The Yellowstone National Park is one of the most seismic regions in the United States. Last year, the USGS recorded a staggering 1,718 earthquakes in total at Yellowstone. While the seismic activity may seem a huge amount, it is actually fairly low.

Earthquake swarms are common in the area, so experts are never too concerned when the ground shakes in the park.

According to the USGS, the average amount of earthquakes in Yellowstone in a year are between 1,500 and 2,500.

By the USGS’s reckoning, last year’s total was actually on the lower end of the average scale.

So while 2020 was a bad year, we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief in the fact Yellowstone looks calm.

The USGS said: “Overall, seismicity in the Yellowstone area during 2020 was distinctly normal.

“There were 1,718 earthquakes located in the region, which is on the low side of the average 1,500 to 2,500 events per year.

“In fact, 2020 was the third year in a row with less than 2000 located earthquakes.

“The largest earthquake of the year was a three-way tie, with M3.1 events occurring in March, May, and November, all in the area between Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park and Hebgen Lake, Montana.

READ MORE: Yellowstone: ‘Explosive’ magma pinpointed by USGS

As Yellowstone is packed full of molten rock, an eruption would eject all of this, leaving the area below hollow.

This would cause the ground to collapse in on itself and create another caldera – a depression near the mouth of the volcano.

However, with so much ejection of ash and debris, the consequences would be felt across the world.

Debris and ash would make its way into the atmosphere, slowly circling the entire globe.

This would block out the Sun’s light, causing temperatures to plummet, in what is known as a volcanic winter.

Ultimately, this would lead to food shortages across the globe as crops would struggle to grow in the new climate which could realistically last for decades.

Good news then, the USGS said: “Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) has not detected signs of activity that suggest an eruption is imminent.”



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