Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

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Date published: November 12, 2018

The Misadventures of E.C. Waters -- the man and the boat!

"E.C. Waters, president of the Yellowstone Lake Boat Company, having rendered himself obnoxious during the season of 1907, is...debarred from the park and will not be allowed to return without permission in writing from the Secretary of the Interior or the superintendent of the park."

(Posted by Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Samuel Young in 1907)

Date published: November 5, 2018

Check out research in Yellowstone's Upper Geyser Basin this week—LIVE!

Have you ever witnessed an Old Faithful Geyser eruption and wondered how it works? What hidden underground environment causes thousands of gallons of water to burst skyward? Why does the geyser behave so faithfully? And how does the geologic history of the Upper Geyser Basin play a role in the extraordinary geyser activity we see today?

Date published: October 29, 2018

The USGS volcano threat assessment -- how was it determined, and what does it mean for Yellowstone

Last week, the USGS released an updated threat assessment for US volcanoes. The first assessment was published in 2005. The 2018 update refined the original assessment by accounting for new research & observations over the past 13 years. Some volcanoes moved up...

Date published: October 24, 2018

Volcanic Threat Assessment help prioritize risk reduction efforts at U.S. volcanoes.

The USGS assesses active and potentially active volcanoes in the U.S., focusing on history, hazards and the exposure of people, property and infrastructure to harm during the next eruption.

Date published: October 22, 2018

Playing telephone with Miss Information

Have you ever played a game of telephone? Where one person says something to their neighbor, and the message is passed from person to person? The lesson is that by the time it gets to the last person, the message has often changed significantly—sometimes to the point where the original meaning has been lost!

Date published: October 15, 2018

"Shocking" stories about measuring deformation in Yellowstone

About 30 kilometers west of the Yellowstone National Park boundary, in Idaho, UNAVCO* field engineer Tom Lyman surveys the damage at GPS station P361 on Sawtell Peak. This site is important, not only because it is located close to active faults in the Yellowstone region,...

Date published: October 8, 2018

Yellowstone's rivers—the key to monitoring hydrothermal activity

We often talk about monitoring Yellowstone. To most people, this implies tracking earthquake activity over time, or how the ground moves up and down, or how temperatures change due to thermal activity. But did you know that the river systems are also monitored? It turns out that tracking changes in river chemistry is a good way to identify overall changes in Yellowstone's hydrothermal system...

Date published: October 1, 2018

Hydrothermal explosions in Yellowstone National Park

One of the most common questions asked of YVO is "when is the next big one?" This is an interesting question, given the multiple potential natural hazards that exist at Yellowstone. Big earthquake? Big lava flow? Big explosion?

Date published: September 24, 2018

Changes are afoot in Yellowstone's Upper Geyser Basin!

In about 500 BCE, Heraclitus of Ephesus declared "life is flux." Today, we know the saying better as, "the only constant is change." This is true of life -- and also of hydrothermal systems.

Date published: September 17, 2018

One of scientists' best tools for tracking ground deformation was designed to do something else

More often than not, unforeseen outcomes are bad news. Requiring a complex password is intended to make your password more secure. And it is – unless you write it down because you can't remember it.

Date published: September 10, 2018

Studying Yellowstone's thermal areas from the air

In a previous Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles article, we discussed using satellite thermal infrared remote sensing to study the thousands of thermal features that are spread out across Yellowstone National Park.