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: October 27, 2020

Zeta’s Strong Waves Will Cause Coastal Change Along the Gulf Coast

Editor’s note: This story was updated Oct. 28 reflecting a new coastal change forecast for Zeta's impacts on Gulf Coast sandy shorelines.

Date published: October 19, 2020

Trump Administration Officials Tour New Mt. Rainier Lahar Detection Stations

TACOMA, Wash. — Deputy Secretary of the Interior Katharine MacGregor, U.S. Geological Survey Director Jim Reilly, and Counselor to the Secretary Margaret Everson, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director of the National Park Service, today visited Mount Rainier National Park to announce the successful permitting and ongoing installation of five new lahar monitoring stations.

Date published: October 16, 2020

Media Advisory: Exclusive Interview Opportunities with Interior Officials to Learn about New Mt. Rainier Lahar Detection Stations

TACOMA, Wash. — What is a lahar and why are they a threat to those who live below Mount Rainier? Journalists are invited to learn about the  threat potential posed by lahars from Mount Rainier to local communities and how  new  USGS lahar monitoring stations will integrate into emergency preparedness and response.    

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Exposure of an early to middle Noachian valley network in three dimensions on Mars

We document a set of channels in a section of the Martian cratered highlands located between crustal massifs northeast of Hellas Planitia that are visible in cross section and planview >200 m below the surface. The morphometry and spatial distribution of the outcrops provide concrete geological evidence of a dynamic aqueous system in a...

Skinner, James A.; Fortezzo, Corey M.; Mouginis-Mark, Peter J.

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Year Published: 2020

Localized fault-zone dilatancy and surface inelasticity of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes

Earthquakes produce a spectrum of elastic and inelastic deformation processes that are reflected across various length and time scales. While elasticity has long dominated research assumptions in active tectonics, increasing interest has focused on the inelastic characteristics of earthquakes, particularly those of the surface fault rupture zone...

Barnhart, William D.; Gold, Ryan D.; Hollingsworth, James

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Year Published: 2020

Identifying the greatest earthquakes of the past 2000 years at the Nehalem River Estuary, Northern Oregon Coast, USA

We infer a history of three great megathrust earthquakes during the past 2000 years at the Nehalem River estuary based on the lateral extent of sharp (≤3 mm) peat-mud stratigraphic contacts in cores and outcrops, coseismic subsidence as interpreted from fossil diatom assemblages and reconstructed with foraminiferal assemblages using a Bayesian...

Nelson, Alan R.; Hawkes, Andrea D.; Sawai, Yuki; Engelhart, Simon E.; Witter, Robert C.; Grant-Walter, Wendy C.; Bradley, Lee-Ann; Dura, Tina; Cahill, Niamh; Horton, Benajamin P.