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New Yellowstone Seismograph Network Station, Hawks Rest, Is Operational

“the most distant location in the lower 48 from a road”, Bob Smith, GofJH Member.


Bob Smith, Dave Drobeck, Keith Koper and Jamie Farrell University of Utah Seismograph Stations
September 24, 2014

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS) has planned for more than a decade to install a seismograph station at Hawks Rest (YHR) in the SE corner of the Yellowstone and the northern Teton Wilderness to improve the monitoring of a large area of the Yellowstone caldera and Yellowstone-Teton fault system (see attached map). It has taken several years of cooperation, planning, reconnaissance, permitting, funding, etc. through multiple federal agencies to implement seismic station installation that became fully operational August 26, 2014

The Hawks Rest seismometer is a 120 sec. period, three-component broadband seismometer, one of the most modern earthquake detecting devices available. The seismic detector is sensitive to volcano seismic signals and can measure the movement of earthquakes associated with magma and hydrothermal fluid movements that generate swarms of earthquakes. The broadband capability provides reliable recordings of very small seismic signals from earthquakes of magnitude 0 to large ground motions associated with magnitude 7+ events.

The seismometer is located on Hawks Rest Peak just outside the SE corner of YNP near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Thorofare Rivers. It is co-located with a U.S. Forest Service radio repeater site. Transportation to the new station has included NPS and Forest Service permitted and assisted long-haul hiking, horse packing, helicoptering and boat access on Yellowstone Lake.

The Hawks Rest station is part of the Yellowstone Seismic Network that is operated by the University of Utah Seismograph Stations for public safety and basic geologic research on the Yellowstone volcanic-earthquake system. Seismic data from this new station are telemetered ~50+ miles (83 km) via an RF link from Hawks Rest to Mt. Washburn, YNP, and then uploaded to the Internet for recording at the UUSS data center at Salt Lake City, UT.

Funding and support for this long term effort is by the U.S.G.S., Yellowstone National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest. NPS and Forest Service personnel who assisted the university included John Lousbury, Jerry Mernin, Brad Ross, Tom Matza, Lester Loving, Jack Hatch and Chris Hart. The new Hawks Rest seismic station installation follows the recommendations in the 2006 Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Volcano and Earthquake- Monitoring Plan.

Seismograms from the Hawks Rest seismic station, YHR, can be viewed at: www.seis.utah.edu/helicorder/yell_webi.htm

University of Utah Seismograph Stations: www.seis.utah.edu/

University of Utah Yellowstone Research web site:


Click Here for some pictures of the station and the horseback ride to access.

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