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Natural Hazards

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Costs and consequences of natural hazards can be enormous; each year more people and infrastructure are at risk. We develop and apply hazards science to help protect U.S. safety, security, and economic well being. These scientific observations, analyses, and research are crucial for the Nation to become more resilient to natural hazards.

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Filter Total Items: 273
Date published: April 5, 2018

Kilauea Advisory Messages Usability Study

Improving Advisories for volcanic activity.

Date published: March 30, 2018
Status: Completed

Tropical Storm Colin - Forecast of Coastal Change

Forecast of coastal change for Tropical Storm Colin.

Date published: March 30, 2018
Status: Active

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP) is an initiative between Federal and Florida State agencies and institutions to coordinate and facilitate the collection and accessibility of Florida coastal seafloor data in order to fill priority areas and gaps.

Contacts: Cheryl Hapke, Ph.D., Philip Kramer, Ph.D.
Date published: March 29, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Climate Impacts

The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise around the Pacific and Arctic Oceans can vary tremendously. Thus far the vast majority of national and international impact assessments and models of coastal climate change have focused on low-relief coastlines that are not near seismically active zones. Furthermore, the degree to which extreme waves and wind will add further stress to coastal...

Date published: March 28, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Joaquin - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Joaquin coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: March 22, 2018
Status: Active

Gas Hydrates- Climate and Hydrate Interactions

Breakdown of gas hydrates due to short- or long-term climate change may release methane to the ocean-atmosphere system. Methane that reaches the atmosphere can in turn exacerbate climate warming. Studies of methane hydrate dynamics and methane release on the continental shelf and upper slope in the US Arctic and Atlantic margin are tracking these processes.

Date published: March 22, 2018
Status: Active

Gas Hydrates-Energy

Natural gas production from methane hydrates may someday prove viable. The USGS Gas Hydrate Project takes part in US and international programs to investigate the potential of deepwater marine and permafrost gas hydrates as an energy resource. Long-term production tests are the next step in this research.

Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Geomagnetism Research

Research projects within the USGS Geomagnetism Program are targeted for societal relevance, especially for space-weather hazard science.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Volcano Hazards Preparedness Resources

Be ready for the next volcanic event.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Volcano Notification Service (VNS)

The Volcano Notification Service (VNS) is a free service that sends you notification emails about volcanic activity happening at US monitored volcanoes.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Regional Emergency Management Resources

Regional Preparedness Resources

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Magnetic Disturbances

The mission of the Geomagnetism Program is to monitor the Earth's magnetic field.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Filter Total Items: 4,335
Year Published: 2017

Toward a unified near-field intensity map of the 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, Earthquake

We develop a unified near-field shaking intensity map for the 25 April 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, earthquake by synthesizing intensities derived from macroseismic effects that were determined by independent groups using a variety of approaches. Independent assessments by different groups are generally consistent, with minor differences that...

Adhikari, Sujan Raj; Baysal, Gopi; Dixit, Amod; Martin, Stacey; Landes, Mattieu; Bossu, Remy; Hough, Susan E.
Sujan Raj Adhikari, Gopi Baysal, Amod Dixit, Stacey S. Martin, Mattieu Landes, Remy Bossu, and Susan E. Hough (2017) Toward a Unified Near-Field Intensity Map of the 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, Earthquake. Earthquake Spectra: December 2017, Vol. 33, No. S1, pp. S21-S34.

Year Published: 2017

Estimating rupture distances without a rupture

Most ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) require distances that are defined relative to a rupture model, such as the distance to the surface projection of the rupture (RJB) or the closest distance to the rupture plane (RRUP). There are a number of situations in which GMPEs are used where it is either necessary or advantageous to derive...

Thompson, Eric M.; Worden, Charles
Thompson, E. M., and C. B Worden (2017). Estimating Rupture Distances without a Rupture. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170174

Year Published: 2017

PRISM software—Processing and review interface for strong-motion data

Rapidly available and accurate ground-motion acceleration time series (seismic recordings) and derived data products are essential to quickly providing scientific and engineering analysis and advice after an earthquake. To meet this need, the U.S. Geological Survey National Strong Motion Project has developed a software package called PRISM (...

Jones, Jeanne M.; Kalkan, Erol; Stephens, Christopher D.; Ng, Peter
Jones, J.M., Kalkan, Erol, Stephens, C.D., and Ng, Peter, 2017, PRISM software—Processing and review interface for strong-motion data: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 12, chap. A2, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm12A2.

