The Yellowstone-Teton Epicenter


Data Overview

Earthquakes of the Yellowstone-Teton region
from 1973 to 1996.

The first observations of Yellowstone's geology and topography were made by early exploration expeditions starting in the 1870s. Since then, scientists have made systematic studies of Yellowstone’s geology, determining its youthful volcanic history, showing the plumbing of its magma roots from the earth’s mantle, and how the Yellowstone hotspot fits into a global plate tectonic framework.

A Central Location for Raw and Interpretive Data

We provide here images, maps, and data for the user that follows a natural order: 1) raw data from observational forms, 2) processed versions of the data such as maps and images, 3) integrated interpretations of data including conceptual models and mechanics of Yellowstone’s active processes, and 4) finally, putting together our data and models into broader concepts of how Yellowstone volcanic, earthquakes, hydrothermal features are the product of large scale, global processes in a plate tectonic framework.

Past and Present Earthquake Data

Information on modern and prehistoric occurrence of large earthquakes and large scale motion from the earthquakes are now well known, due to recording from a modern seismic network. These data are cataloged and are provided in real-time for the user.  Prehistoric ground motions of Yellowstone causing its uplift into a mountainous plateau are documented. Modern ground motions from GPS (Global Positioning Systems) document that Yellowstone’s geology is alive and that its caldera is breathing at decadal scales of up to one full meter of uplift.  These data are available on our site. 

Hot Spot Monitoring

Heat is of course the key feature that drives Yellowstone’s geysers and hotsprings.  We show maps of heat flow and temperature data from its hydrothermal systems. These include specific studies of thermal flux from Yellowstone Lake and the overall pattern and release of thermal energy across the park.

Yellowstone’s famous geysers, hotspring, fumaroles, etc. are seen by millions of visitors every year.  Data on these spectacular features such as temperature, water chemistry, water flow, etc. will be provided.  We also link to sites that predict the next Old Faithful eruption.

Maps with "Point and Click" Access

Data are accessible using modern GIS methods that will allow the user to “point and click” on geologic features and sites that will then access the original and related data.