Geophysical Research Letters

Temporal gravity and height changes of the Yellowstone Caldera, 1977–1994



This paper describes the longest record of gravity measurements in the area of the Yellowstone caldera, Wyoming. The temporal gravity changes, at the ±12 µGal (10−8 ms−2) precision level, are compared with changes in heights from leveling and GPS. The gravity field decreased across the caldera from 1977 to 1983 during the uplift and attained a maximum decrease of up to −60± 2 µGal along the Caldera axis. The gravity field then reversed polarity to increasing values, of up to 60±12 µGal between 1986 and 1993. The ratio between height and gravity changes varied during the entire time, but converged over the latter period following the free-air gravity gradient. General ground deformation deduced from leveling showed caldera-wide uplift of ∼15 mm/a during the period of gravity decrease, then from leveling and GPS, subsidence of ∼25 mm/a during the gravity increase.