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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: 282
Date published: March 29, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Climate Impacts

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...

Date published: March 28, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Joaquin - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

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

Date published: March 22, 2018
Status: Active

Gas Hydrates- Climate and Hydrate Interactions

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.

Date published: March 22, 2018
Status: Active

Gas Hydrates-Energy

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.

Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Geomagnetism Research

Research projects within the USGS Geomagnetism Program are targeted for societal relevance, especially for space-weather hazard science.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Volcano Hazards Preparedness Resources

Be ready for the next volcanic event.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Volcano Notification Service (VNS)

The Volcano Notification Service (VNS) is a free service that sends you notification emails about volcanic activity happening at US monitored volcanoes.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Regional Emergency Management Resources

Regional Preparedness Resources

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Magnetic Disturbances

The mission of the Geomagnetism Program is to monitor the Earth's magnetic field.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 19, 2018

Gas Hydrates - Primer

What is Gas Hydrate?

 

Gas hydrate is an ice-like crystalline form of water and low molecular weight gas (e.g., methane, ethane, carbon dioxide). On Earth, gas hydrates occur naturally in some marine sediments and within and beneath permafrost. Gas hydrates have also been inferred on other planets or their moons.

At the molecular level, gas hydrate...

Date published: March 16, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Sandy Response - Storm Impacts and Vulnerability of Coastal Beaches

Scientists evaluated and improved the accuracy of pre-landfall forecasts of storm-induced coastal erosion hazards for Northeast beaches using data from post-Sandy lidar sruveys, beach morphology, and storm hydrodamics. 

Contacts: Hilary Stockdon
Date published: March 16, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Sandy Response - Barrier Island and Estuarine Wetland Physical Change Assessment

This project integrated a wetland assessment with existing coastal-change hazard assessments for the adjacent dunes and beaches of Assateague Island, Maryland, to create a more comprehensive coastal vulnerability assessment. 

Contacts: Nathaniel Plant
Filter Total Items: 4,536
Year Published: 2017

PRISM software—Processing and review interface for strong-motion data

Rapidly available and accurate ground-motion acceleration time series (seismic recordings) and derived data products are essential to quickly providing scientific and engineering analysis and advice after an earthquake. To meet this need, the U.S. Geological Survey National Strong Motion Project has developed a software package called PRISM (...

Jones, Jeanne M.; Kalkan, Erol; Stephens, Christopher D.; Ng, Peter
Jones, J.M., Kalkan, Erol, Stephens, C.D., and Ng, Peter, 2017, PRISM software—Processing and review interface for strong-motion data: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 12, chap. A2, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm12A2.

Year Published: 2017

Imaging shear strength along subduction faults

Subduction faults accumulate stress during long periods of time and release this stress suddenly, during earthquakes, when it reaches a threshold. This threshold, the shear strength, controls the occurrence and magnitude of earthquakes. We consider a 3-D model to derive an analytical expression for how the shear strength depends on the fault...

Bletery, Quentin; Thomas, Amanda M.; Rempel, Alan W.; Hardebeck, Jeanne L.
Bletery, Q., Thomas, A. M., Rempel, A. W., & Hardebeck, J. L. (2017), Imaging shear strength along subduction faults. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, doi: 10.1002/2017GL075501.

Year Published: 2017

The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) for the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) is the main imaging system onboard the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) which was launched on 14 March 2016. CaSSIS is intended to acquire moderately high resolution (4.6 m/pixel) targeted images of Mars at a rate of 10–20 images per day from a roughly circular orbit 400...

