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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.Read Our Science Strategy
Coastal wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. These wetlands at the land-ocean margin provide many direct benefits to humans, including habitat for commercially important fisheries and wildlife; storm protection; improved water quality through sediment, nutrient, and pollution removal; recreation; and aesthetic values. These valuable ecosystems will be highly...
Table of the Catastrophic Landslides including year, country, triggering process, the volume of material, impact, and comments.
The Sea Level Rise Hazards and Decision Support project assesses the potential impacts of sea level rise and provides tools for coastal management decision making. Historical and recent observations of coastal change are combined with model simulations of coastal environments such as barrier islands, wetlands, and coastal aquifers. A variety of methods including Bayesian...
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is mapping sea-floor geology and sedimentary environments offshore of Rhode Island. This site provides links to bathymetric, sidescan-sonar, sediment, photographic, seismic-reflection, and interpretive datasets, all presented in Geographic Information System (GIS) formats and...
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely science to assess ongoing hazards. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages...
Once the smoke clears from a wildfire, the danger is not over!! Other hazards, such as flash floods and debris flows, now become the focus. Areas recently burned by wildfires are particularly susceptible to flash floods and debris flows during rainstorms.
Estimates of the probability and volume of debris flows that may be produced by a storm in a recently burned area, using a model with characteristics related to basin shape, burn severity, soil properties, and rainfall.
Wildfire can significantly alter the hydrologic response of a watershed to the extent that even modest rainstorms can produce dangerous flash floods and debris flows....
Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Samples Repository (Buczkowski, 2018) is to
1. serve as the USGS repository for geological, biological, and geochemical samples collected through field research sponsored by the WHCMSC,
2. provide long-term storage of these samples collected by WHCMSC scientists and affiliated researchers under controlled conditions to ensure...
It aims at providing a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or manmade disasters through Authorized Users. Each member agency has committed resources to support the provisions of the Charter and thus is helping to mitigate the effects of disasters on human life and property.
Map interface to view and download LANDFIRE data sets, receive alerts and notifications.
Volcano-alert notifications are produced by Volcano Observatory scientists based on analysis of data from monitoring networks, direct observations, and satellite sensors. They are issued for both increasing and decreasing volcanic activity and include text about the nature of the unrest or eruption and about potential or current hazards and likely outcomes.
The Volcano Notification Service (VNS) is a free service that sends you notification emails about volcanic activity happening at U.S. monitored volcanoes. You can customize the VNS to deliver notifications for certain volcanoes or a range of volcanoes, and you can also choose the notification types you want to receive.
Earthquake potential in California-Nevada implied by correlation of strain rate and seismicity
Rock mechanics studies and dynamic earthquake simulations show that patterns of seismicity evolve with time through (1) accumulation phase, (2) localization phase, and (3) rupture phase. We observe a similar pattern of changes in seismicity during the past century across California and Nevada. To quantify these changes, we correlate GPS strain...Zeng, Yuehua; Petersen, Mark D.; Shen, Zheng-Kang
Chirp subbottom profile data collected in 2015 from the northern Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana
As part of the Barrier Island Evolution Research project, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center conducted a nearshore geophysical survey around the northern Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana, in September 2015. The objective of the project is to improve the understanding of barrier island...Forde, Arnell S.; DeWitt, Nancy T.; Fredericks, Jake J.; Miselis, Jennifer L.
Quaternary sediment thickness and bedrock topography of the glaciated United States east of the Rocky Mountains
Beginning roughly 2.6 million years ago, global climate entered a cooling phase known as the Pleistocene Epoch. As snow in northern latitudes compacted into ice several kilometers thick, it flowed as glaciers southward across the North American continent. These glaciers extended across the northern United States, dramatically altering the...Soller, David R.; Garrity, Christopher P.
Do large (magnitude ≥8 ) global earthquakes occur on preferred days of the calendar year or lunar cycle?
No.Hough, Susan E.
