Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
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.Read Our Science Strategy
Bringing together seismologists, emergency managers, risk communication researchers, and design professionals to develop a framework for earthquake probability messages for both emergency managers and the general public.
Preliminary simulations of the tsunami from the March 11, 2011 M=9.0 subduction zone earthquake offshore of Honshu, Japan
Real-time geomagnetic monitoring for space weather-related applications: Opportunities and challenges
An examination is made of opportunities and challenges for enhancing global, real-time geomagnetic monitoring that would be beneficial for a variety of operational projects. This enhancement in geomagnetic monitoring can be attained by expanding the geographic distribution of magnetometer stations, improving the quality of magnetometer data,...Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol A.
Subsurface geometry of the San Andreas fault in southern California: Results from the Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) and strong ground motion expectations
The San Andreas fault (SAF) is one of the most studied strike‐slip faults in the world; yet its subsurface geometry is still uncertain in most locations. The Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) was undertaken to image the structure surrounding the SAF and also its subsurface geometry. We present SSIP studies at two locations in the Coachella...Fuis, Gary S.; Bauer, Klaus; Goldman, Mark R.; Ryberg, Trond; Langenheim, Victoria; Scheirer, Daniel S.; Rymer, Michael J.; Stock, Joann M.; Hole, John A.; Catchings, Rufus D.; Graves, Robert; Aagaard, Brad T.
Designing a solution to enable agency-academic scientific collaboration for disasters
As large-scale environmental disasters become increasingly frequent and more severe globally, people and organizations that prepare for and respond to these crises need efficient and effective ways to integrate sound science into their decision making. Experience has shown that integrating nongovernmental scientific expertise into disaster...Mease, Lindley A.; Gibbs-Plessl, Theodora; Erickson, Ashley; Ludwig, K.A.; Reddy, Christopher M.; Lubchenco, Jane
Influence of lithostatic stress on earthquake stress drops in North America
We estimate stress drops for earthquakes in and near the continental United States using the method of spectral ratios. The ratio of acceleration spectra between collocated earthquakes recorded at a given station removes the effects of path and recording site and yields source parameters including corner frequency for, and the ratio of seismic...Boyd, Oliver S.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Hartzell, Stephen; Choy, George
Reducing risk where tectonic plates collide—U.S. Geological Survey subduction zone science plan
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information and tools to build resilience in communities exposed to subduction zone earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. Improving the application of USGS science to successfully reduce risk from these events relies on whole community efforts...Gomberg, Joan S.; Ludwig, K.A.; Bekins, Barbara; Brocher, Thomas M.; Brock, John C.; Brothers, Daniel; Chaytor, Jason D.; Frankel, Arthur; Geist, Eric L.; Haney, Matt; Hickman, Stephen H.; Leith, William S.; Roeloffs, Evelyn A.; Schulz, William H.; Sisson, Thomas W.; Wallace, Kristi; Watt, Janet; Wein, Anne M.
Earthquake source properties from instrumented laboratory stick-slip
Stick-slip experiments were performed to determine the influence of the testing apparatus on source properties, develop methods to relate stick-slip to natural earthquakes and examine the hypothesis of McGarr  that the product of stiffness, k, and slip duration, Δt, is scale-independent and the same order as for earthquakes. The experiments...Thomas, Marion Y.; Mitchell, Thomas M.; Bhat, Harsha S.; Kilgore, Brian D.; McGarr, Arthur F.; Beeler, Nicholas M.; Lockner, David A.
Reducing risk where tectonic plates collide
Most of the world’s earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions are caused by the continuous motions of the many tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s outer shell. The most powerful of these natural hazards occur in subduction zones, where two plates collide and one is thrust beneath another. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) “...Gomberg, Joan S.; Ludwig, K.A.
