Abstract

Geodetic surveys within the Yellowstone caldera have documented active uplift that is most likely caused by magmatic processes in the upper crust. Along the northeast shore of Yellowstone Lake, maximum relative uplift rates are 10 mm/yr for the period 1923–1975. However, information on deformation prior to historic instrumental records has been lacking. In this study, closely spaced data on elevations of postglacial shoreline terraces around the north end of Yellowstone Lake reveal complex tilting. Though most Holocene deformation is probably magma related, the pattern of shoreline tilting deviates significantly from the historic pattern of roughly symmetric inflation of the caldera. Along the northeast shore, where tilt directions of historic and shoreline deformation are similar, differential uplift of a >2500-yr-old terrace is roughly 10 m; this gives a maximum uplift rate of 4 mm/yr. These unique Holocene terraces may exist due to episodic deformation because vertical movements affecting the lake outlet directly control lake level.

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