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: June 24, 2020

Wildfire Support from 438 Miles Above

USGS Fire Science is fundamental to understanding the causes, consequences, and benefits of wildfire and helps prevent and manage larger, catastrophic events. USGS scientists and programs provide information and develop tools that are widely used by stakeholders to make decisions before, during, and after wildfires across the nation.

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Segmentation and supercycles: A catalog of earthquake rupture patterns from the Sumatran Sunda Megathrust and other well-studied faults worldwide

After more than 100 years of earthquake research, earthquake forecasting, which relies on knowledge of past fault rupture patterns, has become the foundation for societal defense against seismic natural disasters. A concept that has come into focus more recently is that rupture segmentation and cyclicity can be complex, and that a characteristic...

Philibosian, Belle; Meltzner, Aron J.

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Year Published: 2020

Graphical Dispersion Plot Editor (DPE) for seismic-site characterization by using multiple surface-wave methods

IntroductionTo understand the behavior of potentially damaging ground motions during earthquakes, seismic-site effects are routinely characterized by using the dispersion of surface waves. Many methods exist to measure dispersion; these methods have various advantages and disadvantages, but they all yield dispersion data that must be inverted for...

McPhillips, Devin; Yong, Alan K.; Martin, Antony; Stephenson, William J.
Attribution: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, California Water Science Center, Water Resources, Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, South Atlantic Water Science Center (SAWSC), Water Resources, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Earthquake Science Center, Natural Hazards, Earthquake Hazards Program, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Western Fisheries Research Center, Ecosystems, Fisheries Program, Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Central Energy Resources Science Center, Energy Resources Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, United States of America, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, National Wildlife Health Center, Ecosystems, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Water Resources, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, Land Resources, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, California Water Science Center, Water Resources, Core Science Systems, National Geospatial Program, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Core Science Systems, National Geospatial Program, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Community for Data Integration (CDI), Science Analytics and Synthesis (SAS), United States of America, Utah Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Alaska Science Center, Ecosystems, Region 11: Alaska, Southwest Biological Science Center, Ecosystems, Western Ecological Research Center, Ecosystems, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Washington Water Science Center, Water Resources, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Central Energy Resources Science Center, Energy Resources Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Southwest Biological Science Center, Ecosystems, Science and Decisions Center, Alaska Science Center, Ecosystems, Region 11: Alaska, Utah Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, Water, New Jersey Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, New Jersey, United States of America, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Upper Midwest Water Science Center, Water Resources, Washington Water Science Center, Water Resources, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, Earthquake Science Center, Natural Hazards, Earthquake Hazards Program
McPhillips, D., Yong, A.K., Martin, A., and Stephenson, W.J., 2020, Graphical Dispersion Plot Editor (DPE) for seismic-site characterization by using multiple surface-wave methods: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1065, 8 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201065.

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Year Published: 2020

Surface displacement distributions for the July 2019 Ridgecrest, California earthquake ruptures

The 2019 Ridgecrest, California earthquake sequence generated surface fault rupture along two orthogonal cross faults, including the dominantly left-lateral and northeast-striking Mw6.4 rupture and dominantly right-lateral and northwest-striking Mw7.1 rupture. We present >650 field-based surface-displacement observations for these ruptures,...

Duross, Christopher; Gold, Ryan D.; Dawson, Timothy E.; Scharer, Katherine; Kendrick, Katherine; Akciz, Sinan; Angster, Stephen J.; Bachhuber, Jeffery; Bacon, Steven; Bennett, Scott E. K.; Blair, Luke; Brooks, Benjamin A.; Bullard, Thomas; Burgess, W. Paul; Chupik, Colin; DeFrisco, Michael; Delano, Jaime; Dolan, James D.; Frost, Erik; Graehl, Nick; Haddon, Elizabeth; Hatem, Alexandra Elise; Hernandez, Janis; Hitchcock, Christopher S.; Hudnut, Kennth; Thompson Jobe, Jessica; Koehler, Richard D; Kozaci, Ozgur; Ladinsky, Tyler C.; Madugo, Christopher; McPhillips, Devin; Milliner, Christopher; Morelan, Alexander; Olson, Brian; Patton, Jason; Philibosian, Belle; Pickering, Alexandra J.; Pierce, Ian; Ponti, Daniel J.; Seitz, Gordon G.; Spangler, Eleanor; Swanson, Brian J.; Thomas, Kate; Treiman, Jerome; Valencia, Francesca; Williams, Alana; Zinke, Robert
Attribution: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, California Water Science Center, Water Resources, Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, South Atlantic Water Science Center (SAWSC), Water Resources, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Earthquake Science Center, Natural Hazards, Earthquake Hazards Program, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Western Fisheries Research Center, Ecosystems, Fisheries Program, Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Central Energy Resources Science Center, Energy Resources Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, United States of America, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, National Wildlife Health Center, Ecosystems, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Water Resources, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, Land Resources, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, California Water Science Center, Water Resources, Core Science Systems, National Geospatial Program, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Core Science Systems, National Geospatial Program, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Community for Data Integration (CDI), Science Analytics and Synthesis (SAS), United States of America, Utah Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Alaska Science Center, Ecosystems, Region 11: Alaska, Southwest Biological Science Center, Ecosystems, Western Ecological Research Center, Ecosystems, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Washington Water Science Center, Water Resources, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Central Energy Resources Science Center, Energy Resources Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Southwest Biological Science Center, Ecosystems, Science and Decisions Center, Alaska Science Center, Ecosystems, Region 11: Alaska, Utah Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, Water, New Jersey Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, New Jersey, United States of America, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Upper Midwest Water Science Center, Water Resources, Washington Water Science Center, Water Resources, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, Earthquake Science Center, Natural Hazards, Earthquake Hazards Program, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, National Geospatial Program, Upper Midwest Water Science Center, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, Natural Hazards, Earthquake Hazards Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin