Monthly update of activity at Yellowstone Volcano for November 1, 2022
November is Native American Heritage Month. Mike Poland, scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, talks about Indigenous peoples in the Yellowstone region and describes Yellowstone’s recent seismic, deformation, and geyser activity in this November 1, 2022 monthly update.
The update comes to you from Nez Perce Creek in Yellowstone National Park. The creek was named after a Nez Perce band fighting a running battle with the U.S. Army in the late 1870s. The band crossed Yellowstone in an attempt to escape to Canada.
One of the myths about Yellowstone is that people weren’t in the area until recently. This is not true. Archeological evidence shows that people were in the park for at least the past 11,000 years. They were using resources like obsidian to make arrowheads and other artifacts that have been found as far away as the Ohio River valley.
Another myth is that Indigenous people were afraid of Yellowstone. This is not true either. While most people left the area during harsh winters, there was one group that stayed year-round, a tribe of Shoshoni called the Sheepeaters. Much of what they needed to survive was derived from mountain bighorn sheep.
These myths are being corrected, thanks to archeological evidence and Indigenous knowledge.
During the month of October, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations located 334 earthquakes. The trends in ground deformation continue without significant change. Vertical deformation at the White Lake and the Old Faithful GPS stations show subsidence of about two to three centimeters or about one inch every year, interrupted in summer months by a pause in the subsidence or even a slight amount of uplift caused by groundwater soaking into the subsurface. There has been little net deformation over the past two years in the Norris Geyser Basin. There were no water eruptions of Steamboat Geyser in October.
Yellowstone Volcano remains at normal, background levels of activity. For questions, email email@example.com.