Mission Areas

Natural Hazards

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 4,633
Year Published: 2017

Using structural damage statistics to derive macroseismic intensity within the Kathmandu valley for the 2015 M7.8 Gorkha, Nepal earthquake

We make and analyze structural damage observations from within the Kathmandu valley following the 2015 M7.8 Gorkha, Nepal earthquake to derive macroseismic intensities at several locations including some located near ground motion recording sites. The macroseismic intensity estimates supplement the limited strong ground motion data in order to...

McGowan, Sean; Jaiswal, Kishor; Wald, David J.

Year Published: 2017

Effects of varying obliquity on Martian sublimation thermokarst landforms

Scalloped depressions in the Martian mid-latitudes are likely formed by sublimation of ice-rich ground. The stability of subsurface ice changes with the planetary obliquity, generally becoming less stable at lower axial tilt. As a result, the relative rates of sublimation and creep change over time. A landscape evolution model shows that these...

Dundas, Colin M.

Year Published: 2017

Computing spatial correlation of ground motion intensities for ShakeMap

Modeling the spatial correlation of ground motion residuals, caused by coherent contributions from source, path, and site, can provide valuable loss and hazard information, as well as a more realistic depiction of ground motion intensities. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) software package, ShakeMap, utilizes a deterministic empirical...

Verros, Sarah; Wald, David J.; Worden, Charles; Hearne, Mike; Ganesh, Mahadevan
Sarah A. Verros, David J. Wald, C. Bruce Worden, Mike Hearne, Mahadevan Ganesh, Computing spatial correlation of ground motion intensities for ShakeMap, Computers & Geosciences, Volume 99, 2017, Pages 145-154, ISSN 0098-3004, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cageo.2016.11.004. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0098300416306574)

Year Published: 2017

Analysis of local slopes at the InSight landing site on Mars

To evaluate the topography of the surface within the InSight candidate landing ellipses, we generated Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) at lander scales and those appropriate for entry, descent, and landing simulations, along with orthoimages of both images in each stereopair, and adirectional slope images. These products were used to assess the...

Fergason, Robin L.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Cushing, Glen E.; Galuszka, Donna M.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Hare, Trent M.; Howington-Kraus, Elpitha; Kipp, Devin M; Redding, Bonnie L.

Year Published: 2017

Characterizing the Kathmandu Valley sediment response through strong motion recordings of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake sequence

We analyze strong motion records and high-rate GPS measurements of the M 7.8 Gorkha mainshock, M 7.3 Dolakha, and two moderate aftershock events recorded at four stations on the Kathmandu basin sediments, and one on rock-outcrop. Recordings on soil from all four events show systematic amplification relative to the rock site at multiple frequencies...

Rajaure, S.; Asimaki, Domniki; Thompson, Eric M.; Hough, Susan E.; Martin, Stacey; Ampuero, J.P.; Dhital, M.R.; Inbal, A; Takai, N; Shigefuji, M.; Bijukchhen, S; Ichiyanagi, M; Sasatani, T; Paudel, L

Year Published: 2017

Geologic setting of the proposed West Flank Forge Site, California: Suitability for EGS research and development

The proposed West Flank FORGE site is within the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS), China Lake, CA. The West Flank is west of the Coso geothermal field, an area of China Lake NAWS dominated by the Quaternary Coso volcanic field largely comprised of rhyolite domes and their volcaniclastic and epiclastic horizons. The largest dome flow...

Sabin, Andrew; Blake, Kelly; Lazaro, Mike; Blankenship, Douglas; Kennedy, Mack; McCullough, Jess; DeOreo, S.B.; Hickman, Stephen H.; Glen, Jonathan; Kaven, J. Ole; Williams, Colin F.; Phelps, Geoffrey; Faulds, James E.; Hinz, Nicholas H.; Calvin, Wendy M.; Siler, Drew; Robertson-Tait, Ann

Year Published: 2017

Micro-seismicity within the Coso Geothermal field, California, from 1996-2012

We extend our previous catalog of seismicity within the Coso Geothermal field by adding over two and a half years of additional data to prior results. In total, we locate over 16 years of seismicity spanning from April 1996 to May of 2012 using a refined velocity model, apply it to all events and utilize differential travel times in relocations to...

Kaven, J. Ole; Hickman, Stephen H.; Weber, Lisa C.