Year Published: 2017

Imaging shear strength along subduction faults

Subduction faults accumulate stress during long periods of time and release this stress suddenly, during earthquakes, when it reaches a threshold. This threshold, the shear strength, controls the occurrence and magnitude of earthquakes. We consider a 3-D model to derive an analytical expression for how the shear strength depends on the fault...

Bletery, Quentin; Thomas, Amanda M.; Rempel, Alan W.; Hardebeck, Jeanne L.
Bletery, Q., Thomas, A. M., Rempel, A. W., & Hardebeck, J. L. (2017), Imaging shear strength along subduction faults. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, doi: 10.1002/2017GL075501.

Year Published: 2017

The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) for the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) is the main imaging system onboard the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) which was launched on 14 March 2016. CaSSIS is intended to acquire moderately high resolution (4.6 m/pixel) targeted images of Mars at a rate of 10–20 images per day from a roughly circular orbit 400...

Thomas, N.; Cremonese, G.; Ziethe, R.; Gerber, M.; Brändli, M.; Bruno, G.; Erismann, M.; Gambicorti, L.; Gerber, T.; Ghose, K.; Gruber, M.; Gubler, P.; Mischler, H.; Jost, J.; Piazza, D.; Pommerol, A.; Rieder, M.; Roloff, V.; Servonet, A.; Trottmann, W.; Uthaicharoenpong, T.; Zimmermann, C.; Vernani, D.; Johnson, M.; Pelò, E.; Weigel, T.; Viertl, J.; De Roux, N.; Lochmatter, P.; Sutter, G.; Casciello, A.; Hausner, T.; Ficai Veltroni, I.; Da Deppo, V.; Orleanski, P.; Nowosielski, W.; Zawistowski, T.; Szalai, S.; Sodor, B.; Tulyakov, S.; Troznai, G.; Banaskiewicz, M.; Bridges, J.C.; Byrne, S.; Debei, S.; El-Maarry, M. R.; Hauber, E.; Hansen, C.J.; Ivanov, A.; Keszthelyil, L.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Kuzmin, R.; Mangold, N.; Marinangeli, L.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Massironi, M.; McEwen, A.S.; Okubo, Chris H.; Tornabene, L.L.; Wajer, P.; Wray, J.J.
Thomas, N., Cremonese, G., Ziethe, R., Gerber, M., Brändli, M., Bruno, G., … Wray, J. J. (2017). The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) for the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Space Science Reviews, 212(3–4), 1897–1944. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-017-0421-1

Year Published: 2017

Geoelectric monitoring at the Boulder magnetic observatory

Despite its importance to a range of applied and fundamental studies, and obvious parallels to a robust network of magnetic-field observatories, long-term geoelectric field monitoring is rarely performed. The installation of a new geoelectric monitoring system at the Boulder magnetic observatory of the US Geological Survey is summarized. Data from...

Blum, Cletus; White, Tim; Sauter, Edward A.; Stewart, Duff; Bedrosian, Paul A.; Love, Jeffrey J.
Blum, C. C., White, T. C., Sauter, E. A., Stewart, D. C., Bedrosian, P. A., and Love, J. J.: Geoelectric monitoring at the Boulder magnetic observatory, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2017-27, in production, 2017.

Year Published: 2017

Disturbance hydrology: Preparing for an increasingly disturbed future

This special issue is the result of several fruitful conference sessions on disturbance hydrology, which started at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco and have continued every year since. The stimulating presentations and discussions surrounding those sessions have focused on understanding both the disruption of hydrologic functioning...

Mirus, Benjamin B.; Ebel, Brian A.; Mohr, Christian H.; Zegre, Nicolas
Mirus, BB, BA Ebel, C Mohr, N Zegre. 2017. Disturbance Hydrology: Preparing for an Increasingly Disturbed Future, Water Resources Research, WRCR22964, doi:10.1002/2017WR021084.

Year Published: 2017

Subduction zone slip variability during the last millennium, south-central Chile

The Arauco Peninsula (37°-38°S) in south-central Chile has been proposed as a possible barrier to the along-strike propagation of megathrust ruptures, separating historical earthquakes to the south (1960 AD 1837, 1737, and 1575) and north (2010 AD, 1835, 1751, 1657, and 1570) of the peninsula. However, the 2010 (Mw 8.8) earthquake propagated into...

