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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)
Quick Links

The Hydrothermal System in Yellowstone Lake
December 03, 2018

When you think of a lake bed, what comes to mind? Squishy bottom with some grasses, rocks, and sunken logs? Well, the floor of Yellowstone Lake has hot springs, sinter deposits, altered muds, heat-loving bacteria, rocky siliceous spires, and hydrothermal explosion craters. These features have been the subject of intense study over the last 20 years, and research results show that the springs have an impact on the chemistry of the lake itself.

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