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= YVO Area Of Responsibility
= Yellowstone National Park
= Yellowstone Caldera
Yellowstone Monthly Update
Monday, March 02, 2020 1:33 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 and southwestern U.S.

Features   (archive)

Young Volcanoes in AZ, CO, MT, NM, UT and WY

YVO continues work amid COVID-19
March 24, 2020

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory continues to monitor volcanoes and issue monthly updates of volcanic activity. Through telework and other adaptations the USGS and YVO partner agencies continue to maintain our monitoring networks and analyze the incoming data. Our field crews visit field stations as needed to maintain the quality and functionality of the network. All work will follow federal government guidelines to ensure public safety and the safety of our staff. The health and safety of the public and our employees are our highest priorities, and we continue to follow guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, as we implement teleworking, social distancing and virtual meeting tools.

Our priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and community. Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staffing within our offices. If you need additional assistance, please contact yvowebteam@usgs.gov.


Geysers—what exactly are they made of?
March 23, 2020

One of the most enticing attractions for visitors arriving in Yellowstone National Park every year is the park's iconic geysers—about half of all geysers in the world are in Yellowstone! As scientists, we are interested in understanding how geysers work for a variety of reasons. They are used as safe, small-scale models for volcanoes, and by understanding the processes that control geyser eruptions in Yellowstone, we improve not only our understanding of volcano and geyser dynamics, but of geothermal systems elsewhere. Previous editions of Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles have addressed many related topics such as why geysers are rare, and what causes them to erupt, in addition to their plumbing systems and water chemistry. In addition to understanding how they work, we also want to understand what they are made of, one reason being that by characterizing the composition of deposits formed by geyser eruptions, we can obtain a better understanding of when and how ore deposits, such as gold, are concentrated.

In this week's Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles, we shed light on what makes up geyser cones.


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 summers of 2018 and 2019.

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! That record was shattered in 2019 with 48 eruptions. So far the geyser has erupted 9 times in 2020. 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, 2018 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
  • March 25, 2019 5:37 PM
  • April 8, 2019 8:44 PM
  • April 25, 2019 10:25 PM
  • May 3, 2019 2:20 AM
  • May 8, 2019 8:01 AM
  • May 13, 2019 7:56 PM
  • May 20, 2019 3:23 PM
  • May 27, 2019 5:30 PM
  • June 1, 2019 8:47 PM
  • June 7, 2019 1:13 AM
  • June 12, 2019 12:52 PM
  • June 15, 2019 4:40 PM
  • June 19, 2019 2:20 AM
  • June 23, 2019 12:46 PM
  • June 28, 2019 11:44 PM
  • July 4, 2019 1:16 AM
  • July 10, 2019 7:09 PM
  • July 18, 2019 6:12 AM
  • July 24, 2019 1:57 AM
  • July 30, 2019 7:21 AM
  • August 12, 2019 10:23 PM
  • August 20, 2019 12:51 PM
  • August 27, 2019 10:47 AM
  • September 3, 2019 2:34 AM
  • September 11, 2019 9:40 PM
  • September 17, 2019 11:42 PM
  • September 25, 2019 6:22 AM
  • October 1, 2019 12:53 PM
  • October 7, 2019 8:45 PM
  • October 16, 2019 3:51 AM
  • October 22, 2019 1:16 PM
  • October 30, 2019 3:54 PM
  • November 8, 2019 3:59 AM
  • November 17, 2019 12:29 PM
  • November 27, 2019 12:47 AM
  • December 8, 2019 4:53 PM
  • December 18, 2019 3:42 PM
  • December 26, 2019 9:34 PM
  • January 9, 2020 7:45 PM
  • January 23, 2020 6:25 PM
  • February 1, 2020 9:07 PM
  • February 12, 2020 5:23 PM
  • February 21, 2020 11:32 PM
  • February 28, 2020 1:37 AM
  • March 6, 2020 6:36 PM
  • March 15, 2020 8:08 PM
  • March 24, 2020 9:17 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.