Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

News

Filter Total Items: 189
Date published: August 19, 2019

Helium isotopes carry messages from the mantle

Scientists who work at Yellowstone are interested in finding physical and chemical signals from the deep magmatic system, both to better understand the nature of the system and also to monitor for possible changes. Helium is an inert gas that is an excellent tracer of magmatic processes.

Date published: August 12, 2019

What caused Yellowstone's past eruptions, and how do we know?

What does cause an eruption at volcanoes like Yellowstone? To answer this question, we look at small crystals that formed in erupted volcanic rocks! 

Date published: August 5, 2019

60 years since the 1959 M7.3 Hebgen Lake earthquake: its history and effects on the Yellowstone region

Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week's contribution is from Jamie Farrell, assistant research professor with the University of Utah Seismograph Stations and Chief Seismologist of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

Date published: July 29, 2019

Yellowstone's icy past

Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week's contribution is from Mike Poland, geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey and Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

Date published: July 22, 2019

Alterations to go! Hydrothermal alteration in Yellowstone

What is hydrothermal alteration, and why is it important? Most visitors to Yellowstone National Park are only vaguely aware of hydrothermal (hot water) alteration (chemical and mineral reactions with hot water).

Date published: July 15, 2019

A new view of Old Faithful's underground plumbing system

Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week's contribution is from Sin-Mei Wu, Jamie Farrell, and Fan-Chi Lin, seismologists with the University of Utah Seismograph Stations and the Department of Geology and Geophysics.

Date published: July 8, 2019

Will the southern California earthquakes cause Yellowstone to erupt? Spoiler alert: no.

Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week's contribution is from Mike Poland, geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey and Scientist-in-Charge, of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

Date published: July 1, 2019

How old is Yellowstone Caldera's current magma reservoir, and how do we know?

How long has the magma chamber existed? And how can we explore such a complex question, given that we can't directly see several kilometers deep beneath the ground? It turns out that, in a way, we can use a crystal ball to look back in time at Yellowstone's magma chamber—a zircon crystal ball!

Date published: June 24, 2019

How do geysers work? Knowledge gained from two centuries of scientific research and observations

Have you ever wondered why geysers are rare and what causes them to erupt? And why scientists study geysers?

Date published: June 17, 2019

Montana State University takes on Yellowstone National Park

During the Spring term in 2019, geology students from Montana State University participated in a reading group focused on understanding the geology of the Yellowstone hotspot. The culmination of the class was a field trip into Yellowstone National Park to see first-hand the deposits that had been discussed throughout the semester.

Date published: June 10, 2019

The Real Hazards of Yellowstone

Here at YVO we receive a lot of questions related to Yellowstone supereruption "what ifs" and "whens", even though that is the least possible scenario for future volcanic activity. News articles, websites, and videos often exaggerate the rarest events, while ignoring hazards that may actually happen during a person's life.

Date published: June 3, 2019

Yellowstone's many faults (don't blame the volcano for everything, though!)

The faults in Yellowstone National Park vary greatly in age and how they formed, and they can be divided into two groups: relatively young faults that have been active in the last 1.6 million years of Earth's history, and older faults that are no longer active. Earthquakes are often associated with many of the younger faults in the park.