Dura, Tina; Horton, Benjamin P.; Cisternas, Macro; Ely, Lisa L; Hong, Isabel; Nelson, Alan R.; Wesson, Robert L.; Pilarczyk, Jessica E.; Parnell, Andrew C.; Nikitina, Daria
Tina Dura, Benjamin P. Horton, Marco Cisternas, Lisa L. Ely, Isabel Hong, Alan R. Nelson, Robert L.Wesson, Jessica E.Pilarczyk, Andrew C.Parnell, Daria Nikitinai, 2017, Subduction zone slip variability during the last millennium, south-central Chile: Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 175, Pages 112-137, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.08.023

Year Published: 2017

Modeling of high‐frequency seismic‐wave scattering and propagation using radiative transfer theory

This is a study of the nonisotropic scattering process based on radiative transfer theory and its application to the observation of the M 4.3 aftershock recording of the 2008 Wells earthquake sequence in Nevada. Given a wide range of recording distances from 29 to 320 km, the data provide a unique opportunity to discriminate scattering...

Zeng, Yuehua
Zeng, Y. (2017). Modeling of High-Frequency Seismic Wave Scattering and Propagation Using Radiative Transfer Theory, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., doi: 10.1785/0120160241.

Year Published: 2017

Alaska geologic road guides

No abstract available.

Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Price, Raymond A.; Scholl, David W.; Stone, David B.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Stone, David B.; Mull, Charles G.
Nokleberg, W.J., Bundtzen, T.K., Mull, C.D., and Stone, D.B., 2017, Alaska Road Guides, in Nokleberg, W.J., ed., Dynamic Geology of the Northern Cordillera (Alaska and Western Canada) and Adjacent Marine Areas: Tectonics, Hazards, and Resources: University of Alaska, 483 p., 3 maps, scale 1:2,000,000, https://scholarworks.alaska.edu/handle/11122/7994.

Year Published: 2017

Compositional variations in sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater, Mars, from visible-shortwave infrared spectroscopy and comparison with ground truth from the Curiosity Rover

During its ascent up Mount Sharp, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover traversed the Bagnold Dune Field. We model sand modal mineralogy and grain size at four locations near the rover traverse, using orbital shortwave infrared single scattering albedo spectra and a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo implementation of Hapke's radiative transfer theory...

Lapotre, Mathieu G.A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Minson, Sarah E.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ayoub, F.; Fraeman, A. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Bridges, N. T.
Lapotre, M. G. A., B. L. Ehlmann, S. E. Minson, R. E. Arvidson, F. Ayoub, A. A. Fraeman, R. C. Ewing, and N. T. Bridges (2017), Compositional Variations in Sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater, Mars, from Visible-Shortwave Infrared Spectroscopy and Comparison with Ground Truth from the Curiosity Rover, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 122, doi:10.1002/2016JE005133.

Year Published: 2017

Origin of discrepancies between crater size-frequency distributions of coeval lunar geologic units via target property contrasts

Recent work on dating Copernican-aged craters, using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Camera data, re-encountered a curious discrepancy in crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD) measurements that was observed, but not understood, during the Apollo era. For example, at Tycho, Copernicus, and Aristarchus craters, CSFDs of impact melt deposits...

Van der Bogert, Carolyn H.; Hiesinger, Harald; Dundas, Colin M.; Kruger, T.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Zanetti, Michael; Robinson, Mark S.
Van der Bogert, C. H., Hiesinger, H., Dundas, C. M., Kruger, T., Zanetti, M., McEwen, A. S., Robinson, M. S., 2017. Origins of discrepancies between crater size-frequency distributions of coeval lunar geologic units. Icarus, 298, 49-63, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.11.040.

Filter Total Items: 2,547
Webcam photo that shows a plume late at night.
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Webcam Plume

At 10:41 p.m. HST on June 26, after approximately 25 hours of elevated seismicity, a collapse explosion occurred at the summit producing an 

...
Looking down a long roadway toward and active fissure
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 From Luana Street

View of the fissure 8 cone and fountain from the end of Luana Street in Leilani Estates. Photo taken at 12:20 p.m.

