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Yellowstone Volcano Observatory 2020 annual report

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) monitors volcanic and hydrothermal activity associated with the Yellowstone magmatic system, conducts research into magmatic processes occurring beneath Yellowstone Caldera, and issues timely warnings and guidance related to potential future geologic hazards. This report summarizes the activities and findings of YVO during the year 2020, focusing on the Ye

Diatom record of holocene moisture variability in the San Bernardino Mountains, California, USA.

Lower Bear Lake, in the San Bernardino Mountains, contains a Holocene paleohydrology record for southern California. The diatom and sediment geochemistry record indicates that the region experienced a wet Early Holocene followed by a gradual decrease in precipitation, which was punctuated by four strong and five weak pluvial episodes. The Lower Bear Lake record is compared with that of Silver Lake

The seismo-acoustics of submarine volcanic eruptions

Many of the world’s volcanoes are hidden beneath the ocean’s surface where eruptions are difficult to observe. However, seismo‐acoustic signals produced by these eruptions provide a useful means of identifying active submarine volcanism. A literature survey revealed reports of 119 seismo‐acoustically recorded submarine eruptions since 1939. Submarine eruptions have been recorded in all major tecto

The systematics of chlorine, lithium, and boron and δ37Cl, δ7Li, and δ11B in the hydrothermal system of the Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field

Chlorine, lithium, and boron are trace elements in rhyolite but are enriched in groundwater flowing through rhyolite because they tend to partition into the fluid phase during high‐temperature fluid‐rock reactions. We present a large data set of major element and δ37Cl, δ7Li, and δ11B compositions of thermal water and rhyolite from Yellowstone Plateau Volcanic Field (YPVF). The Cl/B, Cl/Li, δ37Cl

Reconstructing the dynamics of the highly similar May 2016 and June 2019 Iliamna Volcano, Alaska ice–rock avalanches from seismoacoustic data

Surficial mass wasting events are a hazard worldwide. Seismic and acoustic signals from these often remote processes, combined with other geophysical observations, can provide key information for monitoring and rapid response efforts and enhance our understanding of event dynamics. Here, we present seismoacoustic data and analyses for two very large ice–rock avalanches occurring on Iliamna Volcano

Assessing the biological reactivity of organic compounds on volcanic ash: Implications for human health hazard

Exposure to volcanic ash is a long-standing health concern for people living near active volcanoes and in distal urban areas. During transport and deposition, ash is subjected to various physicochemical processes that may change its surface composition and, consequently, bioreactivity. One such process is the interaction with anthropogenic pollutants; however, the potential for adsorbed, deleterio

Earthquakes indicated magma viscosity during Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption

Magma viscosity strongly controls the style (for example, explosive versus effusive) of a volcanic eruption and thus its hazard potential, but can only be measured during or after an eruption. The identification of precursors indicative of magma viscosity would enable forecasting of the eruption style and the scale of associated hazards1. The unanticipated May 2018 rift intrusion and eruption of K

Synoptic analysis of a decade of daily measurements of SO2 emission in the troposphere from volcanoes of the global ground-based Network for Observation of Volcanic and Atmospheric Change

Volcanic plumes are common and far-reaching manifestations of volcanic activity during and between eruptions. Observations of the rate of emission and composition of volcanic plumes are essential to recognize and, in some cases, predict the state of volcanic activity. Measurements of the size and location of the plumes are important to assess the impact of the emission from sporadic or localized e

A multidisciplinary investigation into the eruptive style, processes, and duration of a Cascades back-arc tholeiitic basalt: A case study of the Brushy Butte flow field, northern California, United States

The Cascades back-arc in northern California is dominated by monogenetic tholeiitic basalts that erupted throughout the Pleistocene. Elucidating their eruptive history and processes is important for understanding potential future eruptions here. We focus on the well-exposed monogenetic volcano that emplaced the Brushy Butte flow field, which constructed a ∼150 m tall edifice, has flow lobes up to

Lava effusion rate evolution and erupted volume during the 2018 Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone eruption

The 2018 eruption on the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano produced one of the largest and most destructive lava flows in Hawai’i during the past 200 years. Over the course of more than 3 months, twenty-four fissures erupted, and the rate of lava effusion varied by two orders of magnitude, with significant implications for evolving flow behavior and hazards. Syn-eruptive data were collected

Development of a simulated lung fluid leaching method to assess the release of potentially toxic elements from volcanic ash

Freshly erupted volcanic ash contains a range of soluble elements, some of which can generate harmful effects in living cells and are considered potentially toxic elements (PTEs). This work investigates the leaching dynamics of ash-associated PTEs in order to optimize a method for volcanic ash respiratory hazard assessment. Using three pristine (unaffected by precipitation) ash samples, we quantif

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory 2019 annual report

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) monitors volcanic and hydrothermal activity associated with the Yellowstone magmatic system, conducts research into magmatic processes occurring beneath Yellowstone Caldera, and issues timely warnings and guidance related to potential future geologic hazards. This report summarizes the activities and findings of YVO during the year 2019, focusing on the Ye