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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.Read Our Science Strategy
Costs and consequences of natural hazards can be enormous; each year more people and infrastructure are at risk. We develop and apply hazards science to help protect U.S. safety, security, and economic well being. These scientific observations, analyses, and research are crucial for the Nation to become more resilient to natural hazards.Read Our Science Strategy
Hurricane Sandy Response- Linking the Delmarva Peninsula's Geologic Framework to Coastal Vulnerability
The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. In order to better constrain controls on coastal vulnerability and evolution, the region’s sediment sources, transport pathways and sediment sinks must be identified. This project defines the geologic framework of the Delmarva coastal system through...
The instruments were installed in the spring of 2009 and are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions. Soil water content and ground water pressure are monitored at two nests on the same hillslope. Data for the site include:
- Rainfall ...
Four video cameras overlook the coast at Isla Verde in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Two of them focus on the shoreline: Camera 1 looks at the nearby beach and eastward along the shore, and Camera 2 looks farther away to the eastern end of the beach. The other two look out across the reefs: Camera 3 to the north-northwest, and Camera 4 to the northeast.
The interface between groundwater and the coastal or intertidal landscape determines the location and migration path of fresh and saline wetlands. These ecosystems interact with the coastal ocean in many ways, much of which is driven by tidal exchange and groundwater discharge, both common coastal processes that deliver water, nutrients, and other materials to nearshore ecosystems, including...
Tidal wetlands are key ecosystems because they are unique ecological systems that provide essential habitat for fish, shellfish, birds and other fauna and flora, many of which have great economic importance. At the same time, tidal wetlands provide critical services to society by serving as a physical barrier between our cities, roads and homes and the rising sea. If healthy and properly...
The challenge of wetland persistence is complicated by widespread management and alteration of wetland hydrology, and built infrastructure within migration corridors. Human development and utilization of coastal landscapes in the U.S. during the past several centuries has resulted in loss of approximately half of tidal wetland area, largely due to 1) restriction of tidal flows, through...
Coastal Environmental Geochemistry research at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center spans multiple ecosystems and topics, including coastal wetlands, aquifers, and estuaries, with the goal of providing data and guidance to federal, state, local, and private land owners and managers on these vital ecosystems.
We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.
Here we describe the data collection methods and techniques of the California Seaflor Mapping Program: mapping, video and photography ground-truthing, and seismic profiling data collection.
USGS and the California Ocean Protection Council (COPC) are supporting development of peer-reviewed map sets for California’s mainland State Waters.
The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management launched the Shoreline Change Project in 1989 to identify erosion-prone areas of the coast. The shoreline position and change rate are used to inform management decisions regarding the erosion of coastal resources.
Geospatial Data Layers of Shallow Geology, Sea-Floor Texture, and Physiographic Zones from the Inner Continental Shelf of Martha’s Vineyard from Aquinnah to Wasque Point, and Nantucket from Eel Point to Great Point
Geologic, sediment texture, and physiographic zone maps characterize the sea floor south and west of Martha's Vineyard and north of Nantucket, Massachusetts. These maps were derived from interpretations of seismic-reflection profiles, high-resolution bathymetry, acoustic-backscatter intensity, bottom photographs, and surficial sediment samples.
Elevation of marsh units in Fire Island National Seashore and Central Great South Bay salt marsh complex, New York
Elevation distribution in the Fire Island National Seashore and Central Great South Bay salt marsh complex is given in terms of mean elevation of conceptual marsh units defined by Defne and Ganju (2018). The elevation data is based on the 1-meter resolution Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED).
Conceptual marsh units for Fire Island National Seashore and central Great South Bay salt marsh complex, New York
The salt marsh complex of Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS) and central Great South Bay was delineated to smaller, conceptual marsh units by geoprocessing of surface elevation data. Flow accumulation based on the relative elevation of each location is used to determine the ridge lines that separate each marsh unit
Temporal hydrologic and chemical records from the Ox Bel Ha cave network within the coastal aquifer of the Yucatan Peninsula, from January 2015 to January 2016
Natural cave passages penetrating a coastal aquifer in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) were accessed to investigate how regional meteorology and hydrology control methane dynamics in karst subterranean estuaries. Three field trips were carried out in January 2015, June 2015, and January 2016 to obtain year-long high-resolution temporal records of water chemistry and environmental parameters
This data release, which is part of the 2018 update, defines the position and elevation of the most seaward dune crest and toe along the Massachusetts coast as derived from 2013–14 lidar data. In the absence of a dune, the peak of the berm or the seaward edge of a bluff, headland, or hard structure (for example, a seawall, road, or parking lot) was chosen as a proxy for the dune crest.
