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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.

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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: November 23, 2020

Autonomous sensors reveal surprises about the dynamic and shifting floor of Yellowstone Lake

We know from decades of observation that Yellowstone’s geyser basins are always changing, but what about thermal activity beneath the waters of Yellowstone Lake?  A team from the University of Minnesota deployed sensors on the lake floor and found that the environment is no less dynamic.

Date published: October 26, 2020

Going for a swim…at Old Faithful???

A swimming pool?  At Old Faithful?  Sounds crazy, but for nearly 40 years in the first half of the 20th century there was a geyser-heated bathhouse right next to the most iconic geyser in the world!

Date published: October 12, 2020

A time when Old Faithful wasn’t so faithful

Old Faithful Geyser got its unique name in the 19th century because its eruptions were so regular and predictable. But during parts of the 13th and 14th centuries, the geyser did not erupt at all.

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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,...

Date published: December 17, 2019
Status: Active

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network - Water Year 2020

The USGS monitors stream water quality in Wyoming and Montana in cooperation with State, County, local, and other Federal agencies. Water-quality data for these sites are available from the USGS National Water Information System Web Mapper application in the form of an interactive map that can be accessed from the Data and Tools tab.

Date published: July 19, 2019
Status: Active

Using Robots in the River: Biosurveillance at USGS streamgages

For more than a decade, researchers around the world have shown that sampling a water body and analyzing for DNA (a method known as eDNA) is an effective method to detect an organism in the water. The challenge is that finding organisms that are not very abundant requires a lot of samples to locate this needle in a haystack.  Enter the "lab in a can", the water quality sampling and processing...

Date published: July 11, 2019
Status: Completed

Digging Into the Past on the Teton Fault

- by Jaime Delano (on site) and Lisa Wald (back in the office)

This was originally posted as a blog on the USGS Natural Hazards Mission Area Facebook page during the paleoseismology fieldwork on the Teton Fault outside of Jackson, Wyoming from September 5-21, 2017.

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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: May 22, 2020

Spread Creek EcoFlows Sites

Spread Creek drainage sites.

Date published: May 22, 2020

Spread Creek EcoFlows Sites

Spread Creek drainage streamflow monitoring sites.

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 

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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.

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Temperature records from sites on Yellowstone Lake bottom
November 14, 2020

Temperature records from sites on Yellowstone Lake bottom

Year-long (August 2017 to August 2018) temperature records from two hydrothermal vents (“A” and “B”) in the Deep Hole area of Yellowstone Lake.

November 2, 2020

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Monthly Update for October 2020

Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, gives an overview of activity at Yellowstone during October 2020.
 

October 20, 2020

The story of Yellowstone's ups and downs

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge Mike Poland visits Yellowstone National Park to tell the story of how the ground there moves up and down over time. This motion has been measured using a variety of techniques over the past 100 years, and from geological mapping scientists can even tell how the ground has moved going back about 15,000 years! This research

October 1, 2020

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Monthly Update: October 1, 2020

Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, gives an overview of activity at Yellowstone during September 2020.
 

graphic showing gallons in a cubic foot
September 30, 2020

graphic showing gallons in a cubic foot

graphic showing gallons in a cubic foot

graphic showing volume of acre foot on football field
September 30, 2020

graphic showing volume of acre foot on football field

graphic showing volume of acre foot on football field

September 1, 2020

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Monthly Update: September 1, 2020

Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, gives an overview of activity at Yellowstone during August 2020.
 

Tree rings in a Rocky Mountain Juniper, Yellowstone National Park
August 21, 2020

Tree rings in a Rocky Mountain Juniper, Yellowstone National Park

A scanned image of Rocky Mountain juniper deadwood sample GGR100 collected in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park under permit YELL-5582.  The full length of this sample covers the time period 723-1792 CE. Since climate influences tree growth and the width of annual rings, the relation between ring widths and recent instrumental climate records (air temperature

...
August 17, 2020

Time-Lapse of Yellowstone Lake (2019 - 2020)

This time-lapse movie, which spans January 2019 to August 2020, shows the changing nature of the seasons at Yellowstone Lake as captured by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory webcam. Snow and ice come and go, and there is even a wildfire visible during the summer of 2019!
 

August 1, 2020

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Monthly Update: August 1, 2020

Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, gives an overview of activity at Yellowstone during July 2020.
 

Employee surveying real-time water stage in river with rafts downstream
July 15, 2020

Streamgage datum surveying for Snake River abv reservoir nr Alpine, WY

USGS employee surveys streamgage datum for the Snake River near Alpine, Wyoming to ensure real-time stage and streamflow data on the web are accurate.

Panorama of Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park
July 15, 2020

Panorama of Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Panoramic photo of Hayden Valley looking east toward the Yellowstone River from the Mary Mountain trail.

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Chemical/temperature sensor on the floor of Yellowstone Lake
November 23, 2020

We know from decades of observation that Yellowstone’s geyser basins are always changing, but what about thermal activity beneath the waters of Yellowstone Lake?  A team from the University of Minnesota deployed sensors on the lake floor and found that the environment is no less dynamic.

The interior of the Hamilton bathhouse in 1939
October 26, 2020

A swimming pool?  At Old Faithful?  Sounds crazy, but for nearly 40 years in the first half of the 20th century there was a geyser-heated bathhouse right next to the most iconic geyser in the world!

Old Faithful in eruption
October 12, 2020

Old Faithful Geyser got its unique name in the 19th century because its eruptions were so regular and predictable. But during parts of the 13th and 14th centuries, the geyser did not erupt at all.

GNSS site LKWY, on the north side of Yellowstone Lake
October 5, 2020

Fall is a time for maintaining monitoring sites in Yellowstone, since they will not be accessible during the winter months.  That includes the continuous GPS stations that track deformation across Yellowstone National Park!

Hells Canyon on the Snake River
September 28, 2020

SPARROW mappers are interactive tools that allow users to evaluate streamflow and nutrient and sediment conditions as well as the importance of different sources of contaminants in a selected river basin. Data can be visualized at different scales using maps and interactive graphs and tables.

Thin section image of a lava sample from Yellowstone using a polarizing microscope.
September 28, 2020

Some of the most valuable data used to understand the evolution of the Yellowstone volcano come from the microscopic world. What are some of the tools that researchers use to study the microscopic products of the volcano’s multiple eruptions?

Example of a boundary problem in the Yellowstone geologic map
September 7, 2020

What better way to celebrate the upcoming 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park than with an updated geologic map? Scientists and students from Montana State University are spending this summer doing just that!

Dragonfly larvae being held in an open hand
July 21, 2020

A team of federal, academic, and NGO researchers conducted a national-scale assessment of mercury bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems using dragonfly larvae as biosentinels.

Snowline and trench site
November 21, 2019

"19 November 2019–Hand-dug trenches around Leigh Lake in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming reveal evidence for a previously unknown surface-faulting earthquake in along the Teton Fault—one occurring about 10,000 years ago." A Seismological Society of America news release covers recent research published by USGS scientists and cooperators.

Read the News Release

Cumulative number of located earthquakes for various areas in 1992 showing effect of Landers (California) earthquake.
July 8, 2019

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.

A digital elevation map of Yellowstone Caldera
May 3, 2019

In addition to studying volcanic processes and their associated hazards in California and Nevada, scientists at the California Volcano Observatory also collaborate with other volcano observatories to work on volcanic processes throughout the United States.

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