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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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Outline of the Steamboat and Cistern plumbing systems from seismic data
March 16, 2021

Outline of the Steamboat and Cistern plumbing systems from seismicity

Outline of the Steamboat and Cistern plumbing systems, with two viewing angles. The structure, color-coded by depth, delineates the observed seismically active area during eruption cycles of Steamboat Geyser. The solid star, solid square, and open triangles denote Steamboat Geyser, Cistern Spring, and seismic station locations on the surface, respectively.

colored areas showing seismic views
March 16, 2021

Seismic view of Steamboat Geyser and Cistern Spring

Outline of the Steamboat and Cistern plumbing systems. The structure, color-coded by depth, delineates the observed seismically active area during eruption cycles of Steamboat Geyser. The solid star, solid square, and open triangles denote Steamboat Geyser, Cistern Spring, and seismic station locations on the surface, respectively.

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.

February 1, 2021

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Monthly Update for January 2021

Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, gives an overview of activity at Yellowstone Volcano during January 2021.
 

Example of some of the new layers available in the Geology of Yellowstone Map
January 25, 2021

Example of new layers in the Geology of Yellowstone Map

Example of some of the new layers available in the Geology of Yellowstone Map as of early 2021. Shown here are the locations of various monitoring instruments and water sample sites overlain on a thermal infrared satellite image. Lighter colors on the infrared image show more radiant (warmer) areas, whereas dark areas are less radiant (cooler).

Seismic data available from online Geology of Yellowstone Map
January 25, 2021

Seismic data available from online Geology of Yellowstone Map

Seismic stations (white triangles) around Yellowstone Lake as seen on the online Geology of Yellowstone Map. Inset shows a seismogram for station YLA that can be accessed by clicking on the feature and following the “Seismogram” link in the popup box.

Rhyolite alteration viewed by a Secondary Electron Microscope
January 15, 2021

Rhyolite alteration viewed by a Scanning Electron Microscope

Photos from a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) showing reacted rhyolite fragments at the end of the laboratory experiments. (a) Image magnified by 500 times showing the rhyolite after it reacted with water at 250 degrees Celsius (482 F). The reacted rhyolite fragments show very little change compared with the unreacted fragments. (b) Image magnified by 300 times showing

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Mudpot located near Mud Volcano in Yellowstone National Park
January 12, 2021

Mudpot located near Mud Volcano in Yellowstone National Park

Mudpot located in the Mud Volcano thermal area of Yellowstone National Park.  This type of thermal feature indicates an acid-sulfate system.