Geoelectric hazard maps for the Mid-Atlantic United States: 100 year extreme values and the 1989 magnetic storm
Maps of extreme value geoelectric field amplitude are constructed for the Mid‐Atlantic United States, a region with high population density and critically important power grid infrastructure. Geoelectric field time series for the years 1983–2014 are estimated by convolving Earth surface impedances obtained from 61 magnetotelluric survey sites...Love, Jeffrey J.; Lucas, Greg M.; Kelbert, Anna; Bedrosian, Paul A.
Revised recommended methods for analyzing crater size-frequency distributions
Impact crater populations crucially help us to understand solar system dynamics, planetary surface histories, and surface modification processes. A single previous effort to standardize how crater data are displayed in graphs, tables, and archives, was in a 1978 NASA report by the Crater Analysis Techniques Working Group, published in 1979 in...Robbins, Stuart J.; Riggs, Jamie D.; Weaver, Brian P.; Bierhaus, Edward B.; Chapman, Clark R.; Kirchoff, Michelle R.; Singer, Kelsi N.; Gaddis, Lisa
Extreme-event geoelectric hazard maps: Chapter 9
Maps of geoelectric amplitude covering about half the continental United States are presented that will be exceeded, on average, once per century in response to an extreme-intensity geomagnetic disturbance. These maps are constructed using an empirical parameterization of induction: convolving latitude-dependent statistical maps of extreme-value...Love, Jeffrey J.; Bedrosian, Paul A.
Detecting geothermal anomalies and evaluating LST geothermal component by combining thermal remote sensing time series and land surface model data
This paper explores for the first time the possibilities to use two land surface temperature (LST) time series of different origins (geostationary Meteosat Second Generation satellite data and Noah land surface modelling, LSM), to detect geothermal anomalies and extract the geothermal component of LST, the LSTgt. We hypothesize that in geothermal...Romaguera, Mireia; Vaughan, R. Greg; Ettema, J.; Izquierdo-Verdiguier, E.; Hecker, C. A.; van der Meer, F.D.
The electric storm of November 1882
In November 1882, an intense magnetic storm related to a large sunspot group caused widespread interference to telegraph and telephone systems and provided spectacular and unusual auroral displays. The (ring current) storm time disturbance index for this storm reached maximum −Dst ≈ 386 nT, comparable to Halloween storm of 29–31...Love, Jeffrey J.
The size, distribution, and mobility of landslides caused by the 2015 Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake, Nepal
Coseismic landslides pose immediate and prolonged hazards to mountainous communities, and provide a rare opportunity to study the effect of large earthquakes on erosion and sediment budgets. By mapping landslides using high-resolution satellite imagery, we find that the 25 April 2015 Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake and aftershock sequence produced at...Roback, Kevin; Clark, Marin K.; West, A. Joshua; Zekkos, Dimitrios; Li, Gen; Gallen, Sean F.; Chamlagain, Deepak; Godt, Jonathan W.
Viscous relaxation as a prerequisite for tectonic resurfacing on Ganymede: Insights from numerical models of lithospheric extension
Ganymede’s bright terrain formed during a near-global resurfacing event (or events) that produced both heavily tectonized and relatively smooth terrains. The mechanism(s) by which resurfacing occurred on Ganymede (e.g., cryovolcanic or tectonic), and the relationship between the older, dark and the younger, bright terrain are fundamental to...Bland, Michael T.; McKinnon, William B.
6th international conference on Mars polar science and exploration: Conference summary and five top questions
We provide a historical context of the International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration and summarize the proceedings from the 6th iteration of this meeting. In particular, we identify five key Mars polar science questions based primarily on presentations and discussions at the conference and discuss the overlap between some of those...Smith, Isaac B.; Diniega, Serina; Beaty, David W.; Thorsteinsson, Thorsteinn; Becerra, Patricio; Bramson, Ali; Clifford, Stephen M.; Hvidberg, Christine S.; Portyankina, Ganna; Piqueux, Sylvain; Spiga, Aymeric; Titus, Timothy N.
