Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

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Date published: May 25, 2020

Aftershocks? Swarm? What is the difference, and what do they mean?

In Yellowstone, we often talk about earthquake swarms.  But especially in recent weeks, we’ve also discussed aftershock sequences.  What is the difference?  And what to these different types of seismic events mean?

Date published: May 4, 2020

New geochemical tool reveals origin of Yellowstone's deep nitrogen

In the air we breathe, Oxygen plays an obvious and important role, but it is not the most abundant gas in the atmosphere. That honor belongs to nitrogen. But where did this nitrogen come from? And how much nitrogen is there deep within the Earth? It turns out that measurements at Yellowstone are helping to address these questions and others!

Date published: April 27, 2020

Science with eyes wide open: A tribute to Ken Pierce

Have you ever tried to keep track of all the pieces while playing 3-dimensional chess? Imagine if the 4th dimension—time—was included, and the goal was to understand the evolution of the entire Greater Yellowstone Geoecosystem! That's an apt analogy for the 55-year research career of USGS Scientist Emeritus Ken Pierce.

Date published: April 13, 2020

The origin story for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

Before YVO's founding, research had been conducted on the volcanism and tectonics of the Yellowstone region since the 1960s by the University of Utah, U.S. Geological Survey and Yellowstone National Park. A meeting in the year 2000 spurred a fruitful conversation, and by 2001 the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory was born.

Date published: April 6, 2020

What's with all these earthquakes? And will they affect Yellowstone?

First, there was the March 18, 2020, magnitude 5.7 (M5.7) earthquake near Salt Lake City. And then there was the M6.5 earthquake in central Idaho on March 31. What's with all of these quakes? And will they affect Yellowstone? 

Date published: March 30, 2020

How a thermophilic bacterium from a Yellowstone hot spring is helping the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

We can look back to research describing microbes in Yellowstone hot springs to see how fundamental explorative scientific research is an amazing benefit to humankind.

Date published: March 23, 2020

Geysers—what exactly are they made of?

Today, we shed light on what makes up geyser cones.

Date published: March 16, 2020

Gassy precursors for geyser eruptions?

Our search for eruption precursors focused on gas emissions at Steamboat Geyser. We made repeated measurements over time to look for sudden changes in gas emissions preceding a geyser eruption.

Date published: March 9, 2020

What's Going on Under Norris Geyser Basin?

If there were an Olympic medal for hydrothermal systems, Norris Geyser Basin would bring home the gold.

Date published: March 2, 2020

The roads less traveled in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

What values do these road-less areas offer for science, for recreation, for wildlife? As public land owners, we all shape the future of the  Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and other wild landscapes.

Date published: February 24, 2020

Caldera systems—a worldwide family that is more than just Yellowstone!

Did you know that there are similar caldera systems spread across the globe? And many of these are far more volcanically active than Yellowstone!