Thomas, N.; Cremonese, G.; Ziethe, R.; Gerber, M.; Brändli, M.; Bruno, G.; Erismann, M.; Gambicorti, L.; Gerber, T.; Ghose, K.; Gruber, M.; Gubler, P.; Mischler, H.; Jost, J.; Piazza, D.; Pommerol, A.; Rieder, M.; Roloff, V.; Servonet, A.; Trottmann, W.; Uthaicharoenpong, T.; Zimmermann, C.; Vernani, D.; Johnson, M.; Pelò, E.; Weigel, T.; Viertl, J.; De Roux, N.; Lochmatter, P.; Sutter, G.; Casciello, A.; Hausner, T.; Ficai Veltroni, I.; Da Deppo, V.; Orleanski, P.; Nowosielski, W.; Zawistowski, T.; Szalai, S.; Sodor, B.; Tulyakov, S.; Troznai, G.; Banaskiewicz, M.; Bridges, J.C.; Byrne, S.; Debei, S.; El-Maarry, M. R.; Hauber, E.; Hansen, C.J.; Ivanov, A.; Keszthelyil, L.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Kuzmin, R.; Mangold, N.; Marinangeli, L.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Massironi, M.; McEwen, A.S.; Okubo, Chris H.; Tornabene, L.L.; Wajer, P.; Wray, J.J.
Thomas, N., Cremonese, G., Ziethe, R., Gerber, M., Brändli, M., Bruno, G., … Wray, J. J. (2017). The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) for the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Space Science Reviews, 212(3–4), 1897–1944. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-017-0421-1

Year Published: 2017

Geoelectric monitoring at the Boulder magnetic observatory

Despite its importance to a range of applied and fundamental studies, and obvious parallels to a robust network of magnetic-field observatories, long-term geoelectric field monitoring is rarely performed. The installation of a new geoelectric monitoring system at the Boulder magnetic observatory of the US Geological Survey is summarized. Data from...

Blum, Cletus; White, Tim; Sauter, Edward A.; Stewart, Duff; Bedrosian, Paul A.; Love, Jeffrey J.
Blum, C. C., White, T. C., Sauter, E. A., Stewart, D. C., Bedrosian, P. A., and Love, J. J.: Geoelectric monitoring at the Boulder magnetic observatory, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2017-27, in production, 2017.

Year Published: 2017

Disturbance hydrology: Preparing for an increasingly disturbed future

This special issue is the result of several fruitful conference sessions on disturbance hydrology, which started at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco and have continued every year since. The stimulating presentations and discussions surrounding those sessions have focused on understanding both the disruption of hydrologic functioning...

Mirus, Benjamin B.; Ebel, Brian A.; Mohr, Christian H.; Zegre, Nicolas
Mirus, BB, BA Ebel, C Mohr, N Zegre. 2017. Disturbance Hydrology: Preparing for an Increasingly Disturbed Future, Water Resources Research, WRCR22964, doi:10.1002/2017WR021084.

Year Published: 2017

Subduction zone slip variability during the last millennium, south-central Chile

The Arauco Peninsula (37°-38°S) in south-central Chile has been proposed as a possible barrier to the along-strike propagation of megathrust ruptures, separating historical earthquakes to the south (1960 AD 1837, 1737, and 1575) and north (2010 AD, 1835, 1751, 1657, and 1570) of the peninsula. However, the 2010 (Mw 8.8) earthquake propagated into...

Dura, Tina; Horton, Benjamin P.; Cisternas, Macro; Ely, Lisa L; Hong, Isabel; Nelson, Alan R.; Wesson, Robert L.; Pilarczyk, Jessica E.; Parnell, Andrew C.; Nikitina, Daria
Tina Dura, Benjamin P. Horton, Marco Cisternas, Lisa L. Ely, Isabel Hong, Alan R. Nelson, Robert L.Wesson, Jessica E.Pilarczyk, Andrew C.Parnell, Daria Nikitinai, 2017, Subduction zone slip variability during the last millennium, south-central Chile: Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 175, Pages 112-137, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.08.023

Year Published: 2017

Modeling of high‐frequency seismic‐wave scattering and propagation using radiative transfer theory

This is a study of the nonisotropic scattering process based on radiative transfer theory and its application to the observation of the M 4.3 aftershock recording of the 2008 Wells earthquake sequence in Nevada. Given a wide range of recording distances from 29 to 320 km, the data provide a unique opportunity to discriminate scattering...

Zeng, Yuehua
Zeng, Y. (2017). Modeling of High-Frequency Seismic Wave Scattering and Propagation Using Radiative Transfer Theory, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., doi: 10.1785/0120160241.

