Volcano Updates

Alert Level: NORMAL, Color Code: GREEN 2020-11-02 20:33:05

U.S. Geological Survey
Monday, November 2, 2020, 1:33 PM MST (Monday, November 2, 2020, 20:33 UTC)

44°25'48" N 110°40'12" W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Recent work and news

In October, field crews continued maintenance work on monitoring stations in and around Yellowstone National Park, hardening them for the harsh winter months. The remaining semipermanent GPS stations were recovered and downloaded; these will be redeployed in May, as they have been for the past decade. The continuous GPS network of over two dozen stations and the seismic network of about four dozen stations are fully operational, as is the temperature monitoring network at Norris Geyser Basin.

Steamboat Geyser experienced four water eruptions during the month: October 5, 14, 19, and 27. This brings the total number of eruptions for the year to 42.

YVO wishes everyone continued safety and health during these challenging times.


During October 2020, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 86 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event was a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.1 located 17 miles northwest of Lake, Yellowstone National Park, on October 2 at 4:34 PM MDT.

No swarm activity was observed in October.

Yellowstone earthquake activity remains at background levels.

Ground deformation

Deformation rates and styles at Yellowstone, as recorded by continuous GPS stations, remain unchanged from last month’s update. Subsidence of Yellowstone Caldera, which has been ongoing since 2015, continued at an average rate of 2-3 cm (about 1 in) per year. In the area of Norris Geyser Basin, little deformation has been detected by a nearby GPS station since the start of 2020.

An example of GPS data can be found at http://www.unavco.org/instrumentation/networks/status/pbo/data/NRWY (click on Static Plots / Cleaned)

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) provides long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park. YVO is one of the five USGS Volcano Observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.

YVO Member agencies: USGS, Yellowstone National Park, University of Utah, University of Wyoming, Montana State University, UNAVCO, Inc., Wyoming State Geological Survey, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Idaho Geological Survey


Michael Poland, Scientist-in-Charge