During the overnight hours, the UAS (Unoccupied Aircraft Systems) team flew sections of the lower East Rift Zone, monitoring fissure 8 activity and reports of small overflows from the lava channel. This view of fissure 8 and the upper lava channel shows roiling...
Photograph of the actively eroding coastal permafrost bluff on Barter Island, located on the northern coast of Alaska.
Fissure 8 and the upper lava channel, viewed from the early morning helicopter overflight of the lower East Rift Zone. Recent heavy rains have soaked into the still-warm tephra and the moisture rises as steam (right side of lava channel).
Fisheye lens photograph of a USGS geologist making observations of the...
Evolution of a blocked channel, image 2: While observing this area of the fissure 8 lava channel near Kapoho cone during the morning overflight, geologists witnesed an "apartment-building-sized" blockage within the channel give way and be pushed down stream by the pressurized lava behind. The dark portion within the red channel is the freed blockage. Lavacontinues to...
Evolution of a blocked channel, photo 1. A blockage of rafted material within the lava channel causes lava to flow over its banks near the Kapoho cone. In this section of the lava channel a cold lava flow from the 1960 eruption forms a barrier on the north side, which initially directed the channel to the southeast. A constriction in the channel formed at the bend where...
USGS Mavic Pro drone image of the fissure 8 lava channel looking toward the vent. Overflows can be seen as incandescent spots beyond the channel margins. Drone flights and resultant imagery help scientists...
The ocean entry being fed by a crusted over channel has fewer tiny ooze-out channels than yesterday spilling into the water. One larger ooze-out channel making dominant entry plume at the northern end of the broad ocean entry.
Annotated drone image of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone fissure 8 lava channel. Image captured near Kapoho Crater looking east toward the ocean entry. Incandescent flow margin is more easily identified in the dark - specifically here in the area of Kapoho Beach Lots.
ShakeAlert: The Path to West Coast Earthquake Early Warning: How a Few Seconds Can Save Lives and Property — Public Lecture
News reporters are invited to attend an illustrated public lecture to learn how U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are developing ShakeAlert. The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system will begin limited operations this year. Alerts could save lives and properties but several challenges remain. With millions at risk, why isn't full public alerting happening yet?
USGS seismologist Elizabeth Cochran studied the performance of Mexico City’s earthquake early warning system, during devastating Sept. 19, 2017 event
USGS geologist Patrick Barnard spoke to the public at a “Coffee and King Tides” gathering held in Half Moon Bay, California, on December 4.
For the first time, high-resolution images show the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars. According to an in-depth analysis led by the USGS, the images reveal never-before-observed details about the ice sheets, including that some begin just a few feet below the Martian surface and extend to depths greater than 300 feet.
Interview on future impacts of sea-level rise on Cape Cod with meteorologist Danielle Niles on Trunk River Beach, Falmouth, MA
USGS scientists have installed video cameras pointed at beaches on the coasts of western Florida and central California. They’re analyzing the videos to measure features of the beach and ocean so they can improve coastal-change forecasts.
USGS Research Geologist Publishes New AGU Article Forecasting Barrier Island Response to Sea-Level Rise
A new article combines geomorphological and pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy observations from coastal New Jersey with a morphodynamic model to forecast the response of barrier islands to various rates of sea-level rise and explores the impact of human alterations on forecasted behavior.
Geological Sampling (videos, photos and sediment samples) in Long Island Sound on the newly stretched R/V Connecticut with scientist from USGS, UConn and Univ of New Haven
Develop a new bathymetry map of Lake Powell, UT-AZ, and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers. Bathymetric data, acoustic backscatter imagery, and limited CHIRP sub-bottom data were collected by the USGS Utah Water Science Center (UTWSC) and Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) within Lake Powell, October - November, 2017...