Unified Interior Regions

Wyoming

The Rocky Mountain Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Rocky Mountain Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

Go to Science Center

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

The Rocky Mountain Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Rocky Mountain Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

Go to Science Center

News

Date published: September 27, 2021

How and why do we collect sediment cores in Yellowstone Lake?

In August 2021, YVO scientists collected sediment cores from the floor of Yellowstone Lake. Analysis of the sediment composition, as well as the fluids contained within the sediment, can provide new information about hydrothermal activity occurring out of view beneath the lake water.

Date published: September 6, 2021

Silver Gate—the Mammoth Terraces of yesteryear!

Just south of Mammoth Hot Springs, near the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, lies a jumble of white/gray rock known as the Hoodoos or, more formally, Silver Gate.  The origin of this deposit is a quintessential tale of the dynamic nature of Yellowstone.

Date published: August 16, 2021

Borehole instruments: The hidden component of geophysical monitoring in Yellowstone

When it comes to data, Yellowstone is a geophysicist’s dream. There is continuous activity from earthquakes, geysers, and of course, the volcano itself. A keen eye may be able to spot one of the park’s numerous GPS or seismometer stations hard at work, but some of the park’s data collectors are buried deep within the Earth, hidden from sight in boreholes.

Filter Total Items: 100
Date published: August 23, 2021
Status: Active

Geophysics of Precambrian Terranes, Upper Midwest and Rocky Mountains

The project objective is to provide follow-up geophysical ground data acquisition and interpretation for areas involving Precambrian geologic settings in the Upper Midwest and Rocky Mountains. The project is designed fill gaps and to complement the high-quality aeromagnetic acquired during the USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI).

Date published: July 30, 2021
Status: Active

How low is the streamflow? Using historical streamflow data to give perspective on current conditions (July 19-25, 2021)

Many streamgages in Wyoming and Montana are recording streamflow that is very low for the date.  The primary reason for these low streamflow is the current drought in both States.

Date published: February 5, 2021
Status: Active

Current and Historical Water Conditions

Access real-time and historical surface water, groundwater and water quality conditions.

Date published: November 20, 2020
Status: Active

From Gage to Page: A Look Into How USGS Helps You Know the Flow

Knowing the streamflow of a river is important for many. For example, irrigators need to know how the water can be allocated to fields, boaters need to know if the river is safe to float, and municipalities need to know how much supply will be at their intakes.

Date published: October 2, 2020
Status: Active

Creating the Rating Curve

The rating curve is a relation between stage (river level) and streamflow (discharge). Each stream channel is different and, because the stage-discharge relation is a function of the streambed material and geometry, each rating curve will be unique to that site and a particular period of time.

Date published: October 2, 2020
Status: Active

Measuring Streamflow

Accurately measuring streamflow at each visit to the site is critical to streamgaging. The correct equipment for each stream during different seasons ensures the highest quality data are collected each time.

Date published: September 23, 2020
Status: Active

Shift-Adjusted Ratings

Stage-discharge relations (ratings) are usually developed from a graphical analysis of numerous discharge and stage measurements. Discharge measurements are made on various schedules, at a variety of stages, and sometimes for different purposes. All discharge measurements are compiled and maintained in a data base. Each measurement is carefully made, and undergoes quality assurance review. ...

Date published: July 31, 2020
Status: Active

Integrated Hyperspectral, Geophysical and Geochemical Studies of Yellowstone National Park Hydrothermal Systems

We are researching the subsurface groundwater flow systems in Yellowstone and the relation of these systems to understanding the regional movement of water in a volcanic center. New geophysical data will be integrated with existing data sets from hyperspectral data from Yellowstone's thermal areas and thermal water geochemistry to help define regionally extensive mineral assemblages, the...

Contacts: JoAnn Holloway
Date published: July 1, 2020
Status: Active

Quantitative Disease Ecology

Researchers at the USGS are working on developing new quantitative methods to study disease dynamics in wildlife systems as well as systems at the wildlife-domestic-human interface. Much of our work focuses on how host population structure affects disease invasion, persistence and control in wildlife disease systems. We tackle these issues with a combination of simulation and statistical...

