Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Monthly Update: February 3, 2020

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Detailed Description

Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, gives an overview of activity at Yellowstone during January 2020.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:40

Location Taken: WY, US

Video Credits

Video edited by Liz Westby


- Hi everybody. I'm Mike Poland, the Scientist in Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, and I'm here with the update for February 2020. When we talk about what happened in Yellowstone over the past month. It was actually a pretty quiet January in Yellowstone. Wasn't that much in terms of seismicity and deformation trends really just continued what we've been seeing over the past several months. Seismically, the University of Utah, only located 41 earthquakes in the Yellowstone region. None of them were greater than magnitude three, and there was no swarm activity either. So in terms of earthquakes, we typically see about 100 or more earthquakes located every month. So quite below average in terms of earthquake activity in the park. Deformation wise, I wanted to first show you what's happening in the Caldera. These two GPS stations show what's happening in terms of up and down. Vertical deformation at a station that's over on the Sour Creek Resurgent Dome on the east side of the park, and near Old Faithful, on the Mallard Lake Dome on the west side of the Caldera. Both of these show downward trends. Meaning that there's been subsistence happening in both places. These show over the last two years, and that subsistence has basically been continuing with minor seasonal fluctuations. This is deformation that's been happening in the Norris area. Norris Geyser Basin, and again vertical, over the past two years. There hasn't been a whole lot of change over the past two years, except you can see just in September of 2019, and since that time we've actually seen subsistence at Norris too. The whole area has gone down by about three centimeters. That downward trend continuing now. So the whole area of Yellowstone is now subsiding, on the order of just a few centimeters per year. Since September in the Norris area, and since 2015, in the rest of the Caldera. Finally let's talk about our favorite geyser, Steamboat, located in the Norris Geyser Basin. During the month of January, it had two water eruptions. One on January 9th and the other on January 23rd. This plot here shows the temperature of water coming out of Steamboat, and you can see these spikes on the 9th and the 23rd. Those are related to major water eruptions at the Geyser. We had one more that occurred very late on February 1st. Three eruptions so far in 2020. Two in January and one so far at the very beginning of February. Well that does it for the February 2020 update for YVO. If you have any questions, remember you can always feel free to email us at ywowebteam, all one word, Thanks very much, and we'll see you next month.