A Light Earthquake Shook Yellowstone Wednesday Morning

A Light Earthquake Shook Yellowstone Wednesday Morning

Written by on May 11, 2022

The earth’s always moving in Yellowstone, but a recent earthquake in the park was intense enough to be measured by the U.S. Geological Survey.

A handful of tourists might have started their day with a good shake. At 7:32 a.m. Wednesday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey detected a light earthquake in Yellowstone National Park.

The quake’s epicenter was near the Sunlight Creek – northeast of Yellowstone Lake and several miles from the East Entrance Road – at a depth of 14 kilometers. However, quaking could have felt as far as Billings, Shell, and Riverton.

Instruments used to monitor geologic activity in Yellowstone registered the quake’s magnitude at 4.2 – a light earthquake. As many as 15,000 quakes of that size are recorded every year.

Courtesy US Geological Survey

Since the quake was far into the Yellowstone wilderness, only 33 people reported feeling it. While 4.0 magnitude earthquakes can easily be felt, they’re only intense enough to knock objects over.

Anyone who feels earthquakes is encouraged to “share their feelings” with the U.S. Geological Survey. These “felt reports” are a valuable citizen science tool for geologists studying the movement of the planet’s surface.

A magnitude 3.9 earthquake was reported in a remote section of Grand Teton National Park last year.

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