Natural Hazards

Programs

The Natural Hazards Mission Area programs are responsible for long-term planning across the full USGS hazards science portfolio, coordinating disaster response and emergency management activities, including those funded through many other programs across the bureau, including floods, hurricanes and severe storms, and wildfires.

Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources

Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources Program scientists and staff study coastal and ocean resources and processes from shorelines and estuaries to the continental shelf and deep sea.

 

Earthquake Hazards

The USGS monitors and reports on earthquakes, assesses earthquake impacts and hazards, and conducts targeted research on the causes and effects of earthquakes. We undertake these activities as part of the larger National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), a four-agency partnership established by Congress.

 

Geomagnetism

We monitor the Earth's magnetic field. Using ground-based observatories, we provide continuous records of magnetic field variations; disseminate magnetic data to various governmental, academic, and private institutions; and conduct research into the nature of geomagnetic variations for purposes of scientific understanding and hazard mitigation.

 

Global Seismographic Network

The Global Seismographic Network (GSN) is a permanent digital network of state-of-the-art seismological and geophysical sensors connected by a telecommunications network. The GSN provides, worldwide monitoring of the Earth, with over 150 modern seismic stations distributed globally.

 

Landslide Hazards

The primary objective of the National Landslide Hazards Program is to reduce long-term losses from landslide hazards by improving our understanding of the causes of ground failure and suggesting mitigation strategies.

 

Volcano Hazards

There are 169 potentially active volcanoes in the U.S. The mission of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program is to enhance public safety and minimize social and economic disruption from volcanic unrest and eruption. We accomplish this by delivering effective forecasts, warnings, and information about volcano hazards based on scientific understanding of volcanic processes.

 

The NHMA also works across other mission areas focused on developing and maintaining an integrated and dedicated workforce of scientists and technicians with expertise in earth sciences, hydrology, biology, geography, social sciences, emergency management and other fields that collect and manage the information needed to prepare for and respond to a wide range of natural hazards and cascading consequences.

 

Wildfire Hazards

We carry out a wide range of wildfire-related science activities that span multiple USGS mission areas, including landscape ecology studies, geospatial support for fire response, burned area hydrology, and post-fire debris flow warnings.

 

Astrogeology

The Astrogeology Science Center serves the nation, the international science community, and the general public in the pursuit of new knowledge about our Solar System. The program has participated in analyzing data from numerous missions to planetary bodies, mapping planets, moons, and asteroids, and researching these body’s geologic processes.

DOI Strategic Sciences Group

The Department of the Interior (DOI) Strategic Sciences Group (SSG) was created to meet the immediate need for strategic scientific information and expertise during environmental crises. Through the development and application of science-based scenarios, the SSG can assist strategic response, recovery, and restoration of DOI resources.

 

Emergency Management

We oversee USGS's emergency management activities. These include providing executive direction, oversight, and support to USGS managers in responding to major hazard events and ensuring that the USGS is able to fulfill our mission under all circumstances. We also provide support to certain National Response Framework emergency support functions.

 

Flood Hazards

Information about active and recent events tracked by the USGS National Floods Specialist.

 

Science Application for Risk Reduction

Our SAFRR team focuses on building partnerships to improve the use of natural hazards information. We identify information needs and gaps and develop new products that make our science more available to users such as emergency managers, community members, or decision-makers. These efforts increase public safety and reduce economic losses caused by natural hazards.