A magnitude-5.8 earthquake hit western Montana early this morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Related to Yellowstone? Perhaps not.
The earthquake struck five miles (9 km) southeast of Lincoln, Montana, the USGS said on its website.
It was “the strongest earthquake to hit Montana in more than half a century,” The Spokesman-Review reported.
People felt the tremor hundreds of miles away, from Spokane to Billings and parts of other neighboring states, even into Canada.
Several aftershocks with more than 4.0 magnitudes were reported by the USGS.
Mike Stickney, seismologist at the Earthquake Studies Office, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology on the Montana Tech campus in Butte, said the quake was probably the strongest in Montana since October 1964.
Connected to Yellowstone supervolcano?
The quake’s epicenter was located some 230 miles from Yellowstone National Park, leading some to wonder if it was connected to the Yellowstone supervolcano.
The recent swarm of 1,100 earthquakes at Yellowstone added to the wonder.
However, Stickney said he “does not believe” the quake is seismically tied to the recent “swarm” of smaller earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park area.
The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory’s most recent volcano alert level is listed as normal, dampening fears of a supervolcanic eruption.
Thanks to Mountainweb Harry and many others for this link