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Alert Level: NORMAL, Color Code: GREEN
2019-01-02 23:13:35 UTC





YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Wednesday, January 2, 2019, 4:13 PM MST (Wednesday, January 2, 2019, 23:13 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

During the lapse in appropriations, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory continues to maintain monitoring networks and issue updates and notifications of volcanic activity. Volcano monitoring data will be available on the YVO website (https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/yvo/), although some website content will not be updated and may become outdated. More information is available at https://www.doi.gov/shutdown. The partial government shutdown does not affect non-federal YVO consortium members, like the University of Utah and UNAVCO, and core USGS and NPS staff are continuing their usual monitoring responsibilities.

In December, Steamboat geyser experienced three water eruptions, on December 8, 17, and 25. There were 32 Steamboat water eruptions in 2018, which breaks the record of 29, set in 1964, for the most eruptions in a calendar year.

Seismicity

During December 2018, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 121 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event was a minor earthquake of magnitude 3.1 located 19 miles west-northwest of West Yellowstone, MT, on December 20 at 09:36 AM MST.

December seismicity in Yellowstone concluded with a swarm of 53 located earthquakes on December 31 (additional earthquakes that were too small to be located but can be seen on webicorders are not included in this count). The largest swarm event, a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.8, was located 5 miles west-northwest of Lake, WY, on December 31 at 03:21 AM MST.

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

Yellowstone earthquake activity remains at background levels.

Ground deformation

There were no significant changes in surface deformation at Yellowstone as recorded by GPS stations. Ground subsidence of Yellowstone caldera continues, as it has since 2015, with about 2 cm of subsidence occurring during 2018. In the area of Norris Geyser Basin, GPS data indicate a minor amount of uplift over the past few months, with a total uplift of about 2 cm during 2018, also continuing the trend that has been ongoing since 2015.

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
Monday, December 3, 2018, 1:13 PM MST (Monday, December 3, 2018, 20:13 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

Steamboat geyser seems to have settled in to a pattern of near-weekly water eruptions, with activity on November 7, 15, 21, and 28. There have now been 29 total Steamboat water eruptions in 2018, which ties the record for the most eruptions in any given calendar year (previously set in 1964). Researchers took advantage of the temporary seasonal Park closure in early November to conduct field work in the Upper Geyser Basin, including the recovery of seismic sensors from around Geyser Hill (which were installed to monitor activity that commenced in mid-September), collect sinter and tree-ring samples to investigate past hydrothermal activity, and to study the biology of hydrothermal waters in the region.

Seismicity

During November 2018, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 126 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event was a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.4 located 15 miles north of West Yellowstone, MT, on November 4, at 10:11 AM MST. This earthquake is part of ongoing seismicity in that area (site of last year's 3-month-long Maple Creek swarm), which includes a swarm of 57 located earthquakes that started on November 4 and lasted throughout the month.

A second swarm of 22 earthquakes occurred November 21-24 (MST). The largest swarm event, a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.3, was located 16 miles south-southwest of Mammoth, WY, on November 23, at 09:25 AM (MST), .

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

Surface deformation recorded by GPS stations within Yellowstone caldera continues to be characterized by ground subsidence at rates of a few centimeters per year. In the area of Norris Geyser Basin, GPS data indicate no significant deformation. Uplift there, which has been occurring at an average rate of a few centimeters per year since 2015, seems to have paused for the past ~2 months. A similar pause occurred at about the same time of year in 2017 and may therefore represent a seasonal affect.

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