

USGS     Argentina 5.9 Magnitude EQ 


3 earthquakes in map area

  1. M 4.5 – 80km W of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina

    2015-12-01 07:20:37 UTC 172.4 km

  2. M 5.1 – 67km W of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina

    2015-11-30 14:45:22 UTC 158.9 km

  3. M 5.9 – 17km NW of Yuto, Argentina

    2015-11-29 18:52:49 UTC 9.6 km






Argentina earthquake: Tremor hits Jujuy and Salta near San Salvador

PUBLISHED Sun, November 29, 2015 – 2:09pm EST

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 has struck the provinces of Jujuy and Salta in northwest Argentina, near the city of San Salvador de Jujuy, seismologists say. (more)

The earthquake struck at 3:52 p.m. local time and was centered about 9 kilometers west of Yuto, or 91 kilometers northeast of San Salvador de Jujuy. It struck about 10 kilometers deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to seismologists.

Residents in the region reported feeling the earthquake, but there was no immediate word on damage or casualties.


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International Business Times

Residents from communities near Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano faced a massive cleaning operation on Thursday (19 November) after the volcano erupted, covering houses and fields with smoke and ash. Authorities issued an orange alert as emissions reached 2,500 metres above the crater.

In nearby Queros, one of the most affected communities, officials registered 10kg of ash per square metre.

As he swept the street near his house, resident Luis Vaca said the volcanic material was damaging crops. “Ash is falling everywhere; it’s strong, especially in the countryside where it’s falling more heavily. It’s damaging the crops. It would be good if the president came to visit us,” he said.



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The Economic Collapse

Are You Prepared For The Coming Economic Collapse And The Next Great Depression?

The Ring Of Fire - Photo from Wikipedia

Have you noticed that seismic activity along the Ring of Fire appears to be dramatically increasing?  According to Volcano Discovery, 39 volcanoes around the world have recently erupted, and 32 of them are associated with the Ring of Fire.  This includes Mt. Popocatepetl which sits only about 50 miles away from Mexico City’s 18 million inhabitants.  If you are not familiar with the Ring of Fire, it is an area roughly shaped like a horseshoe that runs along the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean.  Approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and approximately 75 percent of all volcanic eruptions occur along the Ring of Fire.  Just within the last 24 hours, we have witnessed a 4.4, a 5.4 and a 5.7 earthquake in Alaska, a 6.8 earthquake in Chile and 20 earthquakes in Indonesia of at least magnitude 4.3.  And as you will see below, this violent shaking along the Ring of Fire seems to continue a progression of major disasters that began back during the month of September.


For whatever reason, our planet suddenly seems to be waking up.  Unfortunately, the west coast of the United States is one of the areas where this is being felt the most.  The little city of San Ramon, California is about 45 miles east of San Francisco, and over the past several weeks it has experienced a record-breaking 583 earthquakes


A total of 583 small earthquakes have shaken San Ramon, California, in the last three weeks or so – more than five times the record set 12 years ago, according to the latest US Geological Survey updates.


“It’s the swarm with the largest number of total earthquakes in San Ramon,” said USGS scientist David Schwartz, who is more concerned about the size of quakes than he is the total number of them. Still, the number tops the previous record set in 2003, when 120 earthquakes hit over 31 days, with the largest clocking in at a magnitude of 4.2.


Could this be a prelude to a major seismic event in California?


We shall see what happens.


Meanwhile, records are being shattered in the middle part of the country as well.


For instance, the state of Oklahoma has already set a brand new yearly record for earthquakes


The state recorded its 587th earthquake of 3.0 magnitude or higher early this week, breaking the previous record of 585. That record was set for all of 2014, meaning that Oklahoma has now had more 3.0 magnitude or higher earthquakes so far in 2015 than it did in all of 2014. So far this year, E&E News reports, Oklahoma’s averaged 2.5 quakes each day, a rate that, if it continues, means the state could see more than 912 earthquakes by the end of this year.


Oklahoma has also experienced 21 4.0 magnitude or greater earthquakes so far this year — an increase over last year, which saw 14.


