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Natural Hazards Mission Area

Every year in the United States, natural hazards threaten lives and livelihoods and result in billions of dollars in damage. We work with many partners to monitor, assess, and conduct targeted research on a wide range of natural hazards so that policymakers and the public have the understanding they need to enhance preparedness, response, and resilience.

News

USGS Firelight: PHIRE Edition - Vol. 2 | Issue 2

Revisiting the 1957 Aleutian Earthquake: New Insights into Tsunami Hazards for Hawaiʻi

Revisiting the 1957 Aleutian Earthquake: New Insights into Tsunami Hazards for Hawaiʻi

Mount St. Helens seismicity elevated but within the range of background levels (February to June 2024)

Mount St. Helens seismicity elevated but within the range of background levels (February to June 2024)

Publications

Fire effects on geomorphic processes

Fire-induced geomorphic changes, such as enhanced erosion and debris-flow activity, are expected to increase with climate change owing to increases in fire activity and rainfall intensification. In this Review, we summarize how landscape attributes, rainfall and burn severity influence post-fire geomorphic responses over a range of temporal and spatial scales. Sub-hourly rainfall intensity and bur
Authors
Luke McGuire, Brian A. Ebel, Francis K. Rengers, Diana Vieira, Petter Nyman

Testing megathrust rupture models using tsunami deposits

The 26 January 1700 CE Cascadia subduction zone earthquake ruptured much of the plate boundary and generated a tsunami that deposited sand in coastal marshes from northern California to Vancouver Island. Although the depositional record of tsunami inundation is extensive in some of these marshes, few sites have been investigated in enough detail to map the inland extent of sand deposition and depi
Authors
SeanPaul La Selle, Alan R. Nelson, Robert C. Witter, Bruce E. Jaffe, Guy Gelfenbaum, Jason Scott Padgett

The SCEC/USGS community stress drop validation study using the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence

We introduce a community stress drop validation study using the 2019 Ridgecrest, California, earthquake sequence, in which researchers are invited to use a common dataset to independently estimate comparable measurements using a variety of methods. Stress drop is the change in average shear stress on a fault during earthquake rupture, and as such is a key parameter in many ground motion, rupture s
Authors
Annemarie S. Baltay, Rachel E Abercrombie, Shanna Xianhui Chu, Taka'aki Taira

Science

Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE): Support for Response, Recovery, and Mitigation

The Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE) project provides science to characterize climate-amplified, uncharacteristic patterns of wildfire disturbance and post-fire ecosystem recovery and enhance prediction of environmental impacts and post-fire hazards.
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Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE): Support for Response, Recovery, and Mitigation

The Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE) project provides science to characterize climate-amplified, uncharacteristic patterns of wildfire disturbance and post-fire ecosystem recovery and enhance prediction of environmental impacts and post-fire hazards.
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Post-Fire Sediment Research at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, California, has been growing our post-fire research contributions since 2017, through studies of post-fire sediment movement that address the Natural Hazards Mission Area objectives for understanding wildfire hazards.
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Post-Fire Sediment Research at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, California, has been growing our post-fire research contributions since 2017, through studies of post-fire sediment movement that address the Natural Hazards Mission Area objectives for understanding wildfire hazards.
Learn More

Improving Postfire Debris-Flow Hazard Assessments In The Pacific Northwest Through Application Of Debris-Flow Models

As part of the Post-fire Hazards and Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE): Support for Response, Recovery, and Mitigation Project, the PHIRE Debris Flow Hazard team is engaging in several studies to better understand the spatial and temporal drivers of postfire debris flows and improve postfire hazard assessments across northern California and the Pacific Northwest.
link

Improving Postfire Debris-Flow Hazard Assessments In The Pacific Northwest Through Application Of Debris-Flow Models

As part of the Post-fire Hazards and Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE): Support for Response, Recovery, and Mitigation Project, the PHIRE Debris Flow Hazard team is engaging in several studies to better understand the spatial and temporal drivers of postfire debris flows and improve postfire hazard assessments across northern California and the Pacific Northwest.
Learn More