Seismologists with the U.S. Geological Survey have confirmed a quake that struck near Livingston this morning was the largest Montana has seen in about a year.

U.S.G.S. reports the quake measured 4.1 magnitude and was recorded at 12:28 Monday afternoon. The epicenter was generally north of town, between Livingston and Clyde Park.

Although the quake was relatively shallow at 5 kilometers, the number of people reporting they've felt the shaking was relatively localized, with reports stretching north of the Bridger Range, and west into the Gallatin Valley past Bozeman and as far as Manhattan. A few reports came in from Sweetgrass County, Paradise Valley, and Virginia City.

USGS via Montana State University
USGS via Montana State University

The earthquake is the largest in about a year in Montana. Last year, a 4.1 magnitude quake was recorded near Hysham. 8-months ago, a 4.2 magnitude quake happened near Cody, Wyoming. Three years ago, three different quakes happened near Manhattan, all measuring more than 4 magnitude.

The two largest quakes in the region were much larger than today's shake. In July 2017, a 5.8 magnitude quake woke up the residents of Lincoln, causing some property damage. That fault remained very active until recently. And while not in Montana, a 6.5 magnitude quake near Challis, Idaho was felt across West Central and Southwest Montana, rattling our confidence in the early weeks of the pandemic in Spring 2020.

A series of quakes have happened in the Flathead Basin over the past 6-months. But all were of a lesser magnitude. Hundreds of earthquakes happen every year in Yellowstone National Park because of the geothermal activity in the region.

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