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Science

These are the main themes of our research. Choose a theme then read about our science projects, find out where we are working, and discover the reasons why our research matters.

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Hazards

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Coastal Change

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Ocean Resources

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Coastal Ecosystems

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Ocean Ecosystems

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Capabilities

FAQs

Why doesn't a drought end when it rains?

Rainfall in any form will provide some drought relief. A good analogy might be how medicine and illness relate to each other. A single dose of medicine can alleviate symptoms of illness, but it usually takes a sustained program of medication to cure an illness. Likewise, a single rainstorm will not break the drought, but it might provide temporary relief. A light to moderate shower will probably...

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Why doesn't a drought end when it rains?

Rainfall in any form will provide some drought relief. A good analogy might be how medicine and illness relate to each other. A single dose of medicine can alleviate symptoms of illness, but it usually takes a sustained program of medication to cure an illness. Likewise, a single rainstorm will not break the drought, but it might provide temporary relief. A light to moderate shower will probably...

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Where in the Nation are droughts or very low flows occurring now? How can I see these sites on a map and get to the data?

To view the USGS streamflow information on drought, see the drought map on our WaterWatch site, which shows below-normal, 7-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the United States. Links to additional maps and drought data are listed on the USGS Drought website and the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).

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Where in the Nation are droughts or very low flows occurring now? How can I see these sites on a map and get to the data?

To view the USGS streamflow information on drought, see the drought map on our WaterWatch site, which shows below-normal, 7-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the United States. Links to additional maps and drought data are listed on the USGS Drought website and the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).

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When does a drought begin and end?

The beginning of a drought is difficult to determine. Several weeks, months, or even years might pass before people know that a drought is occurring. The end of a drought can occur as gradually as it began. The first evidence of drought is usually seen in records of rainfall. Within a short period of time, the amount of moisture in soils can begin to decrease. The effects of a drought on flow in...

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When does a drought begin and end?

The beginning of a drought is difficult to determine. Several weeks, months, or even years might pass before people know that a drought is occurring. The end of a drought can occur as gradually as it began. The first evidence of drought is usually seen in records of rainfall. Within a short period of time, the amount of moisture in soils can begin to decrease. The effects of a drought on flow in...

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Education

Life of a Tsunami

Life of a Tsunami

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Life of a Tsunami

Life of a Tsunami

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Could It Happen Here?

The Question: Soon after the devastating tsunamis in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 and in Japan on March 11, 2011, many people have asked, "Could such a tsunami happen in the United States?"

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Could It Happen Here?

The Question: Soon after the devastating tsunamis in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 and in Japan on March 11, 2011, many people have asked, "Could such a tsunami happen in the United States?"

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Local Tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest

In the past century, several damaging tsunamis have struck the Pacific Northwest coast (Northern California, Oregon, and Washington). All of these tsunamis were distant tsunamis generated from earthquakes located far across the Pacific basin and are distinguished from tsunamis generated by earthquakes near the coast—termed local tsunamis.

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Local Tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest

In the past century, several damaging tsunamis have struck the Pacific Northwest coast (Northern California, Oregon, and Washington). All of these tsunamis were distant tsunamis generated from earthquakes located far across the Pacific basin and are distinguished from tsunamis generated by earthquakes near the coast—termed local tsunamis.

Learn More