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The USGS monitors and conducts research on a wide range of natural hazards to help decision-makers prepare for and respond to hazard events that threaten life and property.

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Oil production and wastewater disposal
Earth's crust is pervasively fractured at depth by faults. These faults can sustain high stresses without slipping because natural "tectonic" stress and the weight of the overlying rock pushes the opposing fault blocks together, increasing the frictional resistance to fault slip. The injected wastewater counteracts the frictional forces on faults...
Image: Wastewater Disposal Facility in Colorado
Currently, there are no methods available to do this. Three conditions must be met for injection to induce an earthquake:  1) presence of a fault; 2) stresses acting on the fault favorable to slip and 3) a pathway for the pressure increase from injection to interact with the fault.  Evidence from some case histories suggests that the magnitude of...
Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal Facility in West Virginia
No. Of more than 150,000 Class II injection wells in the United States, roughly 40,000 are waste fluid disposal wells for oil and gas operations. Only a small fraction of these disposal wells have induced earthquakes that are large enough to be of concern to the public. Learn more on wastewater disposal wells and the EPA's Underground Injection...
Earthquake Catalog Map Results Example
You may be able to find what you’re looking for using our collection of Earthquake Lists, so check that first.  If that doesn’t work, you can use one of these Earthquake Catalog Search webpages: Search the World-wide Earthquakes Catalog (M4.5+ worldwide, M2.5+ US)Search the ANSS (Advanced National Seismic System) Composite Catalog (M4.5+ world-...
Image: Northridge, CA Earthquake Damage
California has the most damaging earthquakes, and Alaska and California have the most natural (non-manmade) earthquakes.
Image: Damage from 2008 Great Sichuan Earthquake in China
The answer to this question is not as straightforward as it may seem. In order to most accurately answer it, we will rephrase the question four different ways: For which country do we locate the most earthquakes? Japan. The whole country is in a very active seismic area, and they have the densest seismic network in the world, so they are able to...
Damage from South Napa Earthquake
You can perform an online earthquake catalog search.
Devastation of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
Go to this website: Earthquake Lists, Maps, and Statistics
Pacific Plate boundaries and relative motion
Earthquakes can strike any location at any time. But history shows they occur in the same general patterns year after year, principally in three large zones of the earth. The world's greatest earthquake belt, the circum-Pacific seismic belt, is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 81 percent of the world's largest earthquakes...
Sunset over South Florida WARC
Florida and North Dakota are the states with the fewest earthquakes. Antarctica has the least earthquakes of any continent, but small earthquakes can occur anywhere in the World.
Damaged Monument Kathmandu, Nepal
Those estimates can be found on our Earthquake Statistics website.
Image: Debris Flow Damage in California
Wildland fires are inevitable in the western United States. Expansion of human development into forested areas has created a situation where wildfires can adversely affect lives and property, as can the flooding and landslides that occur in the aftermath of the fires. There is a need to develop tools and methods to identify and quantify the...