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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Date published: February 6, 2020

New Landslide Guidebook for Puerto Rico Residents

A new landslide guidebook released February 5 is now available for Puerto Rico residents to learn more about the landslide hazards that can impact the island.

Date published: January 29, 2020

Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake in Puerto Rico

Links to forecasts and scenerios (below) will continue to be updated, however, text in this story will not be updated unless there is significant change to the aftershock behavior or to the USGS response to the earthquake. 

7-day aftershock forecast [English]

30-day aftershock scenarios [English | Spanish]


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Year Published: 2020

Seismicity of the Earth 1900–2018

This map illustrates 119 years of global seismicity in the context of global plate tectonics and the Earth’s physiography. Primarily designed for use by earth scientists, engineers, and educators, this map provides a comprehensive overview of strong (magnitude [M] 5.5 and larger) earthquakes since 1900. The map clearly identifies the locations of...

Hayes, Gavin P.; Smoczyk, Gregory M.; Villaseñor, Antonio H.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Benz, Harley M.
Hayes, G.P., Smoczyk, G.M., Villaseñor, A.H., Furlong, K.P., and Benz, H.M, 2020, Seismicity of the Earth 1900–2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3446, scale 1:22,500,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3446. [Supersedes USGS Scientific Investigations Map 3064.]

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Year Published: 2020

Final report to SCEC on the January 8, 2020 SCEC workshop 'Dynamic Rupture TAG Ingredients Workshop – Fault Friction (SCEC Project 19121)'

This workshop was the second of a series of four SCEC5 workshops designed to evaluate the importance of each of the four ingredients required for dynamic earthquake rupture simulations. The four ingredients are: initial stress conditions, fault geometry, rock properties, and fault friction (Figure 1). This workshop included a range of views of...

Harris, Ruth A.; Barall, Michael

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Year Published: 2020

Development of a global seismic risk model

Since 2015 the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation and its partners have been supporting regional programmes and bilateral collaborations to develop an open global earthquake risk model. These efforts led to the development of a repository of probabilistic seismic hazard models, a global exposure dataset comprising structural and occupancy...

Silva, Vitor; Amo-Oduro, Desmond; Calderon, Alejandro; Costa, Catarina; Dabbeek, Jamal; Despotaki, Venetia; Martins, Luis; Pagani, Marco; Rao, Anirudh; Simionato, Michele; Viganò, Daniele; Yepes-Estrada, Catalina; Acevedo, Ana Beatriz; Crowley, Helen; Horspool, Nick; Jaiswal, Kishor; Journeay, Murray; Pittore, Massimiliano