Montana Public Radio

Earthquakes

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A large earthquake struck north of Boise, Idaho, Tuesday evening, with people across a large area reporting shaking.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the magnitude 6.5 temblor struck just before 5 p.m. It was centered 73 miles (118 kilometers) northeast of Meridian, Idaho, near the rural mountain town of Stanley.

Yellowstone National Park is famous for its explosive geysers, bubbling mud pots and psychedelic hot springs. Some visitors don’t realize it’s all part of a very large, active volcanic system. Others worry it’s going to erupt at any moment. Michael Poland, the Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, busts some myths and shares what’s really happening below the surface.

Old Faithful Geyser
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park took to Facebook today to tamp down ongoing speculation that a cataclysmic seismic event is imminent.

USGS map showing the areas shaken by Thursday's earthquake.
USGS

From bar stools to bed frames, hundreds of Montanans felt the magnitude 5.8 earthquake early Thursday morning that originated a few miles southeast of Lincoln.

Listen to the audio to hear what the quake’s seismograph reading sounds like. Thanks to French geologist Anthony Lomax for tweeting this audio file, produced by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.

USGS Community Intensity Map shows where the earthquake was felt.
USGS

Updated 5:20 a.m. 07/06/17:

Some Montanans were shaken awake at about 12:30 am by an earthquake with an epicenter about six miles south-east of Lincoln.

Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist with the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado said, "the magnitude on the quake was a magnitude 5.8, and it occurred at a depth of about 13 kilometers, which is a little over 6 miles."

Location of the earthquakes that are part of the swarm as of June 19, 2017 at 13:30 MDT (red symbols).
Courtesy University of Utah Seismograph Stations

Geologists in Yellowstone National Park have now detected more than 500 earthquakes in the past week. The ongoing earthquake swarm is one of the larger ones the park has seen.

Yellowstone typically sees between 1,500 and 2,000 earthquakes a year. About half of those will occur during a swarm, like the one going on now in the northwest corner of the park.

Free Heel and Wheel in West Yellowstone
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

Earthquakes continue to shake the area west of Yellowstone National Park today. A sequence of about 30 earthquakes magnitude 2 and larger have hit the area since Monday.

Yesterday a 4.5 magnitude quake occurred in a backcountry area at 6:48 PM, near West Yellowstone. 

Public Domain

Wednesday morning, an estimated 150-thousand Montanans will dive under their desks, for the Great Montana ShakeOut, the state’s annual earthquake drill. The fact that Montana has earthquake drills at all probably comes as a surprise to some, according to Michael Stickney, director of the state’s Earthquake Studies Office at Montana Tech in Butte.

Reveal for June 2015

Jun 10, 2015

06/14/2015 - The Bakken and Oklahoma earthquakes are explored.