Sometimes, yes. A few large regional earthquakes (greater than magnitude 6) are considered to be related to a subsequent eruption or to some type of unrest at a nearby volcano. However, volcanoes can only be triggered into eruption by nearby tectonic earthquakes if they are already poised to erupt. This requires two conditions to be met:
- Enough "eruptible" magma within the volcanic system.
- Significant pressure within the magma storage region.
If those conditions exist, it's possible that large tectonic earthquakes might cause dissolved gases to come out of the magma (like a shaken soda bottle), increasing the pressure and possibly leading to an eruption.
- What's with all these earthquakes? And will they affect Yellowstone?
- Can a nuclear blast trigger a Yellowstone eruption? No. But how about an earthquake? Also no.
- Monitoring Volcano Seismicity Provides Insight to Volcanic Structures