Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

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Date published: January 20, 2020

Earthquakes in and around Yellowstone: How often do they occur?

The U.S. Geological Survey produces seismic hazard maps for the United States and the 2018 nationwide long-term assessment shows that the Yellowstone region has some of the highest seismic hazard values in the Intermountain West.

Date published: January 13, 2020

The complicated plumbing of hot springs and steam vents in Yellowstone National Park

Exploration and sampling of Yellowstone's thermal areas indicates that Yellowstone's hot springs often have surprisingly complex plumbing systems. It is not uncommon to find hot spring pools, which have one type of chemistry, and steam vents, which have totally different chemistry, located in close proximity—or even occupying the same space! Learn what happens when these mix or overlap.

Date published: January 6, 2020

Yellowstone—the year 2019 in review

Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week's contribution is...

Date published: December 30, 2019

How do we know so much about Yellowstone deformation? Let's ask DZ!

Today, we'll pay homage to one of the scientists that made these discoveries: Dr. Daniel Dzurisin, who retires at the end of this week after over 43 years of service.

Date published: December 23, 2019

Science cowboys: The adventures of Yellowstone's early geologists

This preservation mandate made scientific research in YNP initially challenging to sort out—what is the balance between research and preservation, and how can you have one without the other? 

Date published: December 16, 2019

The diverse chemistry of Yellowstone's hydrothermal features

Investigations into the water chemistry of Yellowstone's geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and streams and rivers have been conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey dating back to 1888.

Date published: December 9, 2019

The Yellowstone Hotspot and Columbia River Basalts

The arrival of volcanoes in that area is geologically recent, however—volcanism associated with Yellowstone has migrated over 400 miles across southern Idaho in the past 16 million years!

Date published: December 2, 2019

The early recognition of Yellowstone's volcanic character

Looking back at early accounts of Yellowstone allows us to appreciate how our understanding has changed over time.

Date published: December 2, 2019

Yellowstone's migrating bison manipulate springtime green-up

On a typical June day in Yellowstone National Park, it’s not unusual to see hundreds of bison grazing in the Lamar Valley. The herds appear to aimlessly move back and forth through meadows threaded by a winding river, just passive figures in an idyllic scene. But as it turns out, that’s far from the full picture.

Date published: November 25, 2019

The 2017 YVO annual report—a new product of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory!

Last week, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory 2017 Annual Report was published online.

Date published: November 18, 2019

Why do we monitor carbon dioxide emissions in Yellowstone, and how?

The carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from the Yellowstone magmatic-hydrothermal system has a number of characteristics that make it an important gas to monitor, including its great abundance, partial magmatic origin, and that it can provide information on the depth of the magma beneath the surface.

Date published: November 11, 2019

What is an earthquake swarm?

Yellowstone, like many regions with hydrothermal activity, often exhibits earthquake swarms. But how do we define an earthquake swarm and distinguish it from other seismic activity? And what is the cause of such swarms