Date published: March 25, 2020
Status: Active

Past Perspectives of Water in the West

In the intermountain west, seasonal precipitation extremes, combined with population growth, are creating new challenges for the management of water resources, ecosystems, and geologic hazards. This research contributes a comprehensive long-term context for a deeper understanding of past hydrologic variability, including the magnitude and frequency of drought and flood extremes and ecosystem...

Date published: March 10, 2020
Status: Active

Weed-Suppressive Bacteria – Testing a Control Measure for Invasive Grasses in the West

Recent popular news has implied that Weed-Suppressive Bacteria (WSB) holds promise for cheatgrass control, yet a lack of peer-reviewed research exists to support this claim. USGS researchers stepped up to the challenge of objectively and rigorously evaluating the effectiveness of WSB for controlling exotic annual grasses, such as...

Date published: February 12, 2020
Status: Active

Characterizing Hydrologic and Geomorphic Processes in a Spring-Fed, Cold-Desert Headwater Stream

The role of natural versus human-influenced factors in sedimentation of Littlefield Creek, a small, high-desert creek in south-central Wyoming is currently unknown. In general, there is little empirical information about both hydrologic and geomorphic processes (together described as hydrogeomorphic) in these types of streams.  To develop a better understanding of  hydrogeomorphic processes,...

Filter Total Items: 76
Date published: July 27, 2021

Tops file for the Mowry Shale and associated strata in the Wind River Basin, Wyoming

The Wind River Basin is a structural and sedimentary basin that formed during the Laramide orogeny in latest Cretaceous and early Eocene time. Many important conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources have been discovered and produced from reservoirs ranging from Mississippian through Tertiary in age...

Date published: February 22, 2021

Verified Irrigated Agricultural Lands for the United States, 2002-17

The spatial extents of verified irrigated lands were compiled from various federal and state sources across the nation and combined into a single Geographic Information System (GIS) geodatabase for the purpose of model training and validation.

Date published: September 4, 2020

Data for Groundwater-Quality and Select Quality-Control Data for the Colorado Plateaus Principal Aquifer

Groundwater samples were collected from 60 public supply wells in the Colorado Plateaus principal aquifer. Water quality evaluations of groundwater for drinking water at public supply depths were made with the purpose of summarizing the current quality of source water (that is, untreated water) from public supply wells using two types of assessments; (1) status: an assessment that

Date published: June 23, 2020

Global Geochemical Database for Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples

The Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples Database (CMDB) contains chemistry and geologic information for historic ore and ore-related rock samples from mineral deposits in the United States. In addition, the database contains samples from archetypal deposits from 27 other countries in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Samples were obtained from archived ore

Date published: April 23, 2020

Domestic Wells in the United States

Domestic wells provide drinking water supply for approximately 40 million people in the United States. Knowing the location of these wells, and the populations they serve, is important for identifying heavily used aquifers, locations susceptible to contamination, and populations potentially impacted by poor-quality groundwater. 

Date published: April 16, 2020

Whole-rock geochemical data for the Bear Lodge alkaline complex, Wyoming: 2009 - 2013

This data release contains analytical data from a suite of rock samples collected within the Bear Lodge alkaline complex, northeast Wyoming, which hosts the Bear Lodge rare earth element (REE) deposit. Geochemistry data include major and trace element analytical results for 105 samples including alkaline igneous rocks, carbonatites, and weathered and oxidized samples. Samples were col

Date published: January 10, 2020

YRCC Technical Advisory Committee meeting notes for 04/09/2019

These are the notes from the April 9, 2019 Yellowstone River Compact Commission Technical Advisory Committee meeting in Sheridan, WY.

