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YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Wednesday, February 1, 2023, 10:31 AM MST (Wednesday, February 1, 2023, 17:31 UTC)


YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO (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 started 2023 with two major water eruptions during the past month, on January 5 and January 28.  

No field work is occurring in the park at this time, but planning is underway for another busy field season once the snow starts to melt later this year.

Seismicity

During January 2023, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 75 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event of the month was a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.5 located about 19 miles south-southeast of West Thumb in Yellowstone National Park on January 5 at 11:19 AM MST.  This event was part of a small swarm of 11 earthquakes that occurred during January 5–6.  

In addition, 28 earthquakes were added to the ongoing seismicity that began last summer about 14 miles south-southwest of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. The largest earthquake of the month in this sequence, a magnitude 2.0 event, occurred on January 22 at 10:38 PM MST.

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 Yellowstone Caldera continued to record gradual subsidence at a rate of 2–3 centimeters (1 inch) per year, which has been ongoing since 2015.  No significant deformation has been recorded in the area of Norris Geyser Basin since the end of last summer.  In late January, snow and ice accumulation on GPS antennas due to a winter storm that impacted the region caused apparent subsidence of 1–3 centimeters, but this does not represent real ground motion and will recover itself once the antennas are free of snow/ice.  Several similar weather events have impacted GPS time series this winter.

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, UNAVCO, Inc., Wyoming State Geological Survey, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Idaho Geological Survey





CONTACT INFORMATION:

Michael Poland, Scientist-in-Charge
mpoland@usgs.gov