If you hurry can you run away from a storm?

Tropical storms are events we can see coming, giving residents of coastal or low-lying areas time to get to higher ground. Tropical storms can bring high water, dangerous waves, and currents that can move large amounts of sand, destroying buildings and infrastructure, reshaping our coastline.

The USGS studies coastal storms and creates information to help responders and decision-makers minimize damage in the future.

Learn More:

Severe Storms
Citizen scientists identify changes with iCoast
Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms
USGS Public Lecture: Hurricanes and Our Changing Coasts

Getting a sinking feeling?

Sinkholes are created when underground rocks are eroded or dissolved by groundwater. Certain rocks are more susceptible than others to this kind of dissolution, and we have a pretty good idea of where they are. Here is a map showing areas of karst, areas susceptible to sinkholes, in the U.S.

Learn More:

The Science of Sinkholes

Water Science for Schools: Sinkholes

Factsheet: Sinkholes

Could a tsunami hit US beaches?

Yes. According to tsunami deposit records left in Hawaii, Alaska, and the U.S. West Coast. U.S. beaches are vulnerable to tsunamis generated all around the Pacific Rim - anywhere there is a subduction zone or unstable shelf - which includes all of the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii. Tsunamis have been less frequent on the U.S. East coast and the Gulf coast.

Learn more:

Could a large tsunami happen in the United States?

Information about the latest earthquakes

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

But, can I see my house?

That depends upon the remote-sensing platform (i.e., satellite, aircraft).  However, you may be able to identify your town. The surface of the Earth is changing rapidly, at local, regional, national, even global scales, with significant repercussions for people, the economy, and the environment. Remote sensing satellites and aircraft monitor the Earth providing information that is broad, precise, impartial, and easily available. 

Learn More:
Land Remote Sensing Image Collections
Land Remote Sensing Program
Global Visualization Viewer





Will a landslide bring you down?

Hopefully not! However, landslides occur in all U.S. states and territories, and cause $1-2 billion in damages and more than 25 fatalities on average each year. Falling rocks, flows, and slides are among the most common and sometimes deadly hazards, yet there is still much to learn about how and why they happen.

Learn More:

USGS Landslide Hazards Program
Report a Landslide
Landslides 101
Landside Types and Processes