And just over this past weekend there was a very disturbing series of earthquakes in the state


Starting with a magnitude-4.1 temblor at 5:11 a.m. close to the Oklahoma-Kansas border, the region experienced a series of six earthquakes within a 75-minute period Saturday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported on its website.


The largest earthquake Saturday morning was the 4.1, which had an epicenter nine miles northwest of Medford, Okla., 59 miles southwest of Wichita.


That was followed by five more quakes near Medford with magnitudes of 2.5, 2.8, 2.5, 3.1 and 2.9 – the last of which came at 6:24 a.m.


A seventh earthquake – this one a magnitude-4.2 temblor – was recorded at 12:29 p.m., 10 miles north-northwest of Medford.


So why aren’t more Americans alarmed that these records are being broken?



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Geophysicists have imaged the magma chambers that blew the lid off Mount St. Helens in its 1980 eruption.

Dean J. Koepfler/MCT/Newscom

Geophysicists have imaged the magma chambers that blew the lid off Mount St. Helens in its 1980 eruption.

Deep magma chambers seen beneath Mount St. Helens

Geoscientists have for the first time revealed the magma plumbing beneath Mount St. Helens, the most active volcano in the Pacific Northwest. The emerging picture includes a giant magma chamber, between 5 and 12 kilometers below the surface, and a second, even larger one, between 12 and 40 kilometers below the surface. The two chambers appear to be connected in a way that could help explain the sequence of events in the 1980 eruption that blew the lid off Mount St. Helens.

So far the researchers only have a two-dimensional picture of the deep chamber. But if they find it extends to the north or south, that would imply that the regional volcanic hazard is more distributed rather than discrete, says Alan Levander, a geophysicist at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a leader of the experiment that is doing the subterranean imaging. “It isn’t a stretch to say that there’s something down there feeding everything,” he adds.

Levander unveiled the results on 3 November at a meeting of the Geological Society of America in Baltimore, Maryland—the first detailed images from the largest-ever campaign to understand the guts of a volcano with geophysical methods. The campaign, “imaging magma under St. Helens” (iMUSH), started in 2014 when researchers stuck 2500 seismometers in the ground on trails and logging roads around the volcano. They then detonated 23 explosive shots, each with the force of a small earthquake. “You’d feel this enormous roll in the ground, and everyone would go, ‘Oh wow’,” Levander says.


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2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 181-7
Presentation Time: 9:35 AM


KISER, Eric1, LEVANDER, Alan2, PALOMERAS, Immaculada1, ZELT, Colin A.1, SCHMANDT, Brandon3, HANSEN, Steven3, HARDER, Steven4, CREAGER, Kenneth5 and VIDALE, John E.5, (1)Earth Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, (2)Earth Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street MS-126, Houston, TX 77005, (3)Earth & Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, (4)Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University Ave., El Paso, TX 79968, (5)Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington, Johnson Hall Rm-070 Box 351310, 4000 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98195,
Seismic investigations following the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens have led to a detailed model of the magmatic and tectonic structure directly beneath the volcano. These studies suffer from limited resolution below ~10 km, making it difficult to estimate the volume of the shallow magma reservoir beneath the volcano, the regions of magma entry into the lower crust, and the connectivity of this magma system throughout the crust. The latter is particularly interesting as one interpretation of the Southern Washington Cascades Conductor (SWCC) suggests that the Mount St Helens and Mount Adams volcanic systems are connected in the crust (Hill et al., 2009).


The multi-disciplinary iMUSH (imaging Magma Under St. Helens) project is designed to investigate these and other fundamental questions associated with Mount St. Helens. Here we present the first high-resolution 2D Vp and Vs models derived from travel-time data from the iMUSH 3D active-source seismic experiment. Significant lateral heterogeneity exists in both the Vp and Vs models. Directly beneath Mount St. Helens we observe a high Vp/Vs body, inferred to be the upper/middle crustal magma reservoir, between 4 and 13 km depth. Southeast of this body is a low Vp column extending from the Moho to approximately 15 km depth. A cluster of low frequency events, typically associated with injection of magma, occurs at the northwestern boundary of this low Vp column. Much of the recorded seismicity between the shallow high Vp/Vs body and deep low Vp column took place in the months preceding and hours following the May 18, 1980 eruption. This may indicate a transient migration of magma between these two reservoirs associated with this eruption.