A panoramic photo of Halema`uma`u Crater
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Halema`uma`u Panoramic

This panorama of Kīlauea's summit caldera was made about 10 a.m. HST from the Keanakāko‘i overlook on the south side of the caldera. Halema‘uma‘u is

...
Looking down a lava channel at the sunrise
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Sunrise Over Lava Channel

Early morning view of the open lava channel during helicopter overflight of the lower East Rift Zone.

Geologist looks at fissure 8 through a camera
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Documenting Fissure 8 Activity

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geology field crews maintain watch over the eruptive activity in the lower East Rift Zone and at Kīlauea's summit. Here, a geologist documents the behavior of lava as it exits the Fissure 8 cone. Lava enters the upper channel traveling as fast as 30 km/hour (18 mi/hour).

Photograph of USGS UAS pilot wearing an orange USGS shirt
June 25, 2018

Woods Hole's Aerial Imaging and Mapping pilots in Hawaii

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center's Aerial Imaging and Mapping rock stars preparing to fly Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) mission while a river of lava flows in the background

Small plume cloud from a crater
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Small Halema`uma`u Eruption (June 24, 2018)

On June 24 a small ash-poor steam plume rose above the Halema‘uma‘u crater rim following another collapse explosion event at 4:12 p.m. HST (image taken at 4:27 p.m.).

...
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ever-Growing Halema`uma`u Crater

A UAS (Unoccupied Aircraft Systems) mission on June 24, 2018, filmed details of the dramatic changes occurring within Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea's summit since explosive eruptionsof 

...
Aerial view of lava channel
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ocean Entry

Lava is entering the sea on the southern side of the entry area primarily through the open channel, but also along a 1 km (0.6 mi) wide area. The entry areas are marked by billowing laze plumes. The interaction of lava with the ocean creates "laze", a corrosive seawater 

...
Lava flowing across the landscape
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Flows from Fissure 8

View to the southwest, looking "up" the lava channel. Lava flows from Fissure 8 (not pictured) through the open channel about 13 km (8 mi) to the ocean. Lava remains incandescent (glowing orange) along the entire length of the channel with sections of cooled lava (black) on the surface. The dark areas in the lower portion of the image are parts of the early lava flow from

...
Lava fountain with lava flow
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Fountain

At fissure 8, fountains provide a vigorous supply of lava that exits the cinder cone and drops over a spillway to enter a well-established 

...
Filter Total Items: 380
Date published: August 30, 2017

Science to Weather the Storm

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Date published: August 29, 2017

USGS Crews Measure Record Flooding in South-Central Texas

Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista or Lynne Fahlquist. 

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding in parts of south-central Texas following intense rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Date published: August 25, 2017

USGS Prepares for Hurricane Harvey

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Date published: August 25, 2017

Many Texas Beaches Likely to Erode, Be Overwashed, or Inundated by Hurricane Harvey

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

UPDATE: This story has been revised to reflect new NOAA-National Hurricane Center storm surge projections which were released August 25 at 7 a.m.

Date published: August 24, 2017

Many Texas Beaches Likely to Erode, Be Overwashed, or Inundated by Hurricane Harvey

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

UPDATE: This story has been revised to reflect new NOAA-National Hurricane Center storm surge projections which were released August 25 at 7 a.m.

Date published: August 24, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-tide Sensors along Texas Coast prior to Harvey’s Arrival

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Storm-tide sensors are being installed at key locations along the Texas Gulf Coast by the U.S. Geological Survey in advance of Hurricane Harvey.

Date published: August 14, 2017

USGS Awards $4.9 Million to Advance the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System on West Coast

The U.S. Geological Survey awarded approximately $4.9 million this week to six universities and a university-governed non-profit, to support transitioning the west coast “ShakeAlert” earthquake early warning system into a production system.

Date published: August 11, 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY: Upcoming Low-Level Flights in Oklahoma to Image Unmapped Faults and Underground Geology

Editor:  In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project.  Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

Date published: August 8, 2017

International Volcano Science Meeting in Portland

Join volcano scientists from around the world during scientific meeting and associated public event in Portland.

Date published: August 8, 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY: Media Webinar – Gathering and Sharing Information about Recent Earthquakes

After the next significant earthquake, many sources will be disseminating information from a variety of accounts, tools and services.

Date published: August 7, 2017

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

True or False:  Lightning that takes place during a volcanic eruption is the same as lightning that occurs during a thunderstorm?

Filter Total Items: 177