Date published: September 26, 2019

Data for assessing the susceptibility of groundwater used for drinking water supply from selected principal aquifers of the Western United States, 2004-2018

Groundwater age distribution and susceptibility to natural and anthropogenic contaminants were assessed for selected principal aquifers of the Western United States: the Central Valley aquifer system (CVAL), the Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers (BNRF), the Rio Grande aquifer system (RIOG), the High Plains aquifer (HPAQ), the Columbia Plateau basaltic-rock aquifers (

Date published: September 6, 2019

Drainage basins and characteristics for selected streamgages within the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative domain

Streamflow and basin-characteristic data are needed for a variety of scientific applications including estimation of flow in ungaged basins and hydro-ecological classification of rivers. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SRLCC), selected a subset of streamgages across the SRLC

Date published: December 6, 2018

Downloadable Data for Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

GIS Data for Powder River Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Date published: November 29, 2018

Downloadable Data for Southwestern Wyoming Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

Downloadable Data for Southwestern Wyoming Basin Oil and Gas Assessments 

Filter Total Items: 4
Black and grey map of the contiguous 48 states shaded by the number of people using domestic wells per square kilometer (2010)
April 23, 2020

Domestic wells provide drinking water supply for approximately 40 million people in the United States. Knowing the location of these wells, and the populations they serve, is important for identifying heavily used aquifers, locations susceptible to contamination, and populations potentially impacted by poor-quality groundwater. 

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Filter Total Items: 34
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Characterization of water-resource threats and needs for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges in the Legacy Mountain-Prairie Region, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), began a study in 2019 to complete the compilation and quality assurance of water-resource threats and needs data for the 117 National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in the FWS Legacy Mountain-Prairie Region (LMPR) and to characterize the water-resource threats and...

Bauch, Nancy J.; Kohn, Michael S.; Caruso, Brian S.
Bauch, N.J., Kohn, M.S., and Caruso, B.S., 2021, Characterization of water-resource threats and needs for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges in the Legacy Mountain-Prairie Region, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1007, 46 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211007.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Rapid strain release on the Bear River fault zone, Utah–Wyoming—The impact of preexisting structure on the rupture behavior of a new normal fault

Earthquake clustering (grouping in space and time) is a widely observed mode of strain release in the upper crust, although this behavior on individual faults is a departure from classic elastic rebound theory. In this study, we consider factors responsible for a cluster of earthquakes on the Bear River fault zone (BRF), a recently activated...

Hecker, Suzanne; Schwartz, David P.; DeLong, Stephen B.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Transport and speciation of uranium in groundwater-surface water systems impacted by legacy milling operations

Growing worldwide concern over uranium contamination of groundwater resources has placed an emphasis on understanding uranium transport dynamics and potential toxicity in groundwater-surface water systems. In this study, we utilized novel in-situ sampling methods to establish the location and magnitude of contaminated groundwater entry into a...

Byrne, Patrick; Fuller, Christopher C.; Naftz, David L.; Runkel, Robert L.; Lehto, Niklas J; Dam, William L

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Coal geology and assessment of resources and reserves in the Little Snake River Coal Field and Red Desert Assessment Area, Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming

The U.S. Geological Survey is studying regional-scale assessments of resources and reserves of primary coal beds in the major coal bed basins in the United States to help formulate policy for Federal, State, and local energy and land use. This report summarizes the geology and coal resources and reserves in the Little Snake River coal field and...

Scott, David C.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Haacke, Jon E.; Pierce, Paul E.; Kinney, Scott A.
Scott, D.C., Shaffer, B.N., Haacke, J.E., Pierce, P.E., and Kinney, S.A., 2019, Coal geology and assessment of coal resources and reserves in the Little Snake River coal field and Red Desert assessment area, Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1836, 169 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1836.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the niobrara interval of the Cody Shale, Bighorn Basin Province, Wyoming and Montana, 2019

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 534 million barrels of oil and 939 billion cubic feet of gas in the Niobrara interval of the Cody Shale in the Bighorn Basin Province, Wyoming and Montana.

