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Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) Agreement Announced

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) is a cooperative partnership between the University of Utah (U of U), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and Yellowstone National Park, National Park Service (NPS).


The YVO is a long-term, instrument-based monitoring facility designed for observing volcanic and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone National Park region. The principal objectives of YVO are:

  1. to provide seismic and GPS monitoring that enables reliable and timely warnings of possible renewed volcanism and related hazards in the Yellowstone region,
  2. to notify the NPS, other local officials, and the public of significant seismic or volcanic events,
  3. to improve scientific understanding of tectonic and magmatic processes that influence ongoing seismicity, surface deformation, and hydrothermal activity,
  4. to assess the long-term potential hazards of volcanism, seismicity, and explosive hydrothermal activity in the region,
  5. to communicate effectively the results of these efforts to responsible authorities and to the public, and
  6. to improve coordination and cooperation among the U of U, YNP, and the USGS.

Fundamental research by scientists of the U of U, the USGS as well as other institutions, with support from the NPS and the National Science Foundation (NSF), has provided a substantial conceptual framework for understanding this magmatic system and its relationship to the Yellowstone hotspot. The system is centered on an enormous and youthful caldera that is characterized by geologically infrequent but very large and destructive eruptions. Yellowstone is an active geologic area and a long-term monitoring effort has been underway in Yellowstone National Park and vicinity for many years. The monitoring primarily involves a seismic network operated by the University of Utah Seismograph Stations under a cooperative funding agreement with the USGS and with additional support from the NPS and the NSF. In addition, GPS (Global Positioning System) and precise leveling measurements have been established and carried out by scientists of both the U of U and the USGS. This YVO brings together those activities as the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory with the aims of:

  • providing a more stable basis to continue and to improve long-term monitoring and hazard-assessment activities,
  • of providing a consistent and web-accessible database,
  • and of coordinating various other relevant projects of the U of U, the USGS, and the NPS.

bullet May 14, 2001 Press Release

bullet Links to Yellowstone Earthquake Information at the University of Utah

bullet Links to Scientific Research Activities - for the Technical User
The views and conclusions presented in the following research summaries are those of individual authors. Because much of the information is preliminary, please consult the authors for more information or clarification.

bullet Links to GPS (Global Positioning System) Monitoring of Yellowstone

bullet YVO Partner Site Links

Questions about YVO should be directed to:

University of Utah-specific Press Release.





University of Utah Seismograph Stations  «»   115 South 1460 East, Room 211 FASB
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0111  «»   Phone 801-581-6274  «»  Fax 801-585-5585
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