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= Yellowstone National Park
= Caldera
Yellowstone Monthly Update
Monday, December 03, 2018 2:13 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)
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A closer look at the 2017 Maple Creek earthquake swarm
December 10, 2018

In June of 2017, an earthquake swarm began beneath the western edge of Yellowstone National Park, just east of Hebgen Lake. This swarm proved to be one of the more persistent swarms observed in Yellowstone, with the main episode lasting more than 3 months and producing thousands of recorded earthquakes. Most of the earthquakes were very small, but a few were felt in the park, including the largest, a magnitude 4.4 earthquake on June 16, 2017.

But what caused this swarm? Magma moving around in the subsurface? Tectonic faulting? Mole people? Find out in this week's Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles!


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. So far in 2018, Steamboat has erupted 30 times (a new record for a single calendar year!). 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
  • July 20, 10:36 PM
  • August 4, 2:10 PM
  • August 22, 11:44 AM
  • August 27, 9:30 PM
  • September 1, 11:21 PM
  • September 7, 10:20 AM
  • September 12, 4:23 AM
  • September 17, 9:38 AM
  • September 24, 5:18 AM
  • September 30, 6:55 PM
  • October 8, 10:25 AM
  • October 15, 2:12 PM
  • October 23, 9:29 PM
  • October 31, 8:22 AM
  • November 7, 4:16 PM
  • November 15, 11:04 AM
  • November 21, 7:10 PM
  • November 28, 8:37 PM
  • December 8, 1:07 AM

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.


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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 (2018-12-03 20:13:24)