Volcano Observatory shows movement in Yellowstone

Woman Burned In Yellowstone

Yellowstone Volcano’s Norris Geyser Basin has risen by 1½ cm over the last few months and scientists are not exactly sure why. Michael Poland, scientist in charge of Yellowstone Volcano Observatory says the uplift was recorded by a GPS monitoring station in the geyser basin, and the rise appears to have started in July. Poland says, “We’ve been monitoring the Norris region with GPS since the early 2000s, and before that we were also using satellite radar to see how the ground near Norris was moving.”

He says an uplift like this is not that unusual with one having occurred between 2013 and 2014 and another between 2015 and 2018. The Yellowstone Caldera has been subsiding since then, but this deformation tends to pause during the summer months.


At Norris, however, the cause of the uplift is unclear. In the monthly update from the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, Poland says the changes could be a seasonal change, or it could relate to hydrothermal or magmatic processes taking place deep below the surface.

The uplift at Norris is relatively small, while the largest uplift event in recent decades took place over 2013 and 2014, when the ground rose by 5cm in just four months. On March 30, 2014, there was a M4.8 earthquake at the site—representing the biggest earthquake at Yellowstone in almost 40 years. After that, the ground started to subside again.

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