Outside of the inferred magma bodies that feed Mount St. Helens, we observe several other interesting velocity anomalies. In the lower crust, high Vp features bound the low Vp column. One explanation for these features is the presence of lower crustal cumulates associated with Tertiary ancestral Cascade volcanism. West of Mount St. Helens, high Vp/Vs regions in the upper and middle crust have eastern boundaries that are close to the eastern boundaries of the accreted Siletzia terrain inferred from magnetic data. Finally, a low Vp channel northeast of Mount St. Helens between 14 and 18 km depth correlates well with the location of the SWCC.


Its scarred and jagged crater is a reminder of the terrible devastation that Mount St Helens wrought over the Washington countryside 35 years ago.

Now a new study of the volcanic plumbing lurking beneath the 8,363ft (2,459 metre) summit suggests the volcano could yet again blow its top in an explosive eruption.

Geologists studying the volcano, which is responsible for the most deadly eruption in US history, have discovered a second enormous magma chamber buried far beneath the surface.

The IMUSH project has detected signs that a second larger magma chamber may lie beneath Mount St Helens, filling the chamber directly under the volcano from below (illustrated) through a series of earthquakes. The chamber may also connect Mount St Helens to other nearby volcanoes 

The IMUSH project has detected signs that a second larger magma chamber may lie beneath Mount St Helens, filling the chamber directly under the volcano from below (illustrated) through a series of earthquakes. The chamber may also connect Mount St Helens to other nearby volcanoes

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End Of The American Dream

The American Dream Is Becoming A Nightmare And Life As We Know It Is About To Change

Popocatepetl - from Wikipedia


More than 25 million people live in the vicinity of North America’s 2nd-highest volcano, and in recent weeks this volcano has been steadily rumbling and has been spewing out massive amounts of black smoke and ash.  I have previously written about “the most dangerous mountain in the United States” (Mt. Rainier), but if the volcano that I am talking about today experiences a full-blown explosive eruption it could potentially be a cataclysmic event beyond what most of us would dare to imagine.  Popocatepetl is an Aztec word that means “smoking mountain”, and it is also the name of a giant volcano that sits approximately 50 miles away from Mexico City’s 18 million residents.  “Popo”, as it is called by locals, was dormant for much of the 20th century, but it came back to life in 1994.  And now all of this unusual activity in recent weeks has many wondering if a major eruption may be imminent.

Historians tell us that Popocatepetl had a dramatic impact on the ancient Aztecs.  Giant mud flows produced by massive eruptions covered entire Aztec cities.  In fact, some of these mud flows were so large that they buried entire pyramids in super-heated mud.

But we haven’t witnessed anything like that in any of our lifetimes, so it is hard to even imagine devastation of that magnitude.

In addition to Mexico City’s mammoth population, there are millions of others that live in the surrounding region.  Overall, there are about 25 million people that live in the immediate vicinity of Popocatepetl.  Thankfully, we haven’t seen a major eruption of the volcano in modern times, but at some point that will change.

As most of you already know, Mexico sits on the “Ring of Fire” that stretches along the outer rim of the Pacific Ocean.  Over the past couple of years seismic activity throughout this area has started to really heat up, and according to Volcano Discovery there are dozens of volcanoes associated with the Ring of Fire that have recently erupted.


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NZ Herald

Magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits eastern Indonesia; 39 injured

The quake, which struck at 00:53 a.m. Friday local time, was centered 28 kilometers north of Sorong, a town in Indonesia’s West Papua province.

A 6.6-magnitude quake hit in waters off Indonesia’s easternmost province early Friday, injuring dozens of people, damaging buildings and sending panicked residents fleeing from homes, hotels and even a hospital.

