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: March 13, 2019

New US Geological Survey-led Research Helps California Coastal Managers Prioritize Planning and Mitigation Efforts Due to Rising Seas and Storms

New U.S. Geological Survey-led coastal modeling research presents state, federal, and commercial entities with varying storm and sea level-rise scenarios to assist with planning for future infrastructure and mitigation needs along the California coast. 

Date published: March 11, 2019

President Proposes $983 Million FY20 Budget for USGS

Budget Focuses on Priorities Supporting American Energy Enterprise, National Security, and Natural Hazard Response Efforts

Date published: March 5, 2019

New tsunami evidence along one of Earth’s largest faults, the Alaska-Aleutian megathrust

Recent geological studies of a key section of the Aleutian Island chain of Alaska suggest Aleutian tsunamis may occur more frequently than previously understood.

Publications

Year Published: 2019

The Mw 6.0 South Napa earthquake of August 24, 2014—Observations of surface faulting and ground deformation, with recommendations for improving post-earthquake field investigations

The Mw 6.0 South Napa earthquake of August 24, 2014, produced complex and extensive surface faulting and other ground deformation features. Following the event, geologists made more than 1,200 field observations at locations where tectonic faulting and ground failure produced visible deformation that fractured and disturbed the ground surface. At...

Ponti, Daniel J.; Rosa, Carla M.; Blair, James Luke
Ponti, D.J, Rosa, C.M, and Blair, J.L., 2019, The Mw 6.0 South Napa earthquake of August 24, 2014—Observations of surface faulting and ground deformation, with recommendations for improving post-earthquake field investigations: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1018, 50 p., 15 appendixes, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191018.

Year Published: 2019

Seismic hazard assessment at the Fallon, Nevada, Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy site

Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) technology aims to engineer a productive geothermal reservoir in regions of hot, but low permeability, rocks. In any EGS operation, the rock mass requires stimulation by high pressure injection of fluids, which has the potential to induce seismicity. To address the seismic hazard specifically, a probabilistic...

Kaven, J. Ole; Majer, Ernest L.; Foxall, William; Sonnenthal, Eric L.; Pettitt, William
Kaven, J.O., Majer, E.L., Foxall, W., Sonnenthal, E.L., Pettitt, W., 2019, Seismic hazard assessment at the Fallon, Nevada, Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy site: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1020, 16 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191020.

Year Published: 2019

Evidence for plunging river plume deposits in the Pahrump Hills member of the Murray formation, Gale crater, Mars

Recent robotic missions to Mars have offered new insights into the extent, diversity and habitability of the Martian sedimentary rock record. Since the Curiosity rover landed in Gale crater in August 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory Science Team has explored the origins and habitability of ancient fluvial, deltaic, lacustrine and...

Stack, Kathryn M.; Grotzinger, John P.; Lamb, Michael P.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Kah, Linda C.; Edgar, Lauren A.; Fey, Deirdra M.; Hurowitz, Joel A.; McBride, Marie J.; Rivera-Hernández, Frances; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Van Beek, Jason K.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, R. Aileen