YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Despite hundreds of tiny earthquakes that have shaken Yellowstone National Park this year, speculation about a massive volcanic eruption in the offing is largely off base, a geologist says.
"I really don't see any indication that eruption is imminent," Wayne Hamilton, a research geologist for the park, said. "And, believe me, I have a personal interest in this. I live here."
About 600,000 years ago, an eruption rocked the Yellowstone area, sending dozens of cubic miles of lava into the air. By comparison, the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington produced less than one cubic mile of lava.
"If another event like the one that happened 600,000 years ago occurred, Bozeman (Mont.) wouldn't have to worry; Bozeman would be wiped off the face of the Earth," Hamilton said recently.