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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
Hurricane Irma coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Hurricane Sandy Response- Linking the Delmarva Peninsula's Geologic Framework to Coastal Vulnerability
The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. In order to better constrain controls on coastal vulnerability and evolution, the region’s sediment sources, transport pathways and sinks must be identified. This project defines the geologic framework of the Delmarva coastal system through geophysical...
The nation's coastlines are vulnerable to the interrelated hazards posed by earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis.
Hurricane Nate coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Coastal change forecasts and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change for landfalling storms.
The viewer shows predictions of the timing and magnitude of water levels at the shoreline and potential impacts to coastal dunes.
A decade of USGS research on storm-driven coastal change hazards has provided the data and modeling capabilities needed to identify areas of our coastline that are likely to experience extreme and potentially hazardous erosion during an extreme storm.
A modeled scenario of U.S. West Coast winter storm events induced by the formation of Atmospheric Rivers (AR) and capable of causing massive and devastating flooding.
Worked with USGS Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) and outside academic partners to plan and stage a workshop bringing together volcano researchers, emergency managers, and social scientists to raise awareness about hazardous volcanoes in the southwest.
Process studies examine the physical processes at work prior to, during, and following coastal storm events. Understanding the processes involved in coastal landform evolution will improve the accuracy of the assessments of storm-induced coastal change hazards. Research is part of the ...
Recurrent Holocene movement on the Susitna Glacier Thrust Fault: The structure that initiated the Mw 7.9 Denali Fault earthquake, central Alaska
We conducted a trench investigation and analyzed pre‐ and postearthquake topography to determine the timing and size of prehistoric surface ruptures on the Susitna Glacier fault (SGF), the thrust fault that initiated the 2002 Mw 7.9 Denali fault earthquake sequence in central Alaska. In two of our three hand‐excavated trenches, we found...Personius, Stephen; Crone, Anthony J.; Burns, Patricia A.; Reitman, Nadine G.
U.S. Geological Survey experience with the residual absolutes method
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geomagnetism Program has developed and tested the residual method of absolutes, with the assistance of the Danish Technical University's (DTU) Geomagnetism Program. Three years of testing were performed at College Magnetic Observatory (CMO), Fairbanks, Alaska, to compare the residual method...Worthington, E. William; Matzka, Jurgen
A decade of induced slip on the causative fault of the 2015 Mw 4.0 Venus earthquake, northeast Johnson County, Texas
On 7 May 2015, a Mw 4.0 earthquake occurred near Venus, northeast Johnson County, Texas, in an area of the Bend Arch-Fort Worth Basin that reports long-term, high-volume wastewater disposal and that has hosted felt earthquakes since 2009. In the weeks following the Mw 4.0 earthquake, we deployed a local seismic network and...Scales, Monique M.; DeShon, Heather R.; Magnani, M. Beatrice; Walter, Jacob I.; Quinones, Louis; Pratt, Thomas L.; Hornbach, Matthew J.
Influence of pore pressure change on coseismic volumetric strain
Coseismic strain is fundamentally important for understanding crustal response to changes of stress after earthquakes. The elastic dislocation model has been widely applied to interpreting observed shear deformation caused by earthquakes. The application of the same theory to interpreting volumetric strain, however, has met with difficulty,...Wang, Chi-Yuen; Barbour, Andrew J.
Source spectral properties of small-to-moderate earthquakes in southern Kansas
The source spectral properties of injection-induced earthquakes give insight into their nucleation, rupture processes, and influence on ground motion. Here we apply a spectral decomposition approach to analyze P-wave spectra and estimate Brune-type stress drop for more than 2000 ML1.5–5.2 earthquakes occurring in southern Kansas from...Trugman, Daniel T.; Dougherty, Sara L.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Shearer, Peter M.
Seismic response of soft deposits due to landslide: The Mission Peak, California, landslide
The seismic response of active and intermittently active landslides is an important issue to resolve to determine if such landslides present an elevated hazard in future earthquakes. To study the response of landslide deposits, seismographs were placed on the Mission Peak landslide in the eastern San Francisco Bay region for a period of one year....Hartzell, Stephen; Leeds, Alena L.; Jibson, Randall W.
Detection and characterization of pulses in broadband seismometers
Pulsing - caused either by mechanical or electrical glitches, or by microtilt local to a seismometer - can significantly compromise the long‐period noise performance of broadband seismometers. High‐fidelity long‐period recordings are needed for accurate calculation of quantities such as moment tensors, fault‐slip models, and normal‐mode...Wilson, David; Ringler, Adam; Hutt, Charles R.
