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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Hazard Research

Hazard Research

USGS scientists conduct research to understand earth processes and the natural hazards they can pose to society in order to increase public safety and reduce risk and economic loss.

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Date published: January 17, 2020

As Aftershocks Continue in Puerto Rico, USGS Supports Quake Recovery

A sequence of earthquakes in southwest Puerto Rico continues to affect people living there, with the largest recent aftershock a magnitude 5.2 on Jan. 15. U.S. Geological Survey scientists on the island and the mainland are providing up-to-date scientific information to help the Commonwealth government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency make decisions that protect the public.

Date published: January 13, 2020

The complicated plumbing of hot springs and steam vents in Yellowstone National Park

Exploration and sampling of Yellowstone's thermal areas indicates that Yellowstone's hot springs often have surprisingly complex plumbing systems. It is not uncommon to find hot spring pools, which have one type of chemistry, and steam vents, which have totally different chemistry, located in close proximity—or even occupying the same space! Learn what happens when these mix or overlap.

Date published: January 11, 2020

Earthquake Scenarios for Puerto Rico

Earthquakes are unsettling, destructive, and often tragic to the communities they affect. The USGS works diligently to help keep people safer by providing them and their emergency responders the science needed to respond to ongoing hazards.

Last updated January 18, 4:32pm Pacific time, 2020.


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Year Published: 2020

U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Science Center

The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Science Center is to collect a wide range of data on earthquakes, faults, and crustal deformation; conduct research to increase our understanding of earthquake source processes, occurrence, and effects; and synthesize this knowledge into probabilistic seismic hazard assessments,...

Hickman, Stephen H.
This publication is available at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/fs20193067. After the Digital Object Identifier and product metadata have been registered by Crossref, the official URL will be https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193067.

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Year Published: 2020

USGS near-real-time products-and their use-for the 2018 Anchorage earthquake

In the minutes to hours after a major earthquake, such as the recent 2018 Mw">Mw 7.1 Anchorage event, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produces a suite of interconnected earthquake products that provides diverse information ranging from basic earthquake source parameters to loss estimates. The 2018 Anchorage earthquake is the first...

Thompson, Eric M.; McBride, Sara; Hayes, Gavin P.; Allstadt, Kate; Wald, Lisa; Wald, David J.; Knudsen, Keith L.; Worden, Charles; Marano, Kristin; Jibson, Randall W.; Grant, Alex

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Year Published: 2020

Ground-motion amplification in Cook Inlet region, Alaska from intermediate-depth earthquakes, including the 2018 MW=7.1 Anchorage earthquake

We measure pseudospectral and peak ground motions from 44 intermediate‐depth Mw≥4.9">Mw≥4.9 earthquakes in the Cook Inlet region of southern Alaska, including those from the 2018 Mw">Mw 7.1 earthquake near Anchorage, to identify regional amplification features (⁠0.1–5  s">0.1...

Moschetti, Morgan P.; Thompson, Eric M.; Rekoske, John; Hearne, Mike; Powers, Peter M.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Tape, Carl