Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

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.

link

Hazards

link

Coastal Change

link

Ocean Resources

link

Coastal Ecosystems

link

Ocean Ecosystems

link

Capabilities

FAQs

Are earthquakes associated with variations in the geomagnetic field?

Electromagnetic variations have been observed after earthquakes, but despite decades of work, there is no convincing evidence of electromagnetic precursors to earthquakes. It is worth acknowledging that geophysicists would actually love to demonstrate the reality of such precursors, especially if they could be used for reliably predicting earthquakes! Learn more: USGS Geomagnetism Program

link

Are earthquakes associated with variations in the geomagnetic field?

Electromagnetic variations have been observed after earthquakes, but despite decades of work, there is no convincing evidence of electromagnetic precursors to earthquakes. It is worth acknowledging that geophysicists would actually love to demonstrate the reality of such precursors, especially if they could be used for reliably predicting earthquakes! Learn more: USGS Geomagnetism Program

Learn More

Do solar flares or magnetic storms (space weather) cause earthquakes?

Solar flares and magnetic storms belong to a set of phenomena known collectively as "space weather". Technological systems and the activities of modern civilization can be affected by changing space-weather conditions. However, it has never been demonstrated that there is a causal relationship between space weather and earthquakes. Indeed, over the course of the Sun's 11-year variable cycle, the...

link

Do solar flares or magnetic storms (space weather) cause earthquakes?

Solar flares and magnetic storms belong to a set of phenomena known collectively as "space weather". Technological systems and the activities of modern civilization can be affected by changing space-weather conditions. However, it has never been demonstrated that there is a causal relationship between space weather and earthquakes. Indeed, over the course of the Sun's 11-year variable cycle, the...

Learn More

Could magnetic reversals be caused by meteorite or comet impacts?

Although extremely unlikely, it might be possible for a reversal of the Earth's magnetic field to be triggered by a meteorite or comet impact, or even for it to be caused by something more "gentle," such as the melting of the polar ice caps. Self-contained dynamic systems like Earth’s dynamo can have reversals without any outside influence. Reversals of Earth's magnetic field can simply happen...

link

Could magnetic reversals be caused by meteorite or comet impacts?

Although extremely unlikely, it might be possible for a reversal of the Earth's magnetic field to be triggered by a meteorite or comet impact, or even for it to be caused by something more "gentle," such as the melting of the polar ice caps. Self-contained dynamic systems like Earth’s dynamo can have reversals without any outside influence. Reversals of Earth's magnetic field can simply happen...

Learn More

Education

Life of a Tsunami

Life of a Tsunami

link

Life of a Tsunami

Life of a Tsunami

Learn More

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?"

link

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?"

Learn More

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.

link

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