YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
Monday, March 1, 2010 2:47 PM MST (Monday, March 1, 2010 21:47 UTC)
YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO (CAVW #1205-01-)
44°25'48" N 110°40'12" W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
February 2010 Yellowstone Seismicity Summary: During the first half of February 2010, Yellowstone continued to experience a large swarm of earthquakes on the Madison Plateau, near the northwest margin of the Yellowstone Caldera. Retrospective analysis shows that the swarm began on January 15, 2010 and picked up in intensity on the 17th of January. As of February 25, a total of 1,809 earthquakes had been automatically located for the entire swarm, including 14 with a magnitude greater than 3.0; 136 with M2.0-2.9; 1,119 with M1.0-1.9; and 540 with M0.0-0.9. By the end of February 2010, earthquake activity at Yellowstone had returned to near-background levels.
Within the entire Yellowstone National Park region, 244 earthquakes received review by a seismologist during February. The largest event was a magnitude 3.1 on Feb. 2 at 7:31 PM MST. This earthquake was part of the Madison Plateau swarm and was located 7 miles SSE of Madison Junction, WY. In addition a small earthquake swarm of 17 earthquakes occurred on February 13, and was located about 12 miles NE of West Yellowstone, MT, with magnitudes ranging from -0.2 to 1.6. Some of the smallest events from the Madison Plateau swarm remain to be reviewed by a seismologist, and so the 244 earthquake tally is provisional.
Ground Deformation Summary: Continuous GPS data show that uplift of the Yellowstone Caldera has slowed significantly. Uplift rates for YVO GPS stations are less than 2.5 cm per year. The WLWY station, located in the northeastern part of the caldera, underwent a total of ~23 cm of uplift between mid-2004 and mid-2009. Its record can be found at:
The general uplift and subsidence of the Yellowstone caldera is of scientific importance and will continue to be monitored closely by YVO staff.
An article on the recent uplift episode at Yellowstone and discussion of long-term ground deformation at Yellowstone and elsewhere can be found at: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/publications/2007/upsanddowns.php
The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) is a partnership of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone National Park, and University of Utah to strengthen the long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake unrest 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.
Jacob Lowenstern, USGS
Scientist-in-Charge, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory
Robert Smith, University of Utah
Coordinating Scientist, YVO
Henry Heasler, Yellowstone National Park
Coordinating Scientist, YVO