The quake, which struck at 00:53 a.m. Friday (1553 GMT Thursday), was centered 28 kilometers (17 miles) north of Sorong, a town in Indonesia’s West Papua province, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. It occurred at a depth of 24 kilometers (15 miles).

Hundreds of people fled their homes in panic in Sorong and at least 39 people were hurt, mostly with broken bones, said Petrus Korisano from the local disaster mitigation agency in Sorong. Nearly 260 houses and buildings were damaged.

Hundreds of people were evacuated to temporary shelters as authorities surveyed the damage, Korisano told The Associated Press.

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  1. M 4.8 – 29km N of Sorong, Indonesia

    2015-09-25 00:41:11 UTC 38.5 km

  2. M 4.3 – 58km NW of Sorong, Indonesia

    2015-09-24 18:50:23 UTC 52.5 km

  3. M 3.9 – 19km WNW of Sorong, Indonesia

    2015-09-24 16:43:54 UTC 38.7 km

  4. M 6.6 – 28km N of Sorong, Indonesia

    2015-09-24 15:53:28 UTC 24.1 km


Current date and time is: Sep 25, 2015 08:18 UTC

No Tsunami Warnings, Advisories or Watches are in effect


11 earthquakes in map area

7 Days, Magnitude 2.5+
  1. 4.8 29km N of Sorong, Indonesia 2015-09-25 00:41:11 UTC 38.5 km
  2. 4.3 58km NW of Sorong, Indonesia 2015-09-24 18:50:23 UTC 52.5 km
  3. 3.9 19km WNW of Sorong, Indonesia 2015-09-24 16:43:54 UTC 38.7 km
  4. 6.6 28km N of Sorong, Indonesia 2015-09-24 15:53:28 UTC 24.1 km
  5. 4.2 174km SW of Abepura, Indonesia 2015-09-23 14:15:47 UTC 35.5 km
  6. 4.6 140km WNW of Tobelo, Indonesia 2015-09-22 15:51:29 UTC 45.3 km
  7. 4.9 61km SSE of Amahai, Indonesia 2015-09-22 14:45:49 UTC 115.3 km
  8. 5.0 219km W of Abepura, Indonesia 2015-09-21 18:46:32 UTC 38.2 km
  9. 4.7 159km NW of Tobelo, Indonesia 2015-09-20 07:54:31 UTC 47.1 km
  10. 4.9 92km ENE of Nabire, Indonesia 2015-09-19 07:23:47 UTC 43.9 km
  11. 5.0 235km NNW of Tobelo, Indonesia 2015-09-19 00:48:36 UTC 48.9 km


5.6 magnitude earthquake near Aden; UAE not impacted news

5.6 quake near Aden; UAE not impacted

Struck at 8.03am on Tuesday

A 5.6-magintude earthquake struck the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday morning, with authorities confirming the UAE was not impacted by any seismic activity.

The incident occurred at 8.03am UAE time, with the head of the country’s seismology centre telling ‘Emirates24|7’, the epicentre of the tremblor was 10 kilometres deep in the Gulf of Aden, the body of water between Yemen and Somalia.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) posted the epicentre was near Qalansiyah, Socotra Island, Yemen.

“The 5.6-magnitude tremblor is what we call a moderate earthquake, which are regular occurrences in the Gulf of Aden,” said Khamis Al Shamsi from the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS).

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Fracking-linked earthquakes likely to worsen – seismologists

Published time: May 02, 2014 03:40

David McNew / Getty Images / AFP

David McNew / Getty Images / AFP

Ongoing hydraulic fracking operations will only exacerbate seismic activity, leading to heightened earthquakes in areas where wastewater is injected deep underground, according to new research.

To unleash natural gas, hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – requires large volumes of water, sand, and chemicals to be pumped underground. Scientists attending the Seismological Society of America (SSA) annual meeting said Thursday that this storage of wastewater in wells deep below the earth’s surface, in addition to fracking’s other processes, is changing the stress on existing faults, which could mean more frequent and larger quakes in the future.

Researchers previously believed quakes that resulted from fracking could not exceed a magnitude of 5.0, though stronger seismic events were recorded in 2011 around two heavily drilled areas in Colorado and Oklahoma.

