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: September 18, 2019

USGS to Install New Volcano Early Detection and Monitoring Stations at Mount Hood--Improving Early Detection of Unrest at this Active Volcano

VANCOUVER, Wash. — During the week of Sept. 23, the U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and Mount Hood National Forest, will install three new volcano monitoring stations on the flanks of Mount Hood. 

Date published: September 18, 2019

USGS Hazard Science – Understanding the Risks is Key to Preparedness

 Learn About USGS Hazards Science and More About National Preparedness Month:  The very nature of natural hazards means that they have the potential to impact a majority of Americans every year.  USGS science provides part of the foundation for emergency preparedness whenever and wherever disaster strikes.

Date published: September 11, 2019

“Science is Amazing”: GeoGirls Explore Mount St. Helens During Outdoor Science and Technology Program

Twenty-five middle school-age GeoGirls spent five days conducting hands-on research and interacting with female scientists, educators and older students, all while learning about active volcanoes, natural hazards and modern scientific monitoring technologies below the summit of Mount St. Helens.

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Characterizing large earthquakes before rupture is complete

Whether large and very large earthquakes are distinguishable from each other early on in the rupture process has been a subject often debated over the past several decades. Studies have shown that the frequency content of radiated seismic energy in the first few seconds of an earthquake scales with the final magnitude of the event, implying...

Melgar, Diego; Hayes, Gavin P.

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Year Published: 2019

Global earthquake response with imaging geodesy: recent examples from the USGS NEIC

The U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center leads real-time efforts to provide rapid and accurate assessments of the impacts of global earthquakes, including estimates of ground shaking, ground failure, and the resulting human impacts. These efforts primarily rely on analysis of the seismic wavefield to characterize the...

Barnhart, William D.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Wald, David J.

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Year Published: 2019

Physically based estimation of rainfall thresholds triggering shallow landslides in volcanic slopes of southern Italy

On the 4th and 5th of March 2005, about 100 rainfall-induced landslides occurred along volcanic slopes of Camaldoli Hill in Naples, Italy. These started as soil slips in the upper substratum of incoherent and welded volcaniclastic deposits, then evolved downslope according to debris avalanche and debris flow mechanisms. This specific case of slope...

Fusco, F.; De Vita, P.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Baum, Rex L.; Allocca, V.; Tufano, R.; Calcaterra, D.