Finn, Thomas M.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Marra, Kristen R.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Drake, Ronald M.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Pitman, Janet K.; Ellis, Geoffrey S.; Kinney, Scott A.
Finn, T.M., Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Tennyson, M.E., Le, P.A., Brownfield, M.E., Marra, K.R., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Drake, R.M., II, Woodall, C.A., Pitman, J.K., Ellis, G.S., and Kinney, S.A., 2019, Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Niobrara interval of the Cody Shale, Bighorn Basin Province, Wyoming and Montana, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3045, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193045.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Conceptual model to assess water use associated with the life cycle of unconventional oil and gas development

As the demand for energy increases in the United States, so does the demand for water used to produce many forms of that energy. Technological advances, limited access to conventional oil and gas accumulations, and the rise of oil and gas prices resulted in increased development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) accumulations. Unconventional oil...

Valder, Joshua F.; McShane, Ryan R.; Barnhart, Theodore B.; Sando, Roy; Carter, Janet M.; Lundgren, Robert F.
Valder, J.F., McShane, R.R., Barnhart, T.B., Sando, R., Carter, J.M., and Lundgren, R.F., 2018, Conceptual model to assess water use associated with the life cycle of unconventional oil and gas development: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5027, 22 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185027.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the Southwestern and South-Central Wyoming Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming, and the Bear River Watershed Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming and Utah: Chapter E in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Wilson, Anna B.; Hayes, Timothy S.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Yager, Douglas B.; Anderson, Eric D.; Bleiwas, Donald I.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Giles, Stuart A.; Glen, Jonathan M. G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Horton, John D.; Parks, Heather L.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; Williams, Colin F.
Wilson, A.B., Hayes, T.S., Benson, M.E., Yager, D.B., Anderson, E.D., Bleiwas, D.I., DeAngelo, J., Dicken, C.L., Drake, R.M., II, Fernette, G.L., Giles, S.A., Glen, J.M.G., Haacke, J.E., Horton, J.D., Parks, H.L., Rockwell, B.W., and Williams, C.F., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the Southwestern and South-Central Wyoming Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming, and the Bear River Watershed Sagebrush Focal Area, Wyoming and Utah, (ver. 1.1, October 26, 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–E, 128 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089E.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2016

Earthquake probabilities for the Wasatch front region in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming

In a letter to The Salt Lake Daily Tribune in September 1883, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) geologist G.K. Gilbert warned local residents about the implications of observable fault scarps along the western base of the Wasatch Range. The scarps were evidence that large surface-rupturing earthquakes had occurred in the past and more would likely...

Wong, Ivan G.; Lund, William R.; Duross, Christopher; Thomas, Patricia; Arabasz, Walter; Crone, Anthony J.; Hylland, Michael D.; Luco, Nicolas; Olig, Susan S.; Pechmann, James C.; Personius, Stephen; Petersen, Mark D.; Schwartz, David P.; Smith, Robert B.; Rowman, Steve

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2016

New insights into debris-flow hazards from an extraordinary event in the Colorado Front Range

Rainfall on 9–13 September 2013 triggered at least 1,138 debris flows in a 3430 km2 area of the Colorado Front Range. The historical record reveals that the occurrence of these flows over such a large area in the interior of North America is highly unusual. Rainfall that triggered the debris flows began after ~75 mm of antecedent rain had fallen,...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Kean, Jason W.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Baum, Rex L.; Jones, Eric S.; Gochis, David; Anderson, Gregory S
Coe, J.A., Kean, J.W., Godt, J.W., Baum, R.L., Jones, E.S., Gochis, D.J., and Anderson, G.S., 2014, New insights into debris-flow hazards from an extraordinary event in the Colorado Front Range: GSA Today, v. 24, no. 10, p. 4-10.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2014

Assessment of the quality of groundwater and the Little Wind River in the area of a former uranium processing facility on the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming, 1987 through 2010

In 2010, the U.S Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Wind River Environmental Quality Commission (WREQC), began an assessment of the effectiveness of the existing monitoring network at the Riverton, Wyoming, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) site. The USGS used existing data supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE...

