Hazard Notification System (HANS) for Volcanoes


U.S. Geological Survey
Monday, May 1, 2023, 9:50 AM MDT (Monday, May 1, 2023, 15:50 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

No eruptions of Steamboat Geyser were detected during the month of April, and the total number of eruptions for the year remains at two. It is difficult to assess the geyser's activity because the Norris temperature monitoring network and seismic station YNM were down throughout the month, but the streamgage on Tantalus Creek, through which all water from Norris Geyser Basin drains, did not record obvious spikes that would be associated with Steamboat Geyser eruptions.

With the arrival of spring, field work by Yellowstone Volcano Observatory scientists is ramping up! May operations will include repairing the Norris temperature monitoring network, as well as installing semi-permanent GPS stations around Yellowstone National Park.  These stations are intended to densify the continuous GPS network during the summer and are installed every spring and removed in the fall.



During April 2023, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 168 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event of the month was a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.5 located about 6 miles west-southwest of West Thumb in Yellowstone National Park on April 15 at 9:53 AM MDT.  

April seismicity in Yellowstone was marked by two swarms:

1. A swarm of 50 earthquakes, under the eastern arm of Shoshone Lake about 6 miles west-southwest of West Thumb, in Yellowstone National Park, occurred April 15–19. The largest swarm earthquake, a magnitude 2.5, was the largest earthquake in April (described above). 

2. A swarm of 33 earthquakes, approximately 3 miles northwest of West Thumb, in Yellowstone National Park, occurred April 24–26. The largest earthquake in the sequence, a magnitude 2.0, occurred April 24 at 7:04 PM MDT.

Earthquake sequences like these are common and account for roughly 50% of the total seismicity in the Yellowstone region.

Yellowstone earthquake activity is currently at background levels.


Ground Deformation

Continuous GPS stations in and around Yellowstone National Park continued to record gradual subsidence at a rate of several centimeters (1–2 inches) per year, which has been ongoing since 2015.  Since October, about 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) of subsidence has occurred in the caldera, and 2 centimeters (0.8 inch) of subsidence has occurred in the area of Norris Geyser Basin.

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