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Yellowstone region has high earthquake probability

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm •  Published: August 17, 2014

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — A new U.S. Geological Survey report indicates a slightly greater earthquake hazard in the Greater Yellowstone region of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho than previously thought, a geophysicist says.

"The new maps show how Yellowstone has had a relative increase in the hazard," University of Utah geophysicist Bob Smith said. "It's not a lot — it's like 5 to 10 percent of peak acceleration."

The USGS map of seismic hazards also shows that the region is as seismically hazardous as anywhere in the United States.

"It's an area of well-above-normal earthquake hazard," Smith said. "And now with all the population going in — all the new roads and dams — also high risk."

A seasonal Moose resident, Smith was an advisory review member for the USGS report.

The nationwide USGS hazard maps and adjoining documents were last updated in 2006, he told the Jackson Hole News & Guide (

The federal document has more real-world implications than most scientific studies because it is used to determine building codes and dictates how robustly buildings must be constructed.

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