Year Published: 2017

Alaska geologic road guides

No abstract available.

Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Price, Raymond A.; Scholl, David W.; Stone, David B.; Nokleberg, Warren J.; Bundtzen, Thomas K.; Stone, David B.; Mull, Charles G.
Nokleberg, W.J., Bundtzen, T.K., Mull, C.D., and Stone, D.B., 2017, Alaska Road Guides, in Nokleberg, W.J., ed., Dynamic Geology of the Northern Cordillera (Alaska and Western Canada) and Adjacent Marine Areas: Tectonics, Hazards, and Resources: University of Alaska, 483 p., 3 maps, scale 1:2,000,000, https://scholarworks.alaska.edu/handle/11122/7994.

Year Published: 2017

Compositional variations in sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater, Mars, from visible-shortwave infrared spectroscopy and comparison with ground truth from the Curiosity Rover

During its ascent up Mount Sharp, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover traversed the Bagnold Dune Field. We model sand modal mineralogy and grain size at four locations near the rover traverse, using orbital shortwave infrared single scattering albedo spectra and a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo implementation of Hapke's radiative transfer theory...

Lapotre, Mathieu G.A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Minson, Sarah E.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ayoub, F.; Fraeman, A. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Bridges, N. T.
Lapotre, M. G. A., B. L. Ehlmann, S. E. Minson, R. E. Arvidson, F. Ayoub, A. A. Fraeman, R. C. Ewing, and N. T. Bridges (2017), Compositional Variations in Sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater, Mars, from Visible-Shortwave Infrared Spectroscopy and Comparison with Ground Truth from the Curiosity Rover, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 122, doi:10.1002/2016JE005133.

Year Published: 2017

Origin of discrepancies between crater size-frequency distributions of coeval lunar geologic units via target property contrasts

Recent work on dating Copernican-aged craters, using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Camera data, re-encountered a curious discrepancy in crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD) measurements that was observed, but not understood, during the Apollo era. For example, at Tycho, Copernicus, and Aristarchus craters, CSFDs of impact melt deposits...

Van der Bogert, Carolyn H.; Hiesinger, Harald; Dundas, Colin M.; Kruger, T.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Zanetti, Michael; Robinson, Mark S.
Van der Bogert, C. H., Hiesinger, H., Dundas, C. M., Kruger, T., Zanetti, M., McEwen, A. S., Robinson, M. S., 2017. Origins of discrepancies between crater size-frequency distributions of coeval lunar geologic units. Icarus, 298, 49-63, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.11.040.

Year Published: 2017

Was the Mw 7.5 1952 Kern County, California, earthquake induced (or triggered)?

Several recent studies have presented evidence that significant induced earthquakes occurred in a number of oil-producing regions during the early and mid-twentieth century related to either production or wastewater injection. We consider whether the 21 July 1952 Mw 7.5 Kern County earthquake might have been induced by production in the...

Hough, Susan E.; Tsai, Victor C.; Walker, Robert; Aminzadeh, Fred
Hough, S.E., V.C. Tsai, R. Walker, and F. Aminzadeh (2017). Was the Mw7.5 Kern County, California, induced (or triggered)?

Year Published: 2017

Buried shallow fault slip from the South Napa earthquake revealed by near-field geodesy

Earthquake-related fault slip in the upper hundreds of meters of Earth’s surface has remained largely unstudied because of challenges measuring deformation in the near field of a fault rupture. We analyze centimeter-scale accuracy mobile laser scanning (MLS) data of deformed vine rows within ±300 m of the principal surface expression of the M...

Brooks, Benjamin A.; Minson, Sarah E.; Glennie, Craig L.; Nevitt, Johanna; Dawson, Timothy E.; Rubin, Ron S.; Ericksen, Todd; Lockner, David A.; Hudnut, Kenneth W.; Langenheim, Victoria; Lutz, Andrew; Murray, Jessica R.; Schwartz, David P.; Zaccone, Dana
B. A. Brooks, S. E. Minson, C. L. Glennie, J. M. Nevitt, T. Dawson, R. Rubin, T. L. Ericksen, D. Lockner, K. Hudnut, V. Langenheim, A. Lutz, M. Mareschal, J. Murray, D. Schwartz, D. Zaccone, Buried shallow fault slip from the South Napa earthquake revealed by nearfield geodesy. Sci. Adv. 3, e1700525 (2017).

