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Date published: August 10, 2020

Tree rings record spikes in magmatic CO2 emissions at Yellowstone

Volcanologists have a variety of ways of measuring present-day gas emissions from volcanoes.  But what about gas emissions that happened in years past, before measurements were possible?  For these periods, it turns out that you can actually read the signature of gas emissions in tree rings!

Date published: August 3, 2020

The geology of a Yellowstone jewel: Hayden Valley

Hayden Valley is a gorgeous expanse of grassland and meadows located right in the center of Yellowstone National Park.  It is a haven for wildlife and a popular spot for viewing some of Yellowstone’s most iconic animals.  But why does this meadow exist in the midst of what is otherwise a high-altitude forest of lodgepole pine trees?  The area’s geology holds the key

Date published: July 27, 2020

Photography and 3-dimensional data help to better understand Yellowstone National Park’s thermal features

Yellowstone’s thermal features, like geysers and mud pots, are delicate and dangerous. So how can scientists get a close-up view of these structures to monitor their changes through time? It turns out that photography holds the key. In fact, with a series of well-aimed and calibrated photos, it is possible to construct three-dimensional models of Yellowstone’s most famous geyser cones!

Date published: July 20, 2020

How old are Yellowstone's large geysers? We don't exactly know!

It seems like a simple question: how old is a geyser?  We know that all of Yellowstone’s current geysers formed after the last glaciers scoured the land surface about 15,000 years ago.  But what happened since that time?

Date published: July 13, 2020

What Goes into Operating the Yellowstone Seismic Network?

Have you ever wondered just what went in to going from ground shaking detected by a seismometer to a located earthquake available for viewing online?  In this week’s Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles, we trace the path from the ground in Yellowstone to your web browser!

Date published: July 6, 2020

What's the story, Morning Glory?

Yellowstone's Upper Geyser Basin is one of the truly unique places on Earth. It contains the world's highest concentration of geysers, including Old Faithful, and several remarkable hot springs. One the most famous is Morning Glory Pool, which is accessible at the end of an easy 1.5-mile trail from the Old Faithful Visitor Center. But years ago, you could drive a car right up to its edge.

Date published: June 29, 2020

Discovery of Ancient Super-eruptions Suggests the Yellowstone Hotspot May Be Waning

Explosive super eruptions are among the most extreme events to affect the Earth’s surface. Thankfully, humans have not experienced such an event in recorded history (the last massive volcanic explosion was 26,500 years ago). The only clues to help us better understand super eruptions and their impacts are hiding within the geological record—including along the track of the Yellowstone hotspot...

Date published: June 22, 2020

Gases released from Yellowstone volcano provides clues to Earth's formation

With oceans covering over 70% of Earth's surface and an atmosphere rich in volatile elements (carbon, nitrogen and oxygen), Earth has seemingly always provided the perfect environment for life to develop in the Solar System. But how and when did these volatiles arrive on the planet? It turns out, the answer lies buried thousands of kilometers deep below Yellowstone National Park.

Date published: June 15, 2020

Jim Bridger: Yellowstone’s Spinner of Tall Tales

The American West is a land filled with tales of adventure and discovery. Countless stories of brave frontiersman and frontierswoman are still told around the campfire today. But the stories of one mountain man stand out among the rest. A spinner of tall tales and a man of mystery, James Felix “Jim” Bridger conquered the Rocky Mountain region and lived to tell the tale.

Date published: June 8, 2020

YVO welcomes Montana State University to the team!

Since 2013, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory has been a consortium of 8 institutions—a mix of state and federal agencies and academic institutions.  Today, we are pleased to announce the addition of a 9th member of the consortium: Montana State University!

Date published: June 1, 2020

Yellowstone Monthly Update - June 2020

Yellowstone Volcano remains at GREEN/NORMAL. Yellowstone National Park is open and seasonal field work began last month. The University of Utah Seismograph Stations located 288 earthquakes in May that occurred as part of three swarms. Ground deformation remains unchanged from last month.

Date published: June 1, 2020

New interactive map on Yellowstone’s geology

Are you interested in Yellowstone’s dynamic geology? Do you like maps? If the answer to both questions is “yes,” then you’ll love a new online interactive map from the Wyoming State Geological Survey!