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= Yellowstone National Park
= Caldera
Yellowstone Monthly Update
Monday, May 02, 2016 11:35 AM
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
YVO's Mission
The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory provides timely monitoring and hazard assessment of volcanic, hydrothermal, and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone Plateau region.

Features   (archive)
Quick Links

Carbonated Water Helps Geysers Erupt
March 16, 2016
Most models of geyser eruptions start with a simple assumption: eruptions occur as liquid water boils to steam. While that is largely true, if the water includes dissolved carbon dioxide, geyser eruptions can occur at temperatures lower than boiling. USGS scientist Shaul Hurwitz and colleagues published a paper discussing this phenomenon. Read the summary of their research on our website and the full article in the March 2016 issue of the journal Geology.
Research Provides Age Dates for Yellowstone Hot Springs
January 13, 2016
How old are Yellowstone's geysers? New research by YVO scientists uses carbon-dating techniques on bits of organic matter trapped in the silica sinter that forms on the margins of hot springs. Even with very small samples, it's possible to determine how long these thermal features have been active and perhaps when they formed. Read a summary of the study with a visual explanation of the methods on our website. The full article is available in a January 2016 issue of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research.
Dr. Robert B. Smith, a living legend around Yellowstone, shares details of his 55 years of researching the volcano.
August 10, 2015
Robert B. Smith (Bob), a professor of geophysics and scientist at the University of Utah, has been collaborating with USGS scientists on Yellowstone geologic topics since the 1960's. In this interview with the USGS, Bob explains that he likes to work on Yellowstone because, "you are seeing processes that are active's real time geology, and that's what makes it exciting for me. We can look at the processes developed from studying Yellowstone, and then apply those processes to other places in the earth where there are volcanoes and big faults or earthquakes." He is right, Yellowstone is a natural laboratory for volcanologic research, and he explains more about his work there and with the USGS in this newly released interview. You can watch three additional interviews with legendary Yellowstone scientists on our multimedia webpage.
Five Things Most People Get Wrong About the Yellowstone Volcano
May 08, 2015
We can't help but notice the comments in social media, and even the ticklers and headlines in the newspapers and blogs. Sometimes, people spread misinformation even when they think they know the facts. This new article dispels five of the most common misunderstandings about Yellowstone.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Quick Facts
Location: Wyoming and Montana
Latitude: 44.615° N
Longitude: 110.6° W
Elevation: 2,805 (m) 9,203 (f)
Volcano type: Caldera
Composition: basalt to rhyolite
Most recent eruption: 70,000 years ago—lava, current—hydrothermal explosions
Alert Level: Normal (2016-05-02 11:35:04)