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Alert Level: NORMAL, Color Code: GREEN
2018-05-01 20:52:31 UTC





YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 2:52 PM MDT (Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 20:52 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 April, Steamboat Geyser, widely acknowledged as the tallest geyser in the world, in the Norris Geyser Basin erupted twice -- on April 19 at about 4:30 PM, and on April 27 at about 6:30 AM. The sporadically active geyser has now erupted 3 times in the past 6 weeks. Based on seismic data, all three eruptions have been smaller than the major events of 2013 and 2014, but these 2018 eruptions each still discharged about 10 times more water than a typical eruption of Old Faithful. Although a bit unusual, such frequent eruptions are not unique. Steamboat behaves randomly. It experienced five eruptions in 2002-2003 and dozens of eruptions during 1982-1984, but the geyser can also go dormant for years at a time. The recent activity has no bearing on the potential for a volcanic eruption, the probability of which remains remote. Geyser activity reflects only the conditions in the upper few tens of meters of the surface.

The biennial Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) coordination meeting will take place May 7-8 in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY, and will include representatives from nearly all YVO consortium member agencies. In addition to the scientific aspects of the meeting, a public forum will be held at the community center in Gardiner, MT, on Monday, May 7, at 6:30-8:00 PM MDT. The session will feature a short panel discussion with scientists from different YVO member institutions, followed by an open question and answer period during which visitors can interact informally with YVO researchers.

Seismicity

During April 2018, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 200 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event was a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.7 that occurred about seven miles north of West Yellowstone, MT, on April 07 at 03:40 AM MDT. No earthquakes were reported "felt" in the Yellowstone region in April.

A swarm of 115 earthquakes was located about 8 miles east of West Thumb, WY, during April 11-16. The largest swarm earthquake, a magnitude 2.4 event, occurred on April 11 at 10:06 AM MDT.

Activity continued in the area of last summer's Maple Creek swarm, with 48 April earthquakes. This persistent seismicity includes the largest event of the month (the aforementioned magnitude 2.7 earthquake on April 07).

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 April at rates of a few centimeters per year -- a pattern that has been ongoing since 2015. Deformation rates in the area of Norris Geyser Basin, measured by station NRWY, have been very low over the past month, with no significant uplift or subsidence.

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, April 2, 2018, 9:34 PM MDT (Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 03:34 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

On March 15, at about 5:30 AM MDT, Steamboat Geyser (widely acknowledged as the tallest geyser in the world), in the Norris Geyser Basin, erupted for the first time since 2014. Based on seismic data, the geyser eruption was smaller in magnitude than its 2013 and 2014 eruptions, but it was still sufficient to deposit small muddy clasts around the vent.

In other news, we are pleased to announce an opportunity for the public to meet YVO scientists! On Monday, May 7, at 6:30-8:00 PM MDT, a public forum will be held at the community center in Gardiner, Montana. The session will feature a short panel discussion with scientists from different YVO member institutions, followed by an open question and answer period during which visitors can interact informally with YVO scientists.

Seismicity

During March 2018, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 97 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest event was a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.2 located about seven miles northeast of West Yellowstone, MT, on March 18 at 05:30 AM MDT.

Swarm activity continued in the area northeast of West Yellowstone, MT, but at a much lower rate than last month. March saw the addition of 29 earthquakes to the 742 events that were located in February. The March swarm activity added two earthquakes in the magnitude 2 range (including the largest event of the month on March 18) to February's 80 earthquakes in the magnitude 2 range and three in the magnitude 3 range.

A second swarm of 26 earthquakes occurred on March 11 about 9 miles north-northeast of Old Faithful, WY. The largest earthquake of that swarm, a magnitude 1.8, occurred at 05:35 AM MDT on March 11.

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

Yellowstone earthquake activity has returned to background levels.

Ground deformation

Deformation patterns typical of the past few years continued through March. GPS stations in the caldera are subsiding by a few centimeters per year, and the GPS station near Norris Geyser Basin continues to uplift at a similar rate (this uplift was interrupted by a few-week period of subsidence in early-mid December 2017).

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