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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
An interactive, graphics-rich summary of the hazards in the HayWired Scenario.
Addressing issues concerning mineral resources that occur within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Pacific coastal States, Pacific islands of U.S. affiliation, and areas beyond national jurisdictions.
Forecast of coastal change for Tropical Storm Colin.
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.
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...
Hurricane Joaquin coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
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.
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.
Can thermoluminescence be used to determine soil heating from a wildfire?
The Silverado wildfire occurred from September 12 to 20, 2014, burning 960 acres in Orange County, California. Soil samples from within the burn area were obtained and the thermoluminescence (TL) properties of those samples were compared against a control sample to understand wildfire heating. We performed a series of experiments investigating the...Rengers, Francis K.; Pagonis, Vasilis; Mahan, Shannon A.
Basalt–trachybasalt samples in Gale Crater, Mars
The ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, observed numerous igneous float rocks and conglomerate clasts, reported previously. A new statistical analysis of single‐laser‐shot spectra of igneous targets observed by ChemCam shows a strong peak at ~55 wt% SiO2 and 6 wt% total alkalis, with a minor...Edwards, Peter H.; Bridges, John C.; Wiens, Roger C.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Dyar, M. Darby; Fisk, Martin; Thompson, Lucy; Gasda, Patrick J.; Filiberto, Justin; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Blaney, Diana L.; Hutchinson, Ian
Preface: The lunar reconnaissance orbiter
When the call for papers for a special issue of Icarus devoted to analysis of data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission was announced in March 2015 we envisioned a single issue with only a possibility of a second. We certainly were gratified by the response from within and outside the LRO instrument teams such that we were compelled to...Keller, John W; Gaddis, Lisa R.; Petro, Noah E.; Aharonson, Oded
A wideband magnetoresistive sensor for monitoring dynamic fault slip in laboratory fault friction experiments
A non-contact, wideband method of sensing dynamic fault slip in laboratory geophysical experiments employs an inexpensive magnetoresistive sensor, a small neodymium rare earth magnet, and user built application-specific wideband signal conditioning. The magnetoresistive sensor generates a voltage proportional to the changing angles of magnetic...Kilgore, Brian D.
This chapter discusses the use of models, observations, and laboratory experiments to understand the cycling of CO2 between the atmosphere and seasonal Martian polar caps. This cycle is primarily controlled by the polar heat budget, and thus the emphasis here is on its components, including solar and infrared radiation, the effect of clouds (water...Titus, Timothy N.; Byrne, Shane; Colaprete, Anthony; Forget, Francois; Michaels, Timothy I.; Prettyman, Thomas H.
Community tools for cartographic and photogrammetric processing of Mars Express HRSC images
The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the Mars Express orbiter (Neukum et al. 2004) is a multi-line pushbroom scanner that can obtain stereo and color coverage of targets in a single overpass, with pixel scales as small as 10 m at periapsis. Since commencing operations in 2004 it has imaged ~ 77 % of Mars at 20 m/pixel or better. The...Wu, B.; Di, K.; Oberst, J.; Karachevtseva, I.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Howington-Kraus, Elpitha; Edmundson, Kenneth L.; Redding, Bonnie L.; Galuszka, Donna M.; Hare, Trent M.; Gwinner, K.
Correcting spacecraft jitter in HiRISE images
Mechanical oscillations or vibrations on spacecraft, also called pointing jitter, cause geometric distortions and/or smear in high resolution digital images acquired from orbit. Geometric distortion is especially a problem with pushbroom type sensors, such as the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument on board the Mars...Wu, B.; Di, K.; Oberst, J.; Karachevtseva, I.; Sutton, S. S.; Boyd, A.K.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Cook, Debbie; Backer, Jean; Fennema, A.; Heyd, R.; McEwen, A.S.; Mirchandani, S.D.
Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: Testing and certification platform
Earthquake early warning systems provide warnings to end users of incoming moderate to strong ground shaking from earthquakes. An earthquake early warning system, ShakeAlert, is providing alerts to beta end users in the western United States, specifically California, Oregon, and Washington. An essential aspect of the earthquake early warning...Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Kohler, Monica D.; Given, Douglas D.; Guiwits, Stephen; Andrews, Jennifer; Meier, Men-Andrin; Ahmad, Mohammad; Henson, Ivan; Hartog, J. Renate; Smith, Deborah
Earthquake early Warning ShakeAlert system: West coast wide production prototype
Earthquake early warning (EEW) is an application of seismological science that can give people, as well as mechanical and electrical systems, up to tens of seconds to take protective actions before peak earthquake shaking arrives at a location. Since 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey has been working in collaboration with several partners to...Kohler, Monica D.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Given, Douglas D.; Guiwits, Stephen; Neuhauser, Doug; Hensen, Ivan; Hartog, J. Renate; Bodin, Paul; Kress, Victor; Thompson, Stephen; Felizardo, Claude; Brody, Jeff; Bhadha, Rayo; Schwarz, Stan
Effects of thermal variability on broadband seismometers: Controlled experiments, observations, and implications
Isolating seismic instruments from temperature fluctuations is routine practice within the seismological community. However, the necessary degree of thermal stability required in broadband installations to avoid generating noise or compromising the fidelity in the seismic records is largely unknown and likely application dependent. To quantify the...Doody, Claire; Ringler, Adam T.; Anthony, Robert E.; Wilson, David C.; Holland, Austin; Hutt, Charles R.; Sandoval, Leo
Quake warnings, seismic culture
Since 1990, nearly one million people have died from the impacts of earthquakes. Reducing those impacts requires building a local seismic culture in which residents are aware of earthquake risks and value efforts to mitigate harm. Such efforts include earthquake early warning (EEW) systems that provide seconds to minutes notice of pending shaking...Allen, Richard M.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Huggins, Tom; Miles, Scott; Otegui, Diego
Spatial data analytics on heterogeneous multi- and many-core parallel architectures using python
Parallel vector spatial analysis concerns the application of parallel computational methods to facilitate vector-based spatial analysis. The history of parallel computation in spatial analysis is reviewed, and this work is placed into the broader context of high-performance computing (HPC) and parallelization research. The rise of cyber...Laura, Jason R.; Rey, Sergio J.
Recent explosive events haven't produced significant ash plumes from the summit, but downwind communities may still experience ashfall when previously erupted ash is remobilized. On authorized permission from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, our Unmanned Aircraft Systems crew is conducting gas measurements at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. They snapped this photograph from Chain of Craters...
After 100 years of restricted tidal activity to support agricultural use and salt harvesting, the tidal marshes around San Francisco Bay, like this one at Bair Island, are steadily rebuilding, returning to a stunning mosaic of marsh, mudflat, and channels.
Comparison of photographs taken on June 13 and 26 from near Keanakāko'i Crater overlook in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park shows a subsidence scarp that formed as the Kīlauea Crater floor subsided. Scientists estimate the dramatic dropping of the crater floor in this area occurred sometime between June 23 and 26. The view is to the west. Halema‘uma‘u crater is in upper...
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).
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
Editor’s note: this news release will be updated online with more information on the streamgage records being set in Texas as it becomes available.
Rivers and streams reached record levels as a result of Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall, with about 40 U.S. Geological Survey streamgages measuring record peaks.
As Harvey’s record breaking rainfall and catastrophic flood waters recede in Texas and western Louisiana, U.S. Geological Survey teams are collecting high water marks, monitoring water levels and coastal change, retrieving storm tide sensors and collecting samples for water quality analysis.
USGS Installs Storm-Tide Sensors along Georgia and South Carolina Coasts prior to Hurricane Irma’s Arrival
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.
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.