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Natural Hazards Mission Area

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.

News

Modeling Wave Dynamics to Assess Coastal Erosion Threats Along Alaska's Arctic Coast

Modeling Wave Dynamics to Assess Coastal Erosion Threats Along Alaska's Arctic Coast

USGS-led Study: Sediment Management is Key to Preserving Puget Sound's Estuarine Habitats

USGS-led Study: Sediment Management is Key to Preserving Puget Sound's Estuarine Habitats

New USGS-led Research Sheds Light on Deep-Sea Food Webs

New USGS-led Research Sheds Light on Deep-Sea Food Webs

Publications

Evaluation of 2-D shear-wave velocity models and VS30at six strong-motion recording stations in southern California using multichannel analysis of surface waves and refraction tomography

To better understand the potential for amplified ground shaking at sites that house critical infrastructure, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) evaluated shear-wave velocities (VS) at six strong-motion recording stations in Southern California Edison facilities in southern California. We calculated VS30 (time-averaged shear-wave velocity in the upper 30 meters [m]), which is a parameter used in gro
Authors
Joanne H. Chan, Rufus D. Catchings, Mark R. Goldman, Coyn J. Criley, Robert R. Sickler

Preliminary implications of viscoelastic ray theory for anelastic seismic tomography models

The recent developments in general viscoelastic ray theory provide a rigorous mathematical framework for anelastic seismic tomography. They provide closed‐form solutions of forward ray‐tracing and simple inverse problems for anelastic horizontal and spherical layered media with material gradients. They provide ray‐tracing computation algorithms valid for all angles of incidence that account for ch
Authors
Roger D. Borcherdt

Performance-based earthquake early warning for tall buildings

The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system aims to issue an advance warning to residents on the West Coast of the United States seconds before the ground shaking arrives, if the expected ground shaking exceeds a certain threshold. However, residents in tall buildings may experience much greater motion due to the dynamic response of the buildings. Therefore, there is an ongoing effort to
Authors
S. Farid Ghahari, Khachik Sargsyan, Grace Alexandra Parker, Dan Swensen, Mehmet Çelebi, Hamid Haddadi, Ertugrul Taciroglu

Science

Developing a USGS Digital Coral Growth Archive using Rotating X-Ray Computerized Tomography​

The newly developed USGS Coral Core Archive, housed at the Pacific and St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Centers, contains approximately 500 coral reef cores from U.S. jurisdictions worldwide (Fig. 1). This archive, is one of the largest coral archives in the world and provides historical context for coral-reef science studies, including crucial data for modern coral calcification rates...
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Developing a USGS Digital Coral Growth Archive using Rotating X-Ray Computerized Tomography​

The newly developed USGS Coral Core Archive, housed at the Pacific and St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Centers, contains approximately 500 coral reef cores from U.S. jurisdictions worldwide (Fig. 1). This archive, is one of the largest coral archives in the world and provides historical context for coral-reef science studies, including crucial data for modern coral calcification rates...
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Alaska Flood Staffs

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) uses observations of flooding in communities to monitor hazard conditions and support research by the USGS and its partners into a variety of hazard processes in Alaska. Local observations of flooding at a flood staffs are used to document flood elevations, improve flood models, and support floodplain management decisions.
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Alaska Flood Staffs

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) uses observations of flooding in communities to monitor hazard conditions and support research by the USGS and its partners into a variety of hazard processes in Alaska. Local observations of flooding at a flood staffs are used to document flood elevations, improve flood models, and support floodplain management decisions.
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Typhoon Merbok Disaster Emergency Recovery Efforts

Extreme storm events, such as Extratropical-Typhoon Merbok that hit the coast of Western Alaska in September 2022, are stark reminders of the devastating impacts coastal storms can have on Alaska Native community’s livelihoods and infrastructure. A chronic lack of environmental monitoring and technical assistance in rural Alaska present major barriers to communities affected by Typhoon Merbok...
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Typhoon Merbok Disaster Emergency Recovery Efforts

Extreme storm events, such as Extratropical-Typhoon Merbok that hit the coast of Western Alaska in September 2022, are stark reminders of the devastating impacts coastal storms can have on Alaska Native community’s livelihoods and infrastructure. A chronic lack of environmental monitoring and technical assistance in rural Alaska present major barriers to communities affected by Typhoon Merbok...
Learn More