Ranalli, Anthony J.; Naftz, David L.
Assessment of the quality of groundwater and the Little Wind River in the area of a former uranium processing facility on the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming, 1987 through 2010; 2014; SIR; 2013-5218; Ranalli, Anthony J.; Naftz, David L.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2012

Groundwater-quality and quality-control data for two monitoring wells near Pavillion, Wyoming, April and May 2012

In June 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency installed two deep monitoring wells (MW01 and MW02) near Pavillion, Wyoming, to study groundwater quality. During April and May 2012, the U.S Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, collected groundwater-quality data and quality-control data from...

Wright, Peter R.; McMahon, Peter B.; Mueller, David K.; Clark, Melanie L.
Groundwater-quality and quality-control data for two monitoring wells near Pavillion, Wyoming, April and May 2012; 2012; DS; 718; Wright, Peter R.; McMahon, Peter B.; Mueller, David K.; Clark, Melanie L.

Filter Total Items: 354
Muddy Creek near Dad streamgage, zero flow
July 27, 2021

Muddy Creek near Dad streamgage, zero flow

Muddy Creek near Dad streamgage, zero flow

The Yellowstone borehole geophysical network
July 23, 2021

The Yellowstone borehole geophysical network

The Yellowstone borehole geophysical network, installed by UNAVCO in 2007–2008. The placement of the boreholes is focused primarily around the caldera, and the boreholes contain a mix of instruments, including strainmeters, seismometers, tiltmeters, and pore pressure sensors.

Low Flows at Little Snake River near Dixon streamgage
July 7, 2021

Low Flows at Little Snake River near Dixon streamgage

Low Flows at Little Snake River near Dixon streamgage

Little Snake River near Dixon low streamflow
July 7, 2021

Little Snake River near Dixon low streamflow

Little Snake River near Dixon low streamflow

Comparison of Porkchop Geyser in September 1984 (left) and August 1986 (right)
June 10, 2021

Comparison of Porkchop Geyser in Sep 1984 (left) and Aug 1986 (right)

Comparison of Porkchop Geyser in September 1984 (left) and August 1986 (right).  The Geyser entered a period of near-constant eruption in 1985, and the pool disappeared; it exploded on September 5, 1989.

June 1, 2021

YVO monthly activity update from rim of Yellowstone's Grand Canyon!

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge Mike Poland provides the YVO monthly update from the rim of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon. The V-shaped gorge tells an amazing geologic story. About half a million years ago, a large rhyolite lava flow erupted. Over time, hot water and gases heated by the magma chamber rose through faults in the lava flow. And as it rose, it

May 1, 2021

YVO Update of Activity at Yellowstone and Plans for Summer Fieldwork

It's May, the snow is melting and the roads are mostly open, so it's time for geologists, geophysicist and geochemists to head into Yellowstone to start projects they have been planning for the last several months. Next week, a field team will deploy a temporary GPS network to help “densify” the network of continuous GPS stations already in place. The temporary GPS

Photographs of travertine in Yellowstone
April 22, 2021

Photographs of travertine in Yellowstone

Photographs of travertine in Yellowstone. A) Travertine terraces actively forming at Mammoth Hot Springs. B) A few miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs, near Silver Gate, the highway passes through a landslide deposit composed of travertine blocks from Terrace Mountain; these travertines formed

...
Location of major travertine deposits in Yellowstone National Park
April 22, 2021

Location of major travertine deposits in Yellowstone National Park

Map of Yellowstone National Park showing the location of major travertine deposits. The green dashed line is the outline of Yellowstone Caldera and red lines are major paved roads.

April 1, 2021

YVO Update: Activity at Yellowstone and Volcanoes of Desert Southwest

There are thousands of volcanic features distributed throughout the southwest United States, which are grouped together in volcanic fields. The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory monitors these volcanoes using a combination of techniques. While YVO hasn’t seen anything to suggest magma is on the move, the area is stretched and pulled apart to produce numerous tectonic

March 1, 2021

"Not all eruptions are Armageddon" - Yellowstone Update for March 2021

Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, debunks the misconception that if Yellowstone were to erupt, it would be Armageddon. In fact, the most common form of eruptive activity at Yellowstone is a lava flow, and even those aren't that common. They happen only once every few tens of thousands of years. Learn more in this monthly overview of

Crinoid fossil from northern Yellowstone National Park
February 10, 2021

Crinoid fossil from northern Yellowstone National Park

Crinoid fossil from a Paleozoic rock unit found in northern Yellowstone National Park.