Year Published: 2016

Earthquake ground motion: Chapter 3

Most of the effort in seismic design of buildings and other structures is focused on structural design. This chapter addresses another key aspect of the design process—characterization of earthquake ground motion into parameters for use in design. Section 3.1 describes the basis of the earthquake ground motion maps in the Provisions and in ASCE 7...

Luco, Nicolas; Kircher, Charles A.; Crouse, C. B.; Charney, Finley; Haselton, Curt B.; Baker, Jack W.; Zimmerman, Reid; Hooper, John D.; McVitty, William; Taylor, Andy
Building Seismic Safety Council, 2016. 2015 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions: Design Examples. Federal Emergency Management Agency P-1051, Washington, D.C., 995pp.

Year Published: 2016

An investigation of soil-structure interaction effects observed at the MIT Green Building

The soil-foundation impedance function of the MIT Green Building is identified from its response signals recorded during an earthquake. Estimation of foundation impedance functions from seismic response signals is a challenging task, because: (1) the foundation input motions (FIMs) are not directly measurable, (2) the as-built properties of the...

Taciroglu, Ertugrul; Çelebi, Mehmet; Ghahari, S. Farid; Abazarsa, Fariba
Ertugrul Taciroglu, Mehmet Çelebi, S. Farid Ghahari, and Fariba Abazarsa (2016) An Investigation of Soil-Structure Interaction Effects Observed at the MIT Green Building. Earthquake Spectra: November 2016, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 2425-2448.

Year Published: 2016

Helium as a tracer for fluids released from Juan de Fuca lithosphere beneath the Cascadia forearc

The ratio between helium isotopes (3He/4He) provides an excellent geochemical tracer for investigating the sources of fluids sampled at the Earth's surface. 3He/4He values observed in 25 mineral springs and wells above the Cascadia forearc document a significant component of mantle-derived helium above Juan de Fuca lithosphere, as well as...

McCrory, Patricia A.; Constantz, James E.; Hunt, Andrew G.; Blair, James Luke
McCrory, P. A., J. E. Constantz, A. G. Hunt, and J. L. Blair (2016), Helium as a tracer for fluids released from Juan de Fuca lithosphere beneath the Cascadia forearc, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 17, 2434–2449, doi:10.1002/2015GC006198.

Year Published: 2016

PhasePApy: A robust pure Python package for automatic identification of seismic phases

We developed a Python phase identification package: the PhasePApy for earthquake data processing and near‐real‐time monitoring. The package takes advantage of the growing number of Python libraries including Obspy. All the data formats supported by Obspy can be supported within the PhasePApy. The PhasePApy has two subpackages: the PhasePicker and...

Chen, Chen; Holland, Austin

Year Published: 2016

Assessing the seismic risk potential of South America

We present here a simplified approach to quantifying regional seismic risk. The seismic risk for a given region can be inferred in terms of average annual loss (AAL) that represents long-term value of earthquake losses in any one year caused from a long-term seismic hazard. The AAL are commonly measured in the form of earthquake shaking-induced...

Jaiswal, Kishor; Petersen, Mark D.; Harmsen, Stephen; Smoczyk, Gregory M.

Filter Total Items: 2,698
potential coastal change impacts during a direct landfall of Subtropical Storm Alberto based on NHC Advisory 1
May 25, 2018

Potential coastal change impacts for Alberto - May 25, 2018

Screen shot of the Coastal Change Hazards Portal showing potential coastal change impacts during a direct landfall of Subtropical Storm Alberto based on NHC Advisory 1, 1000 AM EDT MAY 25 2018.

Plumes from ocean entry
May 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ocean Entry

Aerial view of the active ocean entries at Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone captured during this morning's HVO overflight. An ongoing hazard at the ocean entries is laze. As hot 

Lava and a spatter cone
May 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Spatter Cone

Activity at fissure 6 this morning (May 25, 2018

Aerial of lava flows
May 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Channel Merges

Fissures 6 (left) and 13 (right), with lava flows merging into one channel that flows into the ocean at the western-most entry. Note plume in distance at the ocean entries (top left). Photo is from an overflight at mid day.

