YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Sunday, October 1, 2023, 8:59 AM MDT (Sunday, October 1, 2023, 14:59 UTC)
YELLOWSTONE (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
Steamboat Geyser did not have a major eruption in September, but minor eruptions starting in late September indicate that the geyser is likely to erupt in the coming weeks. There have been six major water eruptions of the geyser so far in 2023.
Yellowstone Volcano Observatory scientists remained busy thoughout the month as the summer season started to come to a close. Field work included completing the installation of a combined seismic, infrasound, GPS, and weather station at Norris Geyser Basin, maintenance of the seismic and GPS networks, recovery of the seasonally deployed semi-permanent GPS stations (they will be redeployed in May, after the winter snows have mostly melted), collection of gas and water samples from around the park, maintenance of the continuous gas monitoring equipment near Mud Volcano, investigations of hydrothermal areas throughout the park, and geological studies that aim to better understand Yellowstone's history of glaciation and hydrothermal explosions.
During September 2023, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 87 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event of the month was a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.8 located about 11 miles northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana, on September 10 at 4:28 PM MDT.
September seismicity in Yellowstone was marked by one swarm of 12 earthquakes, located approximately 11 miles northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana, that occurred September 9–11. The largest earthquake in the sequence is also the largest of the month (described above).
Yellowstone earthquake activity is currently at background levels.
During the month of September, continuous GPS stations in Yellowstone Caldera continued to record a pause in long-term ground subsidence, which has been ongoing since 2015 at rates of a few centimeters (about 1–2 inches) per year. A small amount of seasonal uplift of about 1 cm (0.4 in) has been recorded as water from snowmelt and runoff percolates into the subsurface, causing the ground to swell like a wet sponge—a style of deformation that occurs each summer—although all of that seasonal uplift occurred during May–July, with no change in August and September. A GPS station near Norris Geyser Basin has recorded about 1 cm (0.4 in) of uplift since July, probably as a result of seasonal groundwater changes.
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, Montana State University, Earthscope Consortium, Wyoming State Geological Survey, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Idaho Geological Survey
Michael Poland, Scientist-in-Charge