“This demonstrates there is a significant hazard,” said Justin Rubinstein, a research geophysicist at the US Geological Survey (USGS), according to TIME magazine. “We need to address ongoing seismicity.”

Not all of the more than 30,000 fracking disposal wells are linked to quakes, but an accumulating body of evidence associates an uptick in seismic activity to fracking developments amid the current domestic energy boom.

The amount of toxic wastewater injected into the ground seems to provide some clarity as to what causes the earthquakes. A single fracking operation uses two to five million gallons of water, according to reports, but much more wastewater ends up in a disposal well.


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By Reuters

Earthquakes rattled residents in Oklahoma on Saturday, the latest in a series that have put the state on track for record quake activity this year, which some seismologists say may be tied to oil and gas exploration.

One earthquake recorded at 3.8 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey rocked houses in several communities around central Oklahoma at 7:42 a.m. local time.

Another about two hours earlier in the same part of the state, north of Oklahoma City, was recorded at 2.9 magnitude, USGS said.

Root issue: Seismologists believe the quakes may be tied to oil and gas exploration

Root issue: Seismologists believe the quakes may be tied to oil and gas exploration


Those two were preceded by two more, at 2.6 magnitude, and 2.5 magnitude, that also rolled the landscape in central Oklahoma early Saturday morning.

A 3.0 magnitude tremor struck late Friday night in that area as well, following a 3.4 magnitude hit Friday afternoon.

The quakes have set record levels of seismic activity through the state

The quakes have set record levels of seismic activity through the state


Austin Holland, a seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey who tracks earthquake activity for the USGS, said the earthquake activity in the state is soaring.

‘We have had almost as many magnitude 3 and greater already in 2014 than we did for all of 2013,’ Holland said.


Last year’s number of ‘felt’ earthquakes – those strong enough to rattle items on a shelf – hit a record 222 in the state. This year, less than four months into the year, the state has recorded 253 such tremors, according to state seismic data.


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Yellowstone: M 4.7 Earthquake , 37km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana – 13 EQ ranging in Magnitude from 2.5 to 4.7 in the last 5 days 3/31/2014

 photo MontanaYellowstone-48MagEQ3302014_zps98c00d38.png

13 earthquakes in map area

  1. M 3.1 – 35km NNE of Old Faithful Geyser, Wyoming

     2014-03-31 23:32:45 UTC-05:00 3.6 km

  2. M 2.7 – 33km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-30 12:37:31 UTC-05:00 5.1 km

  3. M 3.3 – 32km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-30 10:12:24 UTC-05:00 6.0 km

  4. M 3.1 – 32km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-30 10:07:49 UTC-05:00 6.6 km

  5. M 2.9 – 33km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-30 08:56:41 UTC-05:00 3.9 km

  6. M 3.6 – 34km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-30 08:30:52 UTC-05:00 4.4 km

  7. M 4.7 – 37km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-30 07:34:39 UTC-05:00 5.6 km

  8. M 2.5 – 35km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-30 07:18:58 UTC-05:00 3.6 km

  9. M 3.4 – 35km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-30 05:36:25 UTC-05:00 3.9 km

  10. M 2.8 – 36km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-30 01:23:48 UTC-05:00 1.5 km

  11. M 2.5 – 30km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-26 20:24:06 UTC-05:00 6.2 km

  12. M 3.5 – 30km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-26 18:59:00 UTC-05:00 4.5 km

  13. M 3.0 – 30km ENE of West Yellowstone, Montana

     2014-03-26 14:14:36 UTC-05:00 6.4 km


 Huffington Post Green

Yellowstone National Park Hit By Magnitude 4.8 Earthquake

Posted: 03/31/2014 8:51 am EDT Updated: 03/31/2014 8:59 am EDT

By Laura Zuckerman

March 30 (Reuters) – Yellowstone National Park, which sits atop one of the world’s largest super-volcanoes, was struck on Sunday by a magnitude 4.8 earthquake, the biggest recorded there since February 1980, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported.

