Link to USGS home page.
USGS HOME
Contact USGS

  • Assess
  • Prepare
  • Forecast
  • |
  • Activity
  • Products
  • Observatories
  • About

= Yellowstone National Park
= Caldera
Yellowstone Monthly Update
Friday, March 01, 2019 1:06 PM US/Mountain
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

Exploring thermal areas in Yellowstone's remote southwest corner
March 18, 2019

Why are there hydrothermal areas in Yellowstone? Fundamentally, it's due to the presence of water (from rain and snow), heat (from magma), and suitable geology (porous rocks). Water that percolates into the ground is heated indirectly by the underlying magma and migrates back to the surface along faults and at the terminations of volcanic flows. Volcanic gases travel to the surface alongside the water. The highest concentrations of thermal features are near the center of the park: for example, the Upper Geyser Basin, where Old Faithful is located, and Norris Geyser Basin. However, there are over 10,000 thermal features scattered throughout the park, and to get a full picture of the Yellowstone hydrothermal system, we are attempting to make a more complete accounting of water and gas chemistry of these features. This includes he remote southwest part of Yellowstone National Park, in the vicinity of the Bechler River and Boundary Creek.

Check out his week's Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles to hear about what we've learned from this little visited area of Yellowstone!


Steamboat Counter
May 14, 2018

Steamboat Geyser, in the Norris Geyser Basin, appears to have entered a phase of more frequent water eruptions, much like it did in the 1960s and early 1980s. Although these eruptions do not have any implications for future volcanic activity at Yellowstone (after all, geysers are supposed to erupt, and most are erratic, like Steamboat), they are nonetheless spectacular, and many people had a chance to see Steamboat in eruption during the summer of 2018.

To keep track of the geysering, we will keep an updated count of Steamboat water eruptions on this page. In 2018, Steamboat erupted 32 times (a new record for a single calendar year!), and so far the geyser has erupted 10 times in 2019. All times below are local.

  • March 15, 2018 5:37 AM
  • April 19, 2018 4:30 PM
  • April 27, 2018 6:30 AM
  • May 4, 2018 11:50 PM
  • May 13, 2018 3:54 AM
  • May 19, 2018 9:49 PM
  • May 27, 2018 7:33 PM
  • June 4, 2018 9:05 AM
  • June 11, 2018 1:06 AM
  • June 15, 2018 4:55 PM
  • July 6, 2018 1:38 PM
  • July 20, 2018 10:36 PM
  • August 4, 2018 2:10 PM
  • August 22, 2018 11:44 AM
  • August 27, 2018 9:30 PM
  • September 1, 2018 11:21 PM
  • September 7, 2018 10:20 AM
  • September 12, 2018 4:23 AM
  • September 17, 2018 9:38 AM
  • September 24, 2018 5:18 AM
  • September 30, 2018 6:55 PM
  • October 8, 2018 10:25 AM
  • October 15, 2018 2:12 PM
  • October 23, 2018 9:29 PM
  • October 31, 2018 8:22 AM
  • November 7, 2018 4:16 PM
  • November 15, 2018 11:04 AM
  • November 21, 2018 7:10 PM
  • November 28, 2018 8:37 PM
  • December 8, 2018 1:07 AM
  • December 17, 2018 ~12:30 PM
  • December 25, 11:21 PM
  • January 4, 2019 4:19 PM
  • January 16, 2019 7:12 AM
  • January 25, 2019 12:32 PM
  • February 1, 2019 3:21 PM
  • February 8, 2019 8:46 PM
  • February 16, 2019 1:06 AM
  • February 25, 2019 11:42 AM
  • March 4, 2019 11:39 PM
  • March 11, 2019 1:54 AM
  • March 17, 2019 2:54 PM


Would you like to become a Steamboat watcher? If so, there are three datasets to keep an eye on:
  1. Seismic station YNM, in the Norris museum, is the first indicator of an eruption. The webicorder for the station is located here. Look for a thick seismic trace that lasts 30-60 minutes.
  2. About 90 minutes after eruption, increased discharge can often be seen at the Tantalus stream gage. You can get that information here. Scroll down to the plot "Discharge, cubic feet per second" and look for a spike and subsequent decay, but be careful...precipitation can cause spikes too! Rainfall information is given in another plot on that page.
  3. Each night, temperature data from a sensor in the Steamboat drainage channel is downloaded and posted on line. A sudden and short-lived (minutes-long) spike in temperature indicates a Steamboat eruption. To view those data, go to the YVO monitoring map and zoom in on the Norris area. Hover over any of the thermometer symbols to see their names, and click on the one labeled "Steamboat" to see data from various time periods past.

Have fun! You might also check out the Steamboat page at geysertimes.org for information about Steamboat activity.


Publications
Featured Articles
Yellowstone Volcanic History
Yellowstone Hazards
University of Utah Seismographs
University of Utah Research Group
Images, Podcasts, Videos, and Webcams
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 (2019-03-01 19:06:05)