Yellowstone Volcano Observatory


Filter Total Items: 205
Date published: April 15, 2019

The evolution of the Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field: Past, present, and future!

Many first-time visitors to Yellowstone National Park have heard about a "supervolcano" but, expecting a Rainier-like volcanic peak, often wonder "Where is the volcano?" In fact, they are in the middle of one of the Earth's largest volcanic structures, despite the relatively muted topography of the calderas and the volcanic deposits!

Date published: April 8, 2019

Is gravity changing at Yellowstone?

In high school physics, we are taught that gravity is a constant—9.8 meters per second squared is the gravitational acceleration on Earth, and it is the same everywhere. But that's not quite true...the gravitational acceleration changes depending on elevation, and also the composition of the ground beneath your feet. Because of that, it's a great tool for monitoring volcanic activity!

Date published: April 1, 2019

Discovering new thermal areas in Yellowstone's dynamic landscape!

Yellowstone's thermal areas are the surface expression of the deeper magmatic system, and they are always changing.  Recently, we have discovered another phenomenal example of thermal change—the emergence of an entirely new thermal area, which has taken place over the past 20 years!

Date published: March 25, 2019

"Overdue" can apply to library books, bills, and oil changes, but it does not apply to Yellowstone!

We've heard many statements that Yellowstone is overdue -- that it has a major eruption every 600,000 years on average, and since the last eruption was 631,000 years can see where this is going. Is this true? In a word, no. In two words, no way. In three words, not even close. Yellowstone doesn't work that way.

Date published: March 18, 2019

Exploring thermal areas in Yellowstone's remote southwest corner

There are over 10,000 thermal features scattered throughout Yellowstone National Park, and many are in remote locations. Attempting to make a more complete record of water and gas chemisty of all the park's features, scientists from the USGS and the National Park Service travelled to the southwest corner of the park to study remote thermal areas around Boundary Creek and the Bechler River.

Date published: March 11, 2019

A bridge over troubled water: Laying down infrastructure in Yellowstone's hydrothermal areas

Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week's contribution is from Behnaz Hosseini, Geoscientist, and Jefferson Hungerford, Park Geologist, at the Yellowstone Center for Resources in Yellowstone National Park.

Date published: March 4, 2019

Yellowstone's Mushy Past

What does a magma chamber look like? At first thought, many of us would imagine a large cavern in the crust filled with molten rock. While this has...

Date published: February 25, 2019

Yellowstone Lake Shakes

It has been well documented that the interaction of ocean waves and the seabed causes seismic shaking that is recorded by seismometers around the world. This seismic energy is referred to the earth's "microseism". Research by University of Utah Seismologists has shown that these microseisms also exist at Yellowstone Lake.

Date published: February 18, 2019

Hydrothermal Research in Yellowstone—the lasting legacy of Donald E. White

One of the most distinguished researchers and staunchest supporters of Yellowstone was Don White (1914-2002) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Don had a significant impact on hydrothermal research in Yellowstone, and his testimony before Congress, together with former park superintendent John Townsley, gave Yellowstone its protection under the Geothermal Steam Act's amendments in 1970.

Date published: February 11, 2019

The remarkable diversity of hot springs on the bottom of Yellowstone Lake


Yellowstone National Park has one of the highest concentrations of continental geothermal activity on Earth, and includes an extraordinary collection of geysers, acid mud pots, steam fumaroles, and ...

Date published: February 4, 2019

Craters of the Moon: Idaho's last (and next?) volcanic eruption

Idaho is home to several young volcanoes, including the Craters of the Moon, Wapi, Kings Bowl, North and South Robbers, Cerro Grande, Hells Half Acre, and Shoshone lava fields. Craters of the Moon is one of the youngest volcanic areas in Idaho and may be the most likely in the state to erupt again.

Date published: January 28, 2019

Yellowstone — the year 2018 in review

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