Filter Total Items: 2,693
A panoramic photo of Halema`uma`u Crater
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Halema`uma`u Panoramic

This panorama of Kīlauea's summit caldera was made about 10 a.m. HST from the Keanakāko‘i overlook on the south side of the caldera. Halema‘uma‘u is

...
Looking down a lava channel at the sunrise
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Sunrise Over Lava Channel

Early morning view of the open lava channel during helicopter overflight of the lower East Rift Zone.

Geologist looks at fissure 8 through a camera
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Documenting Fissure 8 Activity

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).

subsidence shown as an animation
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Animated GIF of Crater Subsidence

This animated GIF shows a timelapse sequence consisting of one image per day between June 13 and 24. The photos were taken from the southern caldera

...
Lava fountain with lava flow
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Fountain

At fissure 8, fountains provide a vigorous supply of lava that exits the cinder cone and drops over a spillway to enter a well-established 

...
Geologist pointing into the distance along a road with a straight roadway beside him.
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Roadway Crack Observations

USGS field crews track activity in and around Leilani Estates in Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. Observations are also collected on a daily basis from cracks in the area of Highway 130, shown here (no changes in temperature, crack width, or gas emissions have been noted recently).

Lava spattering from a cone
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Spatter Cone (Fissure 8)

The spatter cone at fissure 8 is now about 55 m (180 ft) tall. 

...
Small plume cloud from a crater
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Small Halema`uma`u Eruption (June 24, 2018)

On June 24 a small ash-poor steam plume rose above the Halema‘uma‘u crater rim following another collapse explosion event at 4:12 p.m. HST (image taken at 4:27 p.m.).

...
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ever-Growing Halema`uma`u Crater

A UAS (Unoccupied Aircraft Systems) mission on June 24, 2018, filmed details of the dramatic changes occurring within Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea's summit since explosive eruptionsof 

...
Aerial view of lava channel
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ocean Entry

Lava is entering the sea on the southern side of the entry area primarily through the open channel, but also along a 1 km (0.6 mi) wide area. The entry areas are marked by billowing laze plumes. The interaction of lava with the ocean creates "laze", a corrosive seawater 

...
Filter Total Items: 405
Date published: September 8, 2017

Hurricane Irma to significantly affect beaches from Florida to South Carolina

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Date published: September 8, 2017

Magnitude 8.2 Earthquake in Mexico

A magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck offshore Chiapas, Mexico on September 7, 2017 at 11:49 local time (September 8 at 04:49UTC).

 

Date published: September 7, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-Tide Sensors along Georgia and South Carolina Coasts prior to Hurricane Irma’s Arrival

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Date published: September 6, 2017

USGS Prepares for Hurricane Irma

 To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Date published: September 6, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-Tide Sensors along Florida’s Coasts prior to Hurricane Irma’s Arrival

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Date published: September 5, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-Tide Sensors in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Irma

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Date published: August 30, 2017

Science to Weather the Storm

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Date published: August 29, 2017

USGS Crews Measure Record Flooding in South-Central Texas

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.

Date published: August 25, 2017

USGS Prepares for Hurricane Harvey

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Date published: August 25, 2017

Many Texas Beaches Likely to Erode, Be Overwashed, or Inundated by Hurricane 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.

Date published: August 24, 2017

Many Texas Beaches Likely to Erode, Be Overwashed, or Inundated by Hurricane 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.

Date published: August 24, 2017

USGS Installs Storm-tide Sensors along Texas Coast prior to Harvey’s Arrival

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page.

Storm-tide sensors are being installed at key locations along the Texas Gulf Coast by the U.S. Geological Survey in advance of Hurricane Harvey.

Filter Total Items: 177