Filter Total Items: 156
Gravity coring device after sampling Yellowstone Lake sediment
September 27, 2021

In August 2021, YVO scientists collected sediment cores from the floor of Yellowstone Lake. Analysis of the sediment composition, as well as the fluids contained within the sediment, can provide new information about hydrothermal activity occurring out of view beneath the lake water.

View of the Silver Gate landslide complex from Bunsen Peak, Yellowstone National Park
September 6, 2021

Just south of Mammoth Hot Springs, near the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, lies a jumble of white/gray rock known as the Hoodoos or, more formally, Silver Gate.  The origin of this deposit is a quintessential tale of the dynamic nature of Yellowstone.

The Yellowstone borehole geophysical network
August 16, 2021

When it comes to data, Yellowstone is a geophysicist’s dream. There is continuous activity from earthquakes, geysers, and of course, the volcano itself. A keen eye may be able to spot one of the park’s numerous GPS or seismometer stations hard at work, but some of the park’s data collectors are buried deep within the Earth, hidden from sight in boreholes.

Dragon's Mouth, Yellowstone National Park
July 26, 2021

We sometimes think of Yellowstone as an untouched landscape, but humans have been present in the area for over ten thousand years!  The history and traditions of Indigenous people in Yellowstone are as rich as the landscape itself.

Narrow Gauge spring, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park
July 12, 2021

Early explorers during the separate Washburn, Hayden, and Hague expeditions of the 1870s were astonished by the massive terraces and pools of hot-spring limestone, better known as travertine, at Mammoth Hot Springs—a chemical oddity that is quite different from other Yellowstone thermal areas.

Map of Yellowstone National Park showing the major rivers and the continental divide
July 5, 2021

Yellowstone’s hot spring waters ultimately flow for thousands of miles before entering the ocean. But waters enter two different oceans—the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.

Ice cone at Porkchop Geyser in March 1989
June 28, 2021

Small hydrothermal explosions—steam blasts—are common at Yellowstone, occurring every year or two.  Most happen in the backcountry and are not observed by people.  In 1989, however, Porkchop Geyser blew up right in front of several observers on an otherwise sunny September afternoon.

Wind River Range, Wyoming
June 23, 2021

Temperature significantly increased and snowfall decreased in the iconic Greater Yellowstone Area since 1950 because of climate change, and these trends will likely continue through the rest of the century, according to a climate report published today.

Absaroka Mountains in northeastern Yellowstone National Park
June 17, 2021

Federal and university partners invite members of the media to a virtual news conference next week about past and future effects of climate change on the iconic Greater Yellowstone Area.   

Angular unconformity atop Mount Everts, Yellowstone National Park
June 14, 2021

Visitors to Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park might have noticed an odd geological feature near the top of Mount Everts—an unconformity! This juxtaposition of different rocks serves as a marker of missing history in the Yellowstone region.

Early visitors at Handkerchief Pool, circa 1923
May 31, 2021

Yellowstone National Park is truly a wonder of nature, globally appreciated for its untamed beauty. Visited by millions each year, tourists travel from all over the world to witness its unique environment. However, while enjoying Wonderland, visitors should also keep safety in mind.

Location of major travertine deposits in Yellowstone National Park
May 24, 2021

Standing on the boardwalk next to any of Yellowstone’s hot, steamy, vigorously bubbling hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, or geysers, you may be struck by the sheer amount of energy that powers this system, night and day. But how long have these features been active?  To address this question, geologists can turn to the “clock” that is frozen within hydrothermal travertine deposits.

Filter Total Items: 26