The tremor, a relatively light event by seismic standards, struck the northwest corner of the park and capped a flurry of smaller quakes at Yellowstone since Thursday, geologists at the University of Utah Seismograph Stations said in a statement.

The latest earthquake struck at 6:34 a.m. near the Norris Geyser Basin and was felt about 23 miles (37 km) away in two small Montana towns adjacent to year-around entrances to the park – Gardiner and West Yellowstone.

The national park spans 3,472 square miles (8,992 square km) of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, and draws about 3 million visitors each year to its iconic geysers and wildlife attractions, including bison.

A U.S. Geological Survey team planned to tour the Norris Geyser Basin on Sunday to determine if the quake altered any of Yellowstone’s geothermal features, such as geysers, mud pots and hot springs.


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Instrumental Intensity

ShakeMap Intensity Image



Recent Earthquakes in the Intermountain West

Yellowstone National Park Special Map

Special Map

get updated list here


Update time = Sun Mar 30 18:00:04 MDT 2014
Here are the earthquakes appearing on this map, most recent at top …

        y/m/d     h:m:s     deg     deg     km
 3.3  2014/03/30 09:12:24 44.777N 110.723W  6.0   29 km (18 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 3.1  2014/03/30 09:07:49 44.770N 110.720W  6.6   30 km (18 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 2.5  2014/03/30 07:56:40 44.770N 110.714W  7.7   30 km (18 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 3.1  2014/03/30 07:30:52 44.772N 110.698W  4.5   29 km (18 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 4.8  2014/03/30 06:34:39 44.778N 110.683W  6.8   29 km (18 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 3.0  2014/03/30 04:36:25 44.786N 110.690W  1.6   28 km (17 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 2.8  2014/03/30 00:23:48 44.785N 110.681W  1.5   28 km (17 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 0.5  2014/03/28 09:41:43 44.825N 110.781W  3.1   24 km (15 mi) SSW of  Gardiner, MT
 2.0  2014/03/28 05:37:16 44.839N 110.513W  7.1   27 km (17 mi) SE  of  Gardiner, MT
 1.9  2014/03/26 18:58:40 44.808N 110.773W  4.3   26 km (16 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 2.2  2014/03/26 18:20:59 44.800N 110.772W  4.1   27 km (17 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 1.5  2014/03/26 18:11:57 44.821N 110.774W  2.0   24 km (15 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 2.0  2014/03/26 18:00:10 44.799N 110.774W  3.9   27 km (17 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 3.5  2014/03/26 17:59:00 44.801N 110.778W  4.5   27 km (17 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 3.0  2014/03/26 13:14:36 44.804N 110.772W  6.4   26 km (16 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 1.4  2014/03/24 12:06:51 44.246N 110.444W  3.6   70 km (43 mi) SE  of  West Yellowstone, MT
 1.7  2014/03/24 05:21:37 44.778N 110.774W  7.5   29 km (18 mi) S   of  Gardiner, MT
 1.1  2014/03/23 22:55:22 44.574N 110.410W  2.7   56 km (35 mi) E   of  West Yellowstone, MT



Ancient helium rising to the surface in Yellowstone National Park

Feb. 20, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Steam plumes rise above thermal features at Yellowstone National Park. The U.S. Geological Survey determined the famed national park was releasing hundreds — if not thousands — of times more helium than anticipated. Credit: Ken McGee/U.S. Geological Survey

MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 20 (UPI) — Helium, trapped underground for 2 billion years, is bubbling to the surface from steam vents and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, U.S. researchers say.Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey say the park, located mostly in Wyoming, was releasing hundreds, even possible thousands, of times more of the ancient helium than previously thought, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

About 60 tons are being release each year, enough helium to fill one Goodyear blimp every week, researchers said in a report published in the journal Nature.

Volcanic activity beginning about 2 million years ago initiated the release, they said.

That counts as a “sudden” release compared with how long the helium has been trapped within the Earth’s surface, study coauthor Bill Evans, a research chemist at the USGS office in Menlo Park, Calif., said.



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