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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

Cartoon showing differences between magma- and water-driven earthquake swarms
May 30, 2021

Cartoon showing differences between magma- and water-driven swarms

Simplified cartoon showing differences between patterns of earthquakes expected for a swarm driven by a magma-filled crack (left) versus one driven by pressurized water in a fault (right).

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

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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.

Travertine sample from Yellowstone National Park
April 22, 2021

Travertine sample from Yellowstone National Park

Travertine sample from the Hillside Springs Group in Upper Geyser Basin, sampled under permit YELL-2020-SCI-8030. (Left) Cut and polished sample slab showing the different layers of travertine; dashed circles indicate where subsamples were taken for geochronology analysis. (Middle) Sample viewed under shortwave infrared light, where the bright green layers indicate higher

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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

Map of Yellowstone’s thermal areas
March 31, 2021

Map of Yellowstone’s thermal areas

Map of Yellowstone’s thermal areas.  Thermally active thermal areas (known to have thermal features with above-background temperatures) are shown in red.  Inactive and cold, degassing thermal areas are shown in blue.  Areas that are unknown or inconclusive in terms of their thermal activity are shown in purple.

Visible and thermal maps of Brimstone Basin (top) and Midway / Lower Geyser Basins (bottom).
March 31, 2021

Visible/thermal maps of Brimstone Basin & Midway/Lower Geyser Basins

Visible and thermal maps of Brimstone Basin (top) and Midway / Lower Geyser Basins (bottom).  The images on the left are high-resolution (1-m pixels) visible images acquired by the NAIP program in 2019.  In these images, the extent of the bright white surface cover is visual evidence for the thermal area, and the yellow thermal area boundaries have been digitized based on

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