- Current Update, last updated Mar 3, 2014 11:58 MST:
The ground deformation occurring in north-central Yellowstone, which we reported in an Information Statement on February 18, 2014, continues. In March, YVO plans to deploy several additional GPS instruments to learn more about this scientifically interesting deformation episode. Caldera subsidence, which began in 2010, appears to be slowing. All the deformation currently occurring in Yellowstone remains well within historical norms.
During February 2014, the University of Utah reports 245 earthquakes were located in the Yellowstone National Park region. February seismicity in Yellowstone was marked by an ongoing cluster of 153 earthquakes, located about 5 miles WNW of Norris Geyser Basin, YNP, that persisted throughout the month. The cluster included the largest event of the month, which was a minor earthquake of magnitude 3.5 on February 11, 2014 at 4:03 PM MST.
Although seismicity over Yellowstone as a whole is only slightly above normal, seismicity levels in the deforming region in the north-central part of the Park have increased since the deformation began. This correlation is neither worrisome nor surprising since ground deformation and small earthquakes often occur together.
Please see: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/yvo/YVO_GPS.jpg for a map of GPS stations in Yellowstone. For a graph of daily GPS positions at NRWY, a station about 1.5 miles SE of Norris Geyser Basin, please see: http://pbo.unavco.org/station/overview/NRWY. For GPS positions at WLWY, near White Lake in the northeastern part of Yellowstone caldera, please see: http://pbo.unavco.org/station/overview/WLWY.
- Volcanic History Overview: The Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field developed through three volcanic cycles spanning two million years that included some of the world's largest known eruptions. Eruption of the >2450 cu km Huckleberry Ridge Tuff about 2.1 million years ago created the more than 75-km-long Island Park caldera. The second cycle concluded with the eruption of the Mesa Falls Tuff around 1.3 million years ago, forming the 16-km-wide Henrys Fork caldera at the western end of the first caldera. Activity subsequently shifted to the present Yellowstone Plateau and culminated 640,000 years ago with the eruption of the >1000 cu km Lava Creek Tuff and the formation of the present 45 x 85 km caldera. Resurgent doming subsequently occurred at both the NE and SW sides of the caldera and voluminous (1000 cu km) intracaldera rhyolitic lava flows were erupted between 150,000 and 70,000 years ago. No magmatic eruptions have occurred since the late Pleistocene, but large phreatic eruptions took place near Yellowstone Lake during the Holocene. Yellowstone is presently the site of one of the world's largest hydrothermal systems including Earth's largest concentration of geysers.
- Location: Western US, WY
Elevation: 2805 m
- Hazard Assessments: Christiansen, R. L., Lowenstern, J. B., Smith, R. B., Heasler, H, Morgan, L. A., Nathenson, M., Mastin, L. G., Muffler, L. J. P., and Robinson, J. E., 2007, Preliminary Assessment of Volcanic and Hydrothermal Hazards in Yellowstone National Park and Vicinity, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1071.
- Link to monitoring data:
Recent earthquake activity in Yellowstone National Park (map and catalog with links)
GPS Measured Horizontal Ground Motions
Provisional real-time stream-flow data
See the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Monitoring Page for more.
Volcanic Alert Level: NORMAL Aviation Color Code: GREEN