= Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Monthly Update
The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory provides timely monitoring and hazard assessment
of volcanic, hydrothermal, and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone Plateau region.
Monday, July 02, 2018 4:19 PM US/Mountain
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
A window into Yellowstone's interior, part II: The Yellowstone crust-mantle volcanic system
July 16, 2018
Yellowstone is one of the most dynamic places on Earth, with active volcanism, seismic swarms, strong earthquakes, episodic ground deformation of up to nearly 20 cm/yr (8 in/yr), and extraordinarily high heat flux that is greater than 40 times the continental average (in places it is up to 2000 times average!). It is this heat that fuels the world's largest hydrothermal system of geysers, fumaroles and hot springs. From last week's Caldera Chronicles article we know that the ultimate source of the heat is a hotspot that transports material to the surface from deep within the Earth, but how does that heat get to the surface to drive the features that have made Yellowstone famous?
Read all about it!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.