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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: 274
Date published: January 30, 2018
Status: Active

Hurricane Irma - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

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

Date published: January 30, 2018
Status: Completed

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...

Date published: January 29, 2018
Status: Active

Probabilistic Forecasting of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Earthquake Effects in the Coastal Zone

The nation's coastlines are vulnerable to the interrelated hazards posed by earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis.

Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Nate - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

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

Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Active

Real-Time Storm Response

Coastal change forecasts and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change for landfalling storms.

Contacts: Kara Doran
Date published: January 24, 2018
Status: Active

Operational Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecasts

The viewer shows predictions of the timing and magnitude of water levels at the shoreline and potential impacts to coastal dunes. 

Contacts: Kara Doran
Date published: January 23, 2018
Status: Active

Scenario-Based Assessments for Coastal Change Hazard Forecasts

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.

Contacts: Kara Doran
Date published: January 23, 2018
Status: Completed

Living With Wildfires

Students at Art Center College of Design prototyped wildfire awareness campaigns after SAFRR exposed them to wildfire research and safety issues.

Date published: January 23, 2018
Status: Completed

ARkStorm Scenario

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.

Date published: January 23, 2018
Status: Completed

Partnership with YVO

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.

Date published: January 23, 2018
Status: Completed

Partnership with CalVO and Cal EMA

Worked with USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO) and California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to plan and stage a workshop to raise awareness, increase buy-in, and gather information for a volcano hazards annex to the California's state...

Date published: January 19, 2018
Status: Active

Storm-Induced Coastal Processes

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 ...

Filter Total Items: 4,335
Year Published: 2017

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.
Personius, Stephen F., Crone, Anthony J., Burns, Patricia A., and Reitman, Nadine G., 2017, Recurrent Holocene Movement on the Susitna Glacier Thrust Fault: The Structure that Initiated the Mw 7.9 Denali Fault Earthquake, Central Alaska: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 107, No. 4, pp. 1593–1609, August 2017, doi: 10.1785/0120160286

Year Published: 2017

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
Worthington, E. W. and Matzka, J.: U.S. Geological Survey experience with the residual absolutes method, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 6, 419-427, https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-6-419-2017, 2017.

Year Published: 2017

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.
Scales, M. M., DeShon, H. R., Magnani, M. B., Walter, J. I., Quinones, L., Pratt, T. L., & Hornbach, M. J. (2017). A decade of induced slip on the causative fault of the 2015 Mw 4.0 Venus earthquake, northeast Johnson County, Texas. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 122. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JB014460

Year Published: 2017

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.
Chi-Yuen Wang, Andrew J. Barbour, Influence of pore pressure change on coseismic volumetric strain, In Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 475, 2017, Pages 152-159, ISSN 0012-821X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.07.034. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X17304181) Keywords: coseismic strain; dislocation model; pore pressure

Year Published: 2017

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.
Trugman D.T, S.L. Dougherty, E.S. Cochran, and P.M. Shearer (2017), Source spectral properties of small-to-moderate earthquakes in southern Kansas, J. Geophys. Res., 122, doi:10.1002/2017JB014649.

Year Published: 2017

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.
Stephen Hartzell, Alena L. Leeds, Randall W. Jibson; Seismic Response of Soft Deposits due to Landslide: The Mission Peak, California, Landslide. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America ; 107 (5): 2008–2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170033

Year Published: 2017

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.
Wilson, D. C., A. T. Ringler, C. R. Hutt (2017). Detection and characterization of pulses in broadband seismometers, Bull. Seis. Soc. Amer., 107, 4, doi:10.1785/0120170089.

Year Published: 2017

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
Nealy, J. L., Herman, M. W., Moore, G. L., Hayes, G. P., Benz, H. M., Bergman, E. A., & Barrientos, S. E. (2017). 2017 Valparaíso earthquake sequence and the megathrust patchwork of central Chile. Geophysical Research Letters.

Year Published: 2017

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.
Wirth E, Frankel A, Vidale J, Stephenson W, Marafi N. 3-D simulations of M9 earthquakes on the Cascadia megathrust: key parameters and uncertainty. Proceedings of the 11th National Conference in Earthquake Engineering, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA. 2018.

Year Published: 2017

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
Zeng, Y., and Shen, Z.-K., 2017, A Fault-Based Model for Crustal Deformation in the Western United States Based on a Combined Inversion of GPS and Geologic Inputs, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., doi: 10.1785/0120150362.

Year Published: 2017

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.
Wirth, E.A., Frankel, A.D., and Vidale, J.E., 2017, Evaluating a kinematic method for generating broadband ground motions for great subduction zone earthquakes – application to the 2003 MW8.3 Tokachi-Oki Earthquake: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 107, pp. 1737-1753

Year Published: 2017

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
Brocher, T.M., R. J. Blakely, and B. L. Sherrod, 2017, Evaluating spatial and temporal relations between an earthquake cluster near Entiat, central Washington, and the large December 1872 Entiat earthquake, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 107 (5), 2380-2393, doi: 10.1785/0120170113.

Filter Total Items: 2,547
June 21, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Boats in Fissure 8 Channel

Geologists captured this time-lapse video of the perched lava channel issuing from 

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Laze plume from ocean entry
June 20, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Multiple Laze Plumes

Small streams of lava enter the ocean across a broad area, shown by the multiple white steam and laze plumes. Lava has added about 380 acres of new land into the sea.

Looking down at the crater where the parking lot used to be.
June 20, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Halema`uma`u Parking Lot Gone

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

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A geologist points a thermal camera at a fissure to take a temperature reading
June 20, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Temperature Readings

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.

Aerial view of lava channels
June 20, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Channel from Fissure 8

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.

Close up view of pāhoehoe
June 20, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Sluggish Pāhoehoe

Sluggish pāhoehoe briefly spills over a section the levee along the well-established lava channel. Such overflows generally travel short distances measured in

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GPS monitoring station on the caldera floor
June 20, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — GPS Station

A temporary GPS station (with radio telemetry for continuous measurement) was installed this week on the Kīlauea caldera floor to track the ongoing

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Fissure 8 and lava channel from above
June 20, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Aerial

Fissure 8 lava fountains reached as high as about 50 m (164 ft) during the past day. The fountain height varies, often sending a shower of 

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View of the lava channel
June 19, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Lava Flow

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 

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Filter Total Items: 380
Date published: June 5, 2017

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.

Date published: June 1, 2017

As Hurricane Season Opens, USGS Is Ready

Scientists work in the field before, during and after landfall to improve forecasting and recovery.

 

 

Date published: June 1, 2017

USGS maps, measures huge landslide on California's Big Sur coast

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. 

Date published: May 27, 2017

USGS helping to monitor and assess huge Big Sur landslide

USGS is collecting and analyzing air photos to help monitor a huge landslide that occurred May 20 on California’s Big Sur coast.

Date published: May 25, 2017

Updated USGS Earthquake Monitoring Strategy Released

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.”

Date published: May 24, 2017

Igniting a New Trend in Public Safety

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.

Date published: May 19, 2017

EarthWord–Strike-Slip Fault

This EarthWord isn’t a new dance-move; it’s been around since we’ve had tectonic plates...

Date published: May 18, 2017

In Next Decades, Frequency of Coastal Flooding Will Double Globally

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.”

Date published: May 18, 2017

Media Advisory: Earthquake Country Alliance at USGS

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.

Date published: May 18, 2017

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.

Date published: May 18, 2017

EarthWord–Vog

Just like smog and fog, this EarthWord is not what you want to see while driving...