Natural Hazards


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Date published: August 4, 2016

GeoGirls Dig Geology at Mount St. Helens


Twenty middle-school girls from Washington and Oregon are participating in the second annual “GeoGirls” outdoor volcano science program at Mount St. Helens, jointly organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount St. Helens Institute.

Date published: August 2, 2016

30 Years Saving Lives from Volcanoes

There are approximately 1,550 potentially active volcanoes around the world. VDAP works to reduce loss of life and property, limit economic impact and prevent volcanic crises from becoming disasters.

Date published: July 25, 2016

Big Thompson Canyon Floods of 1976 and 2013: A Tale of Two Deadly and Destructive Weather Events


Forty years ago on July 31, as Coloradoans and tourists celebrated the state’s centennial, between 12 and 14 inches of rain fell over a four-hour period in the mountains below the resort town of Estes Park, killing 143 people. The 1976 Big Thompson flood stands as the worst natural disaster in Colorado’s recorded history.

Date published: July 13, 2016

Young and Old Volcanoes East of the Sierra Nevada: New Map, Report and Public Events

A new geologic map of the Long Valley Caldera, Mammoth Mountain, and the Middle Fork canyon of the San Joaquin River including Devils Postpile National Monument, recounts the geologic and volcanic history of the area east of the Sierra Nevada in far greater detail than any previously published report.

Date published: June 28, 2016

Hazard a Guess? The riskiest science quiz you will ever take!

In what year did the United States experience the most acres burned from wildfires (on record)?

Date published: June 17, 2016

New Tide Gauges Installed Along Virginia Beach’s Coastline

Virginia Beach residents and local emergency managers have a new tool to monitor storm tides and flooding this hurricane season with the installation of 10 new tide gauges by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: June 16, 2016

Atlantic Methane Seeps Surprise Scientists

Recent scientific work has confirmed the source, composition and origin of methane seeps on the Atlantic Ocean seafloor, discovered in 2012, where scientists never expected them to be.

Date published: June 14, 2016

Studying Recent Tsunami Deposits in Icy Bay, Alaska

On October 17, 2015, a rain-soaked mountainside slid into Taan Fiord on Icy Bay, sending a giant wave more than 500 feet up the opposite slope.

Date published: June 13, 2016

Remembering Mount Pinatubo 25 Years Ago: Mitigating a Crisis

The world’s largest volcanic eruption to happen in the past 100 years was the June 15, 1991, eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.

Date published: June 7, 2016

Hazard a Guess? The riskiest science quiz you will ever take!

How many Americans live and work in areas exposed to potentially damaging earthquakes?

Date published: June 7, 2016

This hurricane season, scientists bring wave action into the picture

New USGS models help predict storm effects on beaches

Date published: June 2, 2016

Celebrate June as Oceans Month

June marks National Oceans Month, a month dedicated to recognizing the natural beauty and importance of Earth’s oceans and coasts. Check out 6 cool things that USGS scientists are up to underwater and along our coasts!