The finite, kinematic rupture properties of great-sized earthquakes since 1990
Here, I present a database of >160 finite fault models for all earthquakes of M 7.5 and above since 1990, created using a consistent modeling approach. The use of a common approach facilitates easier comparisons between models, and reduces uncertainties that arise when comparing models generated by different authors, data sets and modeling...Hayes, Gavin
Continuity of the Reelfoot fault across the Cottonwood Grove and Ridgely faults of the New Madrid Seismic Zone
Previous investigators have argued that the northwest-striking Reelfoot fault of northwest Tennessee and southeastern Missouri is segmented. One segment boundary is at the intersection of the northeast-striking Cottonwood Grove and Ridgely strike-slip faults with the Reelfoot fault. We use seismic reflection and geologic mapping to locate and...Greenwood, M.L.; Woolery, Edward W; Van Arsdale, R. B.; Stephenson, William J.; Patterson, Gary L.
The spatial distribution of earthquake stress rotations following large subduction zone earthquakes
Rotations of the principal stress axes due to great subduction zone earthquakes have been used to infer low differential stress and near-complete stress drop. The spatial distribution of coseismic and postseismic stress rotation as a function of depth and along-strike distance is explored for three recent M ≥ 8.8 subduction megathrust...Hardebeck, Jeanne L.
Prediction of spatially explicit rainfall intensity–duration thresholds for post-fire debris-flow generation in the western United States
Early warning of post-fire debris-flow occurrence during intense rainfall has traditionally relied upon a library of regionally specific empirical rainfall intensity–duration thresholds. Development of this library and the calculation of rainfall intensity-duration thresholds often require several years of monitoring local rainfall and hydrologic...Staley, Dennis M.; Negri, Jacquelyn; Kean, Jason W.; Laber, Jayme L.; Tillery, Anne C.; Youberg, Ann M.
Pulsed strain release on the Altyn Tagh fault, northwest China
Earthquake recurrence models assume that major surface-rupturing earthquakes are followed by periods of reduced rupture probability as stress rebuilds. Although purely periodic, time- or slip-predictable rupture models are known to be oversimplifications, a paucity of long records of fault slip clouds understanding of fault behavior and earthquake...Gold, Ryan D.; Cowgill, Eric; Arrowsmith, J. Ramón; Friedrich, Anke M.
An aerial view of the Kapoho ocean entry, as of 6:30 a.m. HST today, shows the extent of the lava delta, now about 200 acres in size, that has formed over the past six days (lava first entered the ocean on the night of June 3). Across the front of the delta, plumes of laze—created by molten lava interacting with seawater—appeared diminished this morning, but was probably...
Cracking and slumping of the Halema‘uma‘u crater walls are clearly evident in this aerial view captured during HVO's overflight of Kīlauea's summit this morning. Steam plumes have been rising from within the crater, as well as from cracks adjacent to the crater.
Another aerial view showing prominent cracking around Halema‘uma‘u from the ongoing subsidence at Kīlauea's summit. The steaming cracks in the background have been observed for several days.
Dramatic changes at Halema‘uma‘u could be seen through gases rising from the crater during HVO's overflight of the summit this morning at 10 a.m. HST. The view here looks to the southwest, with the former overlook parking lot barely visible to the left of the gas plume.
HVO's early morning helicopter overflight of Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone showed that lava continues to flow into the ocean in the vicinity of Kapoho Bay and Vacationland.
Nearshore geophysical mapping with sub-bottom sled (foreground), personal watercraft equipped with echosounders (background, water) and beach-based personnel (background, beach).
USGS teams install storm-tide sensors in Florida before Hurricane Hermine makes landfall
Old-fashioned interviews are compared to Did You Feel It? responses for this earthquake.
September is National Preparedness Month, a time to highlight the resources available to help you and your loved ones stay as safe as possible.
New research from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Colorado shows actions taken by drillers and regulators can lessen risk in the case of earthquakes likely caused by the injection of industrial wastewater deep underground.
New informational products about the health hazards of volcanic air pollution known as “vog,” are available through a new interagency partnership.
Reporters are invited to attend a telephone press conference on Thursday, August 18, 2016, 2:00 p.m. HST, about new informational resources regarding vog and related health concerns in Hawaii.
A new interactive map and companion report from the U.S. Geological Survey allows residents living in and around New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains to see where they’re located in relation to postwildfire debris-flow hazards.
During what months is hurricane season typically recognized along the Atlantic Coast?