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Earthquakes in Yellowstone: ‘Elevated but not unusual’

File photo of Norris Geyser Basin, near the epicenter of the magnitude 4.8 earthquake that rattled Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming on March 30, 2014.  Photo by Jim Peaco / National Park Service / November 22, 2013.  Via LA Times.

File photo of Norris Geyser Basin, near the epicenter of the magnitude 4.8 earthquake that rattled Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming on March 30, 2014. Photo by Jim Peaco / National Park Service.

In recent weeks, there’s been a flurry of news about the volcanic system that lies beneath Yellowstone National Park. March 2014 saw swarms of earthquakes there, with 332 earthquakes striking Yellowstone in March. The largest event was a 4.8-magnitude quake on March 30. The U.S. Geological Survey has now commented, saying:

With the latest swarms, earthquakes are elevated, but are not unusual for Yellowstone.

Astounding photos of marine worms, some previously unknown to science

Photo by Alexander Semenov

Photo by Alexander Semenov

Alexander Semenov photographed 222 different worm species, which are now in the process of being studied and documented by scientists. See photos.

Throat of Fire volcano in Ecuador erupts explosively

Ash cloud from Tungurahua volcano, by Daya Camacho, via @tweet_quake on Twitter.

Ash cloud from Tungurahua volcano, by Daya Camacho, via @tweet_quake on Twitter.

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupted powerfully and explosively on Friday (April 4, 2014), sending a 6-mile (10-km) column of ash skyward. AP reports that the initial five-minute explosion shot hot gas and rock onto the volcano’s northern and northwestern flanks.

Another powerful earthquake rocks northern Chile

Location of the 8.0 Earthquake on April 1, 2014. Image Credit: USGS

Location of the 7.6-magnitude earthquake in northern Chile on April 2-3, 2014. Image via USGS

For the second time in two days, a powerful earthquake has struck off the west coast of northern Chile. Today’s quake was 7.6 magnitude. It’s considered an aftershock of the 8.2-magnitude quake on April 1.

Tsunami warning issued after 8.2 quake in Chile

Location of the 8.0 Earthquake on April 1, 2014. Image Credit: USGS

Location of the 8.2 Earthquake on April 1, 2014. Image Credit: USGS

A massive earthquake has hit off the coast of Chile. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake hit today (April 1) around 7:46 PM EDT or around 23:46:45 UTC. The quake registered as a preliminary 8.0, but was upgraded to a 8.2. What does a 8.0 earthquake mean? It means it has so much energy that it is roughly equivalent of releasing over 6 million tons of TNT. Quakes with intensity higher than 8.0 are extremely rare, and usually occurs once a year on average.

Aurora alert for April 1 and 2

If you live at a high latitude, be alert for a good display of auroras, or northern lights, beginning late tonight (April 1, 2014) and into tomorrow night. NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on April 2. Video shows the X-flare that took place on Saturday, March 29. One of the incoming CMEs is from this flare.

Tropical Cyclone Hellen crushing parts of Madagascar

Cyclone Hellen as an intense Category 4 storm off the coast of Madagascar on March 29, 2014. Image Credit: NASA

Cyclone Hellen as an intense Category 4 storm off the coast of Madagascar on March 29, 2014. Image via NASA

The fast intensification of Tropical Cyclone Hellen led to the following statements from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the Meteo France Tropical Cyclone Centre:

“HELLEN IS LIKELY TO BE ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL TROPICAL CYCLONES EVER SEEN OVER THE NORTHERN CHANNEL SINCE THE SATELLITE ERA (1967).”

4.8-magnitude earthquake in Yellowstone Park on March 30

The landscape of Yellowstone National Park is a manifestation of a hotspot below the crust of the Earth.  It is riddled with fault lines, hot springs and geysers, making it among the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S.  Image via Wikipedia.

The landscape of Yellowstone National Park is a manifestation of a hotspot below the crust of the Earth. Its hot springs and geysers make it among the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S. It is also riddled with fault lines, and earthquakes do occur. Image via Wikipedia.

A 4.8-magnitude earthquake lightly shook Yellowstone National Park earlier today. Eric Klemetti of Wired’s Eruptions blog said on Twitter:

Looks like it occurred north, outside the modern caldera boundary. Remember, the Yellowstone area is riddled with faults.

Top 10 things you might not know about stars

The sun in extreme ultraviolet, false color green

The sun in extreme ultraviolet, false color green

Here’s a collection of 10 unexpected, intriguing facts about the stars of our universe – including our sun – that you probably didn’t know!

What causes landslides?

The Oso, Washington mudslide as viewed from the air on March 24, 2014.  Photo by Ted S. Warren via the Concord Monitor.

The Oso, Washington mudslide as viewed from the air on March 24, 2014. Photo by Ted S. Warren via the Concord Monitor.

The death toll rose to 24 on Wednesday, March 26, in the devastating mudslide that demolished the village of Oso in Washington state last weekend. Hundreds of emergency responders and volunteers have been burrowing through tons of mud, crushed homes and twisted cars in the search for survivors and bodies. In the wake of this tragedy, Deanna Connors explores the natural forces at work to create landslides and mudslides.