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= Yellowstone National Park
= Caldera
Yellowstone Monthly Update
Monday, July 02, 2018 4:19 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

A window into Yellowstone's interior, part I: How Yellowstone shapes the western USA
July 09, 2018

In 1922, Dr. Thomas Jaggar, MIT professor and founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, took a horse-pack trip through Yellowstone. After the journey, Jaggar stated: "Anyone who has spent summers with pack-train in a place like Yellowstone comes to know the land to be leaping. ... The mountains are falling all the time and by millions of tons. Something underground is shoving them up." How prophetic were Jaggar's interpretations of Yellowstone's dynamic geology and how volcanic hotspots help shape Earth's surface? In fact, Yellowstone has been shaping the western United States for nearly 17 million years.

Would you like to know more?


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 hopefully many people will have 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. So far in 2018, Steamboat has erupted 11 times (all times below are local):

  • March 15, 5:37 AM
  • April 19, 4:30 PM
  • April 27, 6:30 AM
  • May 4, 11:50 PM
  • May 13, 3:54 AM
  • May 19, 9:49 PM
  • May 27, 7:33 PM
  • June 4, 9:05 AM
  • June 11, 1:06 AM
  • June 15, 4:55 PM
  • July 6, 1:38 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
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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 (2018-07-02 22:19:34)