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September 1, 2021

Yellowstone Volcano Update for August 2021

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge Mike Poland tells the story behind the color change of Morning Glory Pool and shows how to recognize seasonal changes in ground deformation data in this September 1, 2021 video update of volcano and earthquake activity at Yellowstone Volcano.

Morning Glory has a cautionary tale to tell about how humans can impact

Schematic showing collapse processes of Yellowstone Caldera
August 6, 2021

Schematic showing collapse processes of Yellowstone Caldera

Schematic displaying the general processes associated with collapse of Yellowstone Caldera.  (A) Pre-caldera volcanism includes the eruption of dome complexes from the underlying magma chambers.  (B) The caldera-forming eruption evacuates a significant amount of magma from the chamber, causing the overlying crustal block to subside into the void space.  (C) Post-caldera

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August 2, 2021

Monthly update of activity at Yellowstone Volcano for July 2021

During July, Yellowstone caught everyone’s attention with 1,000+ earthquakes located in seven distinct earthquake swarms. The largest swarm occurred beneath Yellowstone Lake and had 764 earthquakes, the largest of which was a Magnitude 3.6. While this seems like a lot of earthquakes, it is not the most Yellowstone has experienced in any given month and the volcano alert

Hebgen Lake recent seismicity and 1959 deformation
July 31, 2021

Hebgen Lake recent seismicity and 1959 deformation

Epicenters of 6,188 earthquakes in the Hebgen Lake region since 1990 determined by the University of Utah Seismograph Stations and the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. All epicenters have horizontal uncertainties of 1.0 km or less. Black contour lines show subsidence (in 2-foot intervals) resulting from the 1959 M7.3 Hebgen Lake earthquake (epicenter shown by red star

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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.

Seismogram from station YTP in Yellowstone National Park on July 15-16, 2021
July 16, 2021

Seismogram from station YTP in Yellowstone on July 15-16, 2021

Seismogram from station YTP in Yellowstone National Park showing earthquakes from the swarm beneath Yellowstone Lake that began late on July 15, 2021. Each row represents 30 minutes of seismic data. Vertical red lines indicate that the amplitude of the signal was truncated, or "clipped," to avoid obscuring the signal from events above it (earlier in time) or below it (

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Geologic block-diagram and conceptual model of Mammoth Hot Springs area
July 11, 2021

Geologic block-diagram and conceptual model of Mammoth Hot Springs

Geologic block-diagram and conceptual model of possible flow systems associated with thermal areas at Mammoth Hot Spring (MHS) area from Sorey (1991) (USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 91-4052).  Also shown are the Bear Creek Hot Springs (BC) and La Duke Hot Spring (LD). Arrows indicate general

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July 1, 2021

Monthly update of activity at Yellowstone Volcano for June 2021

From the boardwalk near Echinus Geyser (the largest acid geyser in the world), Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge Mike Poland provides an update on activity in Yellowstone during the month of June. The Yellowstone Seismic Network located 445 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. Subsidence of Yellowstone Caldera, which has been ongoing since

Map of Yellowstone National Park showing the major rivers and the continental divide
June 10, 2021

Map of Yellowstone showing major rivers and continental divide

Map of Yellowstone National Park showing the major rivers and the continental divide (red dashed). Yellowstone Caldera is oulined by purple dashed line. Water flowing south and west of the divide ends up in the Pacific Ocean, whereas water north and east of the divide ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. Isa Lake is located on the continental divide, and water from the lake

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Various paths of taken by water originating in Yellowstone National Park
June 10, 2021

Various paths of taken by water originating in Yellowstone

Upper map shows the flow path of hot spring water from the Old Faithful area through the Firehole, Madison, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. Lower map shows the flow path of hot spring water from south of the continental divide through the Lewis, Snake and Columbia Rivers to the Pacific Ocean. Maps were generated with the

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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