May 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Reactivated

Fissure 8, one of the westernmost active fissures on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone, reactivated during the overnight hours of May 25-26, with chaotic bursts of gas and lavaspatter. A mini-

plume from a crater
May 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Eruption at Halema`uma`u Crater (May 24, 2018)

View of a rising ash plume from Halema‘uma‘u, a crater at the summit of Kīlauea, late yesterday (May 24, 2018), as seen from the 

May 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Summit Eruption (May 24, 2018)

This explosion at Kīlauea Volcano's summit, which occurred just after 6:00 p.m. HST on May 24, 2018, produced an ash cloud that rose to 10,000 feet above sea level.

May 24, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - May 24, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 24, 2018

Aerial over lava eruption
May 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano —

During HVO's overflight this morning, the fissure

May 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Pāhoehoe Flows on Kaupili Street

Fissure 21 produced a Pāhoehoe lava flow that oozed onto Kaupili Street in the Leilani Estates subdivision. Video 1 shows the flow on May 25, around 2:15 a.m. HST.

Plume rising from the ocean entry
May 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — View of Three Ocean Entries

During today's overflight of the ongoing lower East Rift Zone eruption, HVO geologists noted that fissures 6, 13 and 22 were still erupting, with two channelized flows reaching the ocean. The eastern 

View of lava fountain
May 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 6 Lava Fountain

Fissure 6 fountain, as of around 9:30 a.m. HST today. 

Filter Total Items: 408
Date published: March 19, 2014

New Videos Released for Great Alaska Quake 50th Anniversary

The U.S. Geological Survey has released two new videos about the Great Alaska Earthquake of March 27, 1964 to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the largest earthquake ever recorded in the United States. The videos include rare vintage film footage and photos of the earthquake damage, combined with modern interviews with some of the same scientists who first investig

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 18, 2014

Historic Reports Reissued for Great Alaska Quake 50th Anniversary

To commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the largest earthquake ever recorded in the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey has reissued a series of landmark reports covering the results of investigations of the Great Alaska Earthquake of March 27, 1964.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: March 10, 2014

New Maps of Afghanistan Provide "Fingerprint" of Natural Resources

A coalition of scientists from the United States and Afghanistan today released 60 high-tech maps that will help Afghanistan chart a course for future economic development.  These maps represent a milestone as Afghanistan is the first country to be almost completely mapped using hyperspectral imaging data.

Date published: February 20, 2014

Media Advisory: USGS to Host Congressional Briefing: Earthquake Science and Remaining Mysteries

It's 1964 in Alaska. Imagine 4.5 minutes of powerful ground shaking underneath you from a magnitude 9.2 earthquake. You and your loved ones are then faced with resulting landslides and a devastating tsunami. You just experienced the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America. 

Date published: February 6, 2014

New Tool Available to Help Track Spilled Oil

A newly developed computer model holds the promise of helping scientists track and predict where oil will go after a spill, sometimes years later.

Date published: January 23, 2014

Threat of Earthquakes Occurring in Central United States Still Alive

Earthquake activity in the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the central United States does not seem to be slowing down.  In a new study published in the journal "Science," seismologists Morgan Page and Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey investigate whether current quakes in the region could be aftershocks of large earthquakes that occurred 200 years earlier.

Date published: January 21, 2014

The Yellowstone Volcano: Past, Present and Future

What is all the buzz about in the Yellowstone area? Is it really dangerous? On January 23rd Jake Lowenstern, Scientist-in-Charge of Yellowstone Volcano Observatory will explain what is happening now with earthquakes, ground uplift, and steam explosions.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: January 15, 2014

20 Years After Northridge Quake, Buildings Remain Vulnerable

Twenty years ago this week an earthquake struck Northridge, Calif., killing 57 people and revealing a serious defect in a common type of mid-rise building. A new study by U.S. Geological Survey and Caltech engineers, shows that these mid-rise buildings with fracture-prone welds in their steel frames are much more dangerous than they would be if they met current standards.

Date published: January 9, 2014

Potential Geothermal Resources for Akutan, Alaska

Akutan Island, in Alaska’s east-central Aleutian Islands, hosts the City of Akutan and is home to the largest seafood production facility in North America. It also hosts Akutan Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the U.S.

Date published: January 8, 2014

New Sensor Network to Detail Virginia Earthquakes

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and Virginia Tech will install a 20-station seismic network in the central Virginia area beginning Jan. 8. The new sensors – each about the size of a soda can – will provide information to help the researchers study the