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Alert Level: NORMAL, Color Code: GREEN
2018-07-02 22:19:34 UTC





YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Monday, July 2, 2018, 4:19 PM MDT (Monday, July 2, 2018, 22:19 UTC)


YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO (VNUM #325010)
44°25'48" N 110°40'12" W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Recent work and news

June saw three additional water eruptions of Steamboat geyser, on June 4, 11, and 15. YVO Scientists were actually present to witness the activity on June 4 and 15! The scientists on June 4 were removing 28 portable seismometers from around the geyser. Those sensors were installed in early May and recorded four Steamboat eruptions. The University of Utah scientists leading the project hope to use the data to better understand the plumbing system beneath Steamboat, and why that geyser, and others like it, behave in an intermittent fashion. University of Utah scientists also deployed temporary seismometers around Yellowstone Lake in June as part of a project designed to better understand the generation of microseisms, which are faint seismic signals that, at Yellowstone, are related to water waves on the lake.

In addition to work in Yellowstone, many YVO scientists have assisted colleagues in Hawaiʻi with the response to the ongoing volcanic crisis at Kīlauea Volcano.

Seismicity

During June 2018, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 76 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event was a micro earthquake of magnitude 2.3 at 05:24 AM MDT on June 30, located about nine miles north-northeast of Old Faithful, WY. The event was part of a sequence of 31 earthquakes that began June 11 (MDT) and continued through the month (most of the events occurred on June 12 and 30).

A smaller sequence of 17 earthquakes occurred ~13 miles south-southeast of Mammoth, WY, during June 9–13. The largest event of that swarm was a micro earthquake of magnitude 2.1 on June 9 at 04:50 AM MDT.

Earthquake sequences like these are common and account for roughly 50% of the total seismicity in the Yellowstone region.

Yellowstone earthquake activity remains at background levels.

Ground deformation

Subsidence of all parts of Yellowstone caldera continued throughout June at rates of a few centimeters per year -- a pattern that has been ongoing since 2015. Some GPS sites, like LKWY near Yellowstone Lake, are showing seasonal signals related to changing lake levels (these patterns repeat every year and generally show increased subsidence when the lake level is highest, reflecting the weight of the lake on Earth's surface). Uplift in the area of Norris Geyser Basin, measured by station NRWY, has been insignificant over the past month.

An example of GPS data can be found at http://www.unavco.org/instrumentation/networks/status/pbo/data/NRWY (click on Static Plots / Cleaned)



The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) provides long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park. YVO is one of the five USGS Volcano Observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.

YVO Member agencies: USGS, Yellowstone National Park, University of Utah, University of Wyoming, UNAVCO, Inc., Wyoming State Geological Survey, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Idaho Geological Survey



CONTACT INFORMATION:

Michael Poland, Scientist-in-Charge
mpoland@usgs.gov




YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, June 1, 2018, 3:36 PM MDT (Friday, June 1, 2018, 21:36 UTC)


YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO (VNUM #325010)
44°25'48" N 110°40'12" W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Recent work and news

May was an exceptional month for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO)!

(1) Steamboat Geyser erupted 4 times during the month (May 4, 13, 19, and 27), bringing the total number of eruptions in 2018 to 7. The eruptions display a rough periodicity, occurring every 7-8 days. University of Utah scientists deployed a portable seismic array around the geyser in early May and have captured three eruptions so far. It is hoped that these data will help to map the geyser's plumbing system, perhaps revealing insights into how intermittent geysers work.

(2) The 2018 YVO coordination meeting was held during May 7-8. Scientists from almost all YVO member institutions presented the results of research and monitoring efforts, developed plans for strengthening communications with each other and the public, and discussed the priorities for future research. It was agreed that thermal areas, which represent the boundary between deep Earth processes and surface biology, are the most important areas requiring additional study, and YVO is hoping to develop a coordinated research plan to address the topic soon. In addition to the scientific meeting, a public event was held in Gardiner, Montana, on May 7, when over 70 people had the chance to have their Yellowstone questions answered and to interact with YVO scientists.

(3) Field season is upon us! Several YVO scientists took advantage of the coordination meeting to conduct field operations. This included geologic studies and the maintenance of continuous monitoring equipment. Of special note was the deployment of 12 semi-permanent GPS stations around the Park, which will record data on site (without a radio link) and be retrieved in October. These data fill some "gaps" between continuous GPS stations and will help researchers better understand the characteristics and causes of ground motion in the region.

Seismicity

During May 2018, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 123 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event was a minor earthquake of magnitude 3.1 that occurred about nine miles northeast of West Yellowstone, MT, on May 6 at 8:54 AM MDT. No earthquakes were reported "felt" in the Yellowstone region in May.

Activity continued in the area of last summer's Maple Creek swarm, with 70 May earthquakes. This persistent seismicity includes the largest event of the month (the aforementioned magnitude 3.1 earthquake on May 6).

Earthquake sequences like these are common and account for roughly 50% of the total seismicity in the Yellowstone region.

Yellowstone earthquake activity remains at background levels.

Ground deformation

Subsidence of all parts of Yellowstone caldera continued throughout May at rates of a few centimeters per year -- a pattern that has been ongoing since 2015. Uplift rates in the area of Norris Geyser Basin, measured by station NRWY, have similarly been on the order of a few centimeters per year.

An example of GPS data can be found at http://www.unavco.org/instrumentation/networks/status/pbo/data/NRWY (click on Static Plots / Cleaned)



The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) provides long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park. YVO is one of the five USGS Volcano Observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.

YVO Member agencies: USGS, Yellowstone National Park, University of Utah, University of Wyoming, UNAVCO, Inc., Wyoming State Geological Survey, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Idaho Geological Survey



CONTACT INFORMATION:

Michael Poland, Scientist-in-Charge
mpoland@usgs.gov