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: June 9, 2021

Woods Hole Annual Report Wins 1st Place NAGC Blue Pencil Award

Each year, the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) holds the Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards Competition, an international awards program that recognizes superior government communication products and those who produce them. It is open to federal, tribal, military, state, regional, county, municipal, and all other government entities. 

Date published: June 4, 2021

Gas sampling at Mount Shasta builds a long-term record of volcanic emissions

One of the three main ways that California Volcano Observatory scientists monitor the state’s threatening volcanoes is by sampling the gases that are released from magma deep below (in addition to monitoring seismicity and deformation).

Date published: June 2, 2021

USGS, FWS Report Highlights Impacts of Sediment Management on Barrier Islands, Wildlife and Ecosystems

Coastal sediment management practices, such as dredging and beach nourishment, can have beneficial and detrimental impacts on the physical and ecological resiliency of barrier islands, particularly when sediment is removed from one barrier island system and placed in another, according to a report released today.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Impacts of sediment removal from and placement in coastal barrier island systems

Executive SummaryOn June 24, 2019, Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a letter to the directors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey to request their assistance in answering questions regarding coastal sediment resource management within the Coastal Barrier...

Miselis, Jennifer L.; Flocks, James G.; Zeigler, Sara; Passeri, Davina; Smith, David R.; Bourque, Jill; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Smith, Christopher G.; Ciarletta, Daniel J.; Smith, Kathryn; Hart, Kristen; Kazyak, David; Berlin, Alicia; Prohaska, Bianca; Calleson, Teresa; Yanchis, Kristi
Miselis, J.L., Flocks, J.G., Zeigler, S., Passeri, D., Smith, D.R., Bourque, J., Sherwood, C.R., Smith, C.G., Ciarletta, D.J., Smith, K., Hart, K., Kazyak, D., Berlin, A., Prohaska, B., Calleson, T., and Yanchis, K., 2021, Impacts of sediment removal from and placement in coastal barrier island systems: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1062, 94 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211062.

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Year Published: 2021

Short‐period surface‐wave tomography in the continental United States—A resource for research

 grid for the four independent tomographic inversions (Love and Rayleigh and phase and group velocity). One reason for trying to obtain short‐period dispersion was to have a data set capable of constraining upper crust velocity models for use in determining regional moment tensors. The benefit of focusing on short‐period dispersion is...

Herrmann, R. B.; Ammon, C. J.; Benz, Harley M.; Aziz-Zanjani, A.; Boschelli, J.

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Year Published: 2021

Material properties and triggering mechanisms of an andesitic lava dome collapse at Shiveluch Volcano, Kamchatka, Russia, revealed using the finite element method

Shiveluch volcano (Kamchatka, Russia) is an active andesitic volcano with a history of explosive activity, dome extrusion, and structural collapse during the Holocene. The most recent major (> 1 km3) dome collapse occurred in November 1964, producing a ~ 1.5 km3 debris avalanche that traveled over 15 km from the vent and...

Wallace, Cory S; Schaefer, Lauren Nicole; Villeneuve, Marlène C.