High-resolution geophysical data collected in Lake Powell, Utah-Arizona, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2017-049-FA
High-resolution geophysical mapping of Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah and Arizona was conducted between October 8 and November 15, 2017, as part of a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation to provide high-quality data needed to reassess the area-capacity tables for the Lake Powell reservoir.
Mean tidal range in marsh units of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay, Maryland and Virginia
This dataset displays the spatial variation of mean tidal range (i.e. Mean Range of Tides, MN) in the Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay based on conceptual marsh units defined by Defne and Ganju (2018). MN was based on the calculated difference in height between mean high water (MHW) and mean low water (MLW) using the VDatum (v3.5) database (...
Unvegetated to vegetated marsh ratio in Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay, Maryland and Virginia
Unvegetated to vegetated marsh ratio (UVVR) in the Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay is computed based on conceptual marsh units. The response and resilience of coastal wetlands to physical factors need to be assessed in terms of the ensuing change to their vulnerability and ecosystem services.
Elevation of marsh units in Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay, Maryland and Virginia
Elevation distribution in the Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS) salt marsh complex and Chincoteague Bay is given in terms of mean elevation of conceptual marsh units. The response and resilience of coastal wetlands to physical factors need to be assessed in terms of the ensuing change to their vulnerability and ecosystem services.
Conceptual marsh units for Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay, Maryland and Virginia
The salt marsh complex of Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS) and Chincoteague Bay was delineated to smaller, conceptual marsh units by geoprocessing of surface elevation data. Flow accumulation based on the relative elevation of each location is used to determine the ridge lines that separate each marsh unit while the surface slope is used to automatically assign each unit a drainage...
This data release presents beach topography and nearshore bathymetry data from repeated surveys in northern Monterey Bay, California to document changes in shoreline position and coastal morphology as they relate to episodic (storms), seasonal, and interannual and longer processes. Since October 2014, semi-annual surveys have been performed in late summer (September or October...
Seabed maps showing topography, ruggedness, backscatter intensity, sediment mobility, and the distribution of geologic substrates in Quadrangle 6 of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Region offshore of Boston, Massachusetts
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Sanctuary Program, has conducted seabed mapping and related research in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) region since 1993.
Using information from recent earthquakes, improved mapping of active faults, and a new model for estimating earthquake probabilities, the 2014 Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities updated the 30-year earthquake forecast for California. They concluded that there is a 72 percent probability (or likelihood) of at least one earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or greater striking somewhere in
This map shows the location of and evidence for recent movement on active fault traces within the Hayward Fault Zone, California.
The maps in this archive display estimated intensities and ground motions for the largest earthquakes in the HayWired aftershock sequence. The aftershock sequence follows the HayWired M7.0 mainshock that is imagined to occur on April 18, 2018 along the Hayward Fault.These maps have been used in analyses of the HayWired scenario.
The HayWired scenario depicts a hypothetical M7.0 earthquake on California’s Hayward Fault. This site includes an interactive map showing fault traces and ShakeMap contours, information on the tectonic setting of the Hayward Fault and fault rupture history; and a USGS ShakeMap, which provides ground motion information for the HayWired scenario mainshock.
The seismic-landslide probability map covers the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. The slope failures are triggered by a hypothetical earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.0 occurring on April 18, 2018, at 4:18 p.m. on the Hayward Fault in the east bay part of California’s San Francisco Bay region.
Links to publications that contain maps of the sea floor or lake beds and the digital data used to create them.
This portal is a “go to” source for maps related to ocean and coastal mapping. Information is organized by geography or region, by theme, and by the year data was published.
Honolulu Magnetic Observatory
Tucked in a grove of thorny mesquite trees, on an ancient coral reef on the south side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, west of Pearl Harbor, a small unmanned observatory quietly records the Earth’s time-varying magnetic field. The Honolulu Magnetic Observatory is 1 of 14 that the U.S. Geological Survey Geomagnetism Program operates at various...Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol A.
Image mosaic and topographic maps of Mercury
Map DescriptionsSheet 1: This image mosaic is based on observations acquired by the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS; Hawkins and others, 2009), an instrument on the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft (Solomon and others, 2007). The Mercator projection...Hunter, Marc A.; Hare, Trent M.; Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Chabot, Nancy L.; Hash, Christopher D.; Denevi, Brett W.; Ernst, Carolyn M.; Murchie, Scott L.; Blewett, David T.; Malaret, Erick R.; Solomon, Sean C.; Becker, Kris J.; Becker, Tammy L.; Weller, Lynn A.; Edmundson, Kenneth L.; Neuman, Gregory A.; Mazarico, Erwan; Perry, Mark E.
