Mission Areas

Natural Hazards

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.

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Reducing Risk

Reducing Risk

USGS scientists develop new products to make science available to the public, emergency managers, and decision-makers. These efforts increase public safety and reduce risk and economic losses caused by natural hazards.

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Subduction Zone Science

Subduction Zone Science

The most powerful earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions occur in subduction zones, where two plates collide and one is thrust beneath another.

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News

Date published: September 10, 2021

USGS Hazards Science – Be Informed and Be Prepared

Read below to learn about USGS hazards science, National Preparedness Month, and resources available to explore various hazards in more detail or sign up for alerts.

Date published: September 8, 2021

Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake near Acapulco, Mexico

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Acapulco in Oaxaca, Mexico on September 7, 2021 at about 9:48 pm Eastern Daylight Time (September 8 at 01:48 UTC). 

Date published: September 7, 2021

Reducing Flood Risks by Restoring Coral Reefs

Healthy coral reefs are more than just hotspots of marine biodiversity—they’re also invaluable to long-term resilience against coastal storms.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Advancing cave detection using terrain analysis and thermal imagery

Since the initial experiments nearly 50 years ago, techniques for detecting caves using airborne and spacecraft acquired thermal imagery have improved markedly. These advances are largely due to a combination of higher instrument sensitivity, modern computing systems, and processor-intensive analytical techniques. Through applying these...

Wynne, J. Judson; Jenness, Jeff; Sonderegger, Derek; Titus, Timothy N.; Jhabvala, Murzy D.; Cabrol, Nathalie A.

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Year Published: 2021

Rigorously valuing the coastal hazard risks reduction provided by potential coral reef restoration in Florida and Puerto Rico

The restoration of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, can reduce risks by decreasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. In the United States, the protective services provided by coral reefs were recently assessed in social and economic terms, with the annual protection provided by U.S. coral reefs off the coasts of...

Storlazzi, Curt D.; Reguero, Borja G.; Cumming, Kristen A.; Cole, Aaron D.; Shope, James B.; Gaido L., Camila; Viehman, T. Shay; Nickel, Barry A.; Beck, Michael W.
Storlazzi, C.D., Reguero, B.G., Cumming, K.A., Cole, A.D., Shope, J.B., Gaido L., C., Viehman, T.S., Nickel, B.A., and Beck, M.W., 2021, Rigorously valuing the coastal hazard risks reduction provided by potential coral reef restoration in Florida and Puerto Rico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1054, 35 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211054.

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Year Published: 2021

Rigorously valuing the impact of projected coral reef degradation on coastal hazard risk in Florida

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. In the United States, the physical protective services provided by coral reefs were recently assessed, in social and economic terms, with the annual protection provided by U.S. coral reefs off the coast...

Storlazzi, Curt D.; Reguero, Borja G.; Yates, Kimberly K.; Cumming, Kristen A.; Cole, Aaron D.; Shope, James B.; Gaido L., Camila; Zawada, David G.; Arsenault, Stephanie R.; Fehr, Zachery W.; Nickel, Barry A.; Beck, Michael W.
Storlazzi, C.D., Reguero, B.G., Yates, K.K., Cumming, K.A., Cole, A.D., Shope, J.B., Gaido L., C., Zawada, D.G., Arsenault, S.R., Fehr, Z.W., Nickel, B.A., and Beck, M.W., 2021, Rigorously valuing the impact of projected coral reef degradation on coastal hazard risk in Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1055, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211055.