Geologic and geochemical results from boreholes drilled in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2007 and 2008

Open-File Report 2016-1028
Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, and Earthscope Plate Boundary Observatory
By: , and 

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Abstract

Between 2007 and 2008, seven Earthscope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) boreholes ranging in depth from about 200 to 800 feet deep were drilled in and adjacent to the Yellowstone caldera in Yellowstone National Park, for the purpose of installing volcano monitoring instrumentation. Five of the seven boreholes were equipped with strainmeters, downhole seismometers, and tiltmeters. Data collected during drilling included field observations of drill cuttings, stratigraphy within the boreholes, water temperature, and water and drill cuttings samples from selected depths.

Six of the seven boreholes encountered rhyolite lavas and tuffs. The rhyolite lavas compose the Canyon flow, the Gardner River flow, the Gibbon River flow, the Hayden Valley flow, the Nez Perce Creek flow, and the West Thumb flow. Boreholes also penetrated a vertical sequence through the Lava Creek Tuff and the Tuff of Bluff Point. In addition, one borehole drilled through a Swan Lake Flat Basalt sequence and terminated in a rhyolite lava flow.

After drilling the seven PBO boreholes, cuttings were examined and selected for preparation of grain mounts, thin sections, and geochemical analysis. Major ions and trace elements (including rare earth elements) of selected cuttings were determined by x-ray fluorescence (XRF) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS); the ICP-MS provided more precise trace-element analysis than XRF. A preliminary interpretation of the results of geochemical analyses generally shows a correlation between borehole cuttings and previously mapped geology. The geochemical data and borehole stratigraphy presented in this report provide a foundation for future petrologic, geochemical, and geophysical studies.

Suggested Citation

Jaworowski, C., Susong, D., Heasler, H., Mencin, D., Johnson, W., Conrey, R., and Von Stauffenberg, J., 2016, Geologic and geochemical results from boreholes drilled in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2007 and 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1028, 39 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161028

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
  • Appendix 1
  • Appendix 2

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Geologic and geochemical results from boreholes drilled in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2007 and 2008
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2016-1028
DOI 10.3133/ofr20161028
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Utah Water Science Center
Description Report: viii, 39 p.; 2 Appendixes
Country United States
State Wyoming
Other Geospatial Yellowstone National Park
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
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