Ground motions from the 7 and 19 September, 2017 Tehuantepec and Puebla-Morelos, Mexico, earthquakes
The 2017 M">M 8.2 Tehuantepec and M">M 7.1 Puebla‐Morelos earthquakes were deep inslab normal‐faulting events that caused significant damage to several central‐to‐southern regions of Mexico. Inslab earthquakes are an important component of seismicity and seismic hazard in Mexico. Ground‐motion prediction equations (GMPEs...Sahakian, Valerie J.; Melgar, Diego; Quintanar, Luis; Ramirez-Guzman, Leonardo; Pérez-Campos, Xyoli; Baltay, Annemarie S.
Tropical storm-induced landslide potential using combined field monitoring and numerical modeling
When heavy rainfall, such as that associated with tropical storms, falls on steep hillsides, shallow landslides are often one of the damaging consequences. To assess landslide potential from heavy rainfall, a strategy of combined numerical simulation and field monitoring of variably saturated hillslope conditions is developed. To test the combined...Chen, Pan; Lu, Ning; Formetta, Giuseppe; Godt, Jonathan W.; Wayllace, Alexandra
Climate dictates magnitude of asymmetry in soil depth and hillslope gradient
Hillslope asymmetry is often attributed to differential eco‐hydro‐geomorphic processes resulting from aspect‐related differences in insolation. At midlatitudes, polar facing hillslopes are steeper, wetter, have denser vegetation, and deeper soils than their equatorial facing counterparts. We propose that at regional scales, the magnitude in...Inbar, Assaf; Nyman, Petter; Rengers, Francis K.; Lane, Patrick N. J.; Sheridan, Gary J.
Mars global digital dune database (MGD3)—Composition, stability, and thermal inertia
The Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3) is an online repository that has catalogued dune fields larger than 1 km2 located between latitudes 90° N. and 90° S. The work presented here expands upon previous MGD3 open-file reports, with a new emphasis upon characterizing dune fields through composition, stability, and thermal inertia. Included in...Gullikson, Amber L.; Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Titus, Timothy N.; Charles, Heather; Fenton, Lori K.; Hoover, Rachael H.; Putzig, Nathaniel E.
Development of a geodetic component for the U.S. West Coast Earthquake Early Warning System
An earthquake early warning (EEW) system, ShakeAlert, is under development for the West Coast of the United States. This system currently uses the first few seconds of waveforms recorded by seismic instrumentation to rapidly characterize earthquake magnitude, location, and origin time; ShakeAlert recently added a seismic line source algorithm. For...Murray, Jessica R.; Crowell, Brendan W.; Grapenthin, R.; Hodgkinson, Kathleen; Langbein, John O.; Melbourne, Timothy; Melgar, Diego; Minson, Sarah E.; Schmidt, David A.
Reported investments in earthquake mitigation top $73 to $80 billion in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake
The purpose of this report is to provide a compilation of structural retrofits and replacements of older buildings and infrastructure in the San Francisco Bay Area that have either been completed since 1989 or that are in progress as of October 2018. For the purposes of this report, all or parts of nine Bay Area counties were included:...Brocher, Thomas M.; Gefeke, Kerri; Boatwright, John; Knudsen, Keith L.
Erratum to The 2013–2016 induced earthquakes in Harper and Sumner Counties, southern Kansas
The authors identified two sets of minor errors in the paper by Rubinstein et al. (2018), which are corrected here.Rubinstein, Justin L.; Ellsworth, William L.; Dougherty, Sara L.
Interseismic ground deformation and fault slip rates in the greater San Francisco Bay Area from two decades of space geodetic data
The detailed spatial variations of strain accumulation and creep on major faults in the northern San Francisco Bay Area (North Bay), which are important for seismic potential and evaluation of natural hazards, remain poorly understood. Here we combine interferometric synthetic aperture radar data from the ERS‐1/2 and Envisat satellites between...Wu, Songbo; Nadeau, Robert; Ding, Xiaoling; Xu, Wenbin; Wu, Songbo; Materna, Kathryn; Nadeau, Robert; Floyd, Michael; Funning, Gareth J.; Chaussard, Estelle; Johnson, Christopher W.; Murray, Jessica R.; Ding, Xiaoling; Burgmann, Roland
Improving earthquake rupture forecasts using California as a guide
This article discusses ways in which earthquake rupture forecast models might be improved. Because changes are most easily described in the context of specific models, the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3) and its presumed successor, UCERF4, is used as a basis for discussion. Virtually all of the issues and possible...Field, Edward H.
