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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News

Date published: October 17, 2019

All Systems Go for First Statewide Testing of ShakeAlert in the United States

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey and the State of California pressed the “go” button to allow the first-ever statewide public testing of the California Early Earthquake Warning System, which is powered by USGS’s earthquake early warning alerts, called ShakeAlerts.

Date published: October 17, 2019

What if the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System Had Been Operating During the M6.9 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake?

How will ShakeAlert® likely perform now on a large earthquake impacting a major urban area? How much warning will you get? To answer this, let’s do a thought experiment...

Read the new Science for Everyone article at What if the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System...

Date published: October 16, 2019

The 2019 Great ShakeOut

When the ground starts to shake, what do you do?  Great ShakeOut 2019:  Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Stormquakes

Seismic signals from ocean-solid Earth interactions are ubiquitously recorded on our planet. However, these wavefields are typically incoherent in most frequency bands limiting their utilization for understanding ocean dynamics or solid Earth properties. In contrast, we find that during large storms such as hurricanes and Nor’easters the...

Fan, Wenyuan; McGuire, Jeffrey; de Groot-Hedlin, C. D.; Hedlin, M. A. H.; Coats, S.; Fiedler, J. W.

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Year Published: 2019

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center—2018 annual report

The 2018 annual report of the U.S. Geological Survey Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center summarizes the work of the center, as well as the work of each of its science groups, highlights accomplishments of 2018, and includes a list of publications published in 2018. This product allows readers to gain a general understanding of the focus...

Ernst, Sara
Ernst, S., 2019, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center—2018 annual report: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1460, 36 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1460.

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Year Published: 2019

Modeling sediment bypassing around idealized rocky headlands

Alongshore sediment bypassing rocky headlands remains understudied despite the importance of characterizing littoral processes for erosion abatement, beach management, and climate change adaptation. To address this gap, a numerical model sediment transport study was developed to identify controlling factors and mechanisms for sediment headland...

Douglas A. George; John L. Largier; Greg B. Pasternack; Barnard, Patrick L.; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Erikson, Li H.