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YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, September 1, 2023, 5:41 AM MDT (Friday, September 1, 2023, 11:41 UTC)
YELLOWSTONE (VNUM #325010)
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
Steamboat Geyser erupted on August 25—it’s first eruption in 77 days! This was the sixth eruption of the year.
The section of boardwalk between Sponge Geyser and Doublet Pool on Geyser Hill, not far from Old Faithful, reopened in August after some new and reactivated thermal features, which were splashing hot water and debris onto the pathway in May and June, remained quiescent for the month.
Summer field work by Yellowstone Volcano Observatory scientists continued throughout August, including maintenance of the seismic and GPS networks and the installation of infrastructure for a new combined seismic, infrasound, and GPS monitoring station at Norris Geyser Basin. The work on this site will be completed in September. In addition, the coming month will include maintenance of the continuous gas monitoring station near Mud Volcano and collection of geological and geochemical datasets to better understand Yellowstone’s past geologic history and present conditions.
During August 2023, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 136 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event of the month was a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.7 located about 18 miles northeast of Moran, Wyoming, on August 12 at 12:38 PM MDT.
August seismicity in Yellowstone was marked by one swarm of 14 earthquakes, located approximately 10 miles north-northeast of Old Faithful, in Yellowstone National Park, during August 2–4. The largest earthquake in the sequence, a magnitude 1.7, occurred on August 2 at 05:22 AM MDT.
Yellowstone earthquake activity is currently at background levels.
During the month of August, continuous GPS stations in Yellowstone Caldera recorded a pause in long-term ground subsidence, which has been ongoing since 2015 at rates of a few centimeters (about 1–2 inches) per year. A small amount of seasonal uplift of about 1 cm (0.4 inch) has been recorded as water from snowmelt and runoff percolates into the subsurface, causing the ground to swell like a wet sponge—a style of deformation that occurs each summer—although all of that seasonal uplift occurred during May–July, with no change in August. A GPS station near Norris Geyser Basin did not record any deformation during the past two months after measuring steady subsidence totaling about 3 cm (slightly more than 1 inch) between October 2022 and June 2023.
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, Earthscope Consortium, Wyoming State Geological Survey, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Idaho Geological Survey
Michael Poland, Scientist-in-Charge