VS30 at three strong-motion recording stations in Napa and Solano Counties, California—Lovall Valley Road, Broadway Street and Sereno Drive in Vallejo, and Vallejo Fire Station—Calculations determined from S-wave refraction tomography and multichannel analysis of surface waves (Rayleigh and Love)
The August 24, 2014, moment magnitude (Mw) 6.0 South Napa earthquake caused an estimated $400 million in structural damage to the City of Napa, California. In 2015, we acquired high-resolution P- and S-wave seismic data near three strong-motion recording stations in Napa and Solano Counties where high peak ground accelerations (PGAs) were recorded...Chan, Joanne H.; Catchings, Rufus D.; Goldman, Mark R.; Criley, Coyn J.
This package is used to calculate coastal geomorphology variables along shore-normal transects. The calculated variables are used as inputs for modeling geomorphology using a Bayesian Network (BN).
iPlover was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center and the USGS Center for Integrated Data Analytics. It is used by trained and vetted personnel to record information about habitats on coastal beaches and he environment surrounding them.
3D Image of a multi-channel seismic (MCS) line showing gas (blue/green) migrating up through fractures in the subsurface, culminating in a 600 meter tall plume of methane gas in the water column that was captured using a Simrad EK60 split beam echo sounder. Background bathymetry was downloaded from USGS Open-File Report 2012-1266 (...
Three-dimensional model of Chimney Bluffs, New York along Lake Ontario created from low-altitude digital images collected from an unmanned aerial system (UAS).
Displaying fixed bin options (left) for rates of change for an example dataset (LRR, EPR, WLR), and scaled to data (right) (NSM).
The beach-dependent shorebirds project at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center models current and future habitat availability for nesting shorebirds in an effort to map current and likely future habitat availability on a range of sites along the U.S. Atlantic coast. Sites include beaches with minimal human-presence, such Cedar Island shown here off of the...
Data visualization with (A) fixed and (B) scaled options applied. Examples of NSM and SCE are also displayed (C and D respectively). The data itself has not changed – only the scaling and statistic selected through the DSAS Data Visualization tool.
Map of the Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket study sites outlined in red.
Image showing a collage of examples of multi-channel and single-channel seismic data collected by the USGS, seismic equipment deployed from a research vessel, and seismic equipment on a research vessel. These data are critical to the CMG Program as they define the geology in marine and coastal environments.
A USGS electronics technician performs maintenance on a ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) sensor station, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. ShakeAlert station components include strong-motion accelerometers, solar panel and battery power systems, and communications & telemetry equipment for communication with the wider ShakeAlert network.
Department of Interior UAS pilots from left to right – Elizabeth Pendleton (USGS, Woods Hole, MA), Colin Milone (Office of Aviation Services, AK), John Vogel (USGS; Flagstaff, AZ), Sandy Brosnahan (USGS, Woods Hole, MA), Brandon Forbes (USGS; Tuscon, AZ), Chris Holmquist-Johnson...
Screenshot of Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF) interactive map view of Stinson Beach, California, showing extent of flooding predicted if subjected to a sea-level rise of 100 centimeters (about 40 inches) and elevated water levels caused by a 100-year storm.
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck north of Anchorage, Alaska, on November 30, 2018, at 8:29 a.m. local time (17:29:28 UTC). For the most up-to-date information, please visit the USGS event page, and for estimates of casualties and damage, visit the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) website.
The Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Aerial Imaging and Mapping Group Aids in Monitoring and Mapping the Kīlauea Volcanic Eruption
On May 3, 2018, Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, began an over three-month-long eruption. Tina Neal and the rest of her team at the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) have been spearheading all Kīlauea monitoring and data-analysis efforts, and continue to provide regular updates on the status...
Mount St. Helens volcano loomed in the distance as 25 middle-school “GeoGirls” signed in, received a name tag, dropped their overnight gear and gathered in a grassy open space to meet camp staff, women scientists and volunteers.
National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) Leads Meeting on the Future of Earthquake Research and Monitoring
What are the next goals for the NEIC?
USGS scientists provide input for workshop on scientific drilling targets in the north Pacific Ocean
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center research geologist Danny Brothers attended the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) workshop on the “Scientific Exploration of the Arctic and North Pacific” September 25–27 in Mt. Hood, Oregon.
One-fourth of beachfront could be inundated by large storm waves, experts predict
To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Michael, visit the USGS Hurricane Michael page at usgs.gov/hurricane-michael.
One-fourth of Florida Panhandle beachfront could be inundated by large storm waves, experts predict
To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Michael, visit the USGS Hurricane Michael page at https://usgs.gov/hurricane-michael