2017 Valparaíso earthquake sequence and the megathrust patchwork of central Chile
In April 2017, a sequence of earthquakes offshore Valparaíso, Chile, raised concerns of a potential megathrust earthquake in the near future. The largest event in the 2017 sequence was a M6.9 on 24 April, seemingly colocated with the last great-sized earthquake in the region—a M8.0 in March 1985. The history of large earthquakes in this...Nealy, Jennifer; Herman, Matthew W.; Moore, Ginevra; Hayes, Gavin; Benz, Harley M.; Bergman, Eric A.; Barrientos, Sergio E
3-D simulations of M9 earthquakes on the Cascadia Megathrust: Key parameters and uncertainty
Geologic and historical records indicate that the Cascadia subduction zone is capable of generating large, megathrust earthquakes up to magnitude 9. The last great Cascadia earthquake occurred in 1700, and thus there is no direct measure on the intensity of ground shaking or specific rupture parameters from seismic recordings. We use 3-D numerical...Wirth, Erin; Frankel, Arthur; Vidale, John; Marafi, Nasser A.; Stephenson, William J.
A fault‐based model for crustal deformation in the western United States based on a combined inversion of GPS and geologic inputs
We develop a crustal deformation model to determine fault‐slip rates for the western United States (WUS) using the Zeng and Shen (2014) method that is based on a combined inversion of Global Positioning System (GPS) velocities and geological slip‐rate constraints. The model consists of six blocks with boundaries aligned along major...Zeng, Yuehua; Shen, Zheng-Kang
Evaluating a kinematic method for generating broadband ground motions for great subduction zone earthquakes: Application to the 2003 Mw 8.3 Tokachi‐Oki earthquake
We compare broadband synthetic seismograms with recordings of the 2003 Mw">MwMw 8.3 Tokachi‐Oki earthquake to evaluate a compound rupture model, in which slip on the fault consists of multiple high‐stress‐drop asperities superimposed on a background slip distribution with longer rise times. Low‐frequency synthetics (<1&#...Wirth, Erin A.; Frankel, Arthur; Vidale, John E.
Evaluating spatial and temporal relationships between an earthquake cluster near Entiat, central Washington, and the large December 1872 Entiat earthquake
We investigate spatial and temporal relations between an ongoing and prolific seismicity cluster in central Washington, near Entiat, and the 14 December 1872 Entiat earthquake, the largest historic crustal earthquake in Washington. A fault scarp produced by the 1872 earthquake lies within the Entiat cluster; the locations and areas of both the...Brocher, Thomas M.; Blakely, Richard J.; Sherrod, Brian
View of the southern edge of the growing Halema‘uma‘u crater (middle right) during yesterday's helicopter-assisted work at Kīlauea's summit. The once-popular parking lot (closed since 2008) that provided access to Halema‘uma‘u is no longer—the parking lot fell into the crater this past week as more and more of the Kīlauea Crater floor slides into Halema‘uma‘u. The Crater...
HVO geologist measures 260 degrees C (500 degrees F) along ground cracks near fissure 10 in Leilani Estates. Geologists routinely make temperature measurements to track changes throughout the fissure complex in the lower East Rift Zone.
Lava from fissure 8 travels about 13 km (8 mi) to the ocean in an open channel. Lava remains incandescent (glowing orange) throughout its journey. The ocean entry is at upper right.
The northern channel margin of the fissure 8 lava flow. Small hill in the distance is the site of our PGcam. Overflows from the channel can be seen producing shiny black to silver...
New USGS Science Plan Designed to Help Plan for Drought Effects on People, Communities, and Ecosystems
The U. S. Geological Survey is poised to bring a dynamic array of science and tools to help decision-makers manage and offset effects of increased drought across the United States, according to a drought plan report released today.
USGS scientists analyzing before-and-after air photos have calculated the size of the May 20 landslide on California’s Big Sur coast, about 140 miles south of San Francisco.
USGS is collecting and analyzing air photos to help monitor a huge landslide that occurred May 20 on California’s Big Sur coast.
The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program recently released a new strategic plan for earthquake monitoring entitled the “Advanced National Seismic System – Current Status, Development Opportunities, Priorities, 2017-2027.”
U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are taking technology to the next level, using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to acquire both fire intensity and emissions data during prescribed burns.
The frequency and severity of coastal flooding throughout the world will increase rapidly and eventually double in frequency over the coming decades even with only moderate amounts of sea level rise, according to a new study released today in “Scientific Reports.”
Members of the news media are invited to attend the next Earthquake Country Alliance - Bay Area Regional Workshop to be held at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park on May 23. ECA workshops are educational and informational opportunities to learn more about the latest in earthquake science, preparedness, and mitigation, as well as to arrange interviews with subject matter experts.
Ever Vigilant: USGS Marks the 37th Anniversary of Mount St. Helen's Eruption and the 35th Anniversary of the Cascades Volcano Observatory
Today, in 1980, Mount St. Helens unleashed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. Two years later, USGS founded the Cascades Volcano Observatory to monitor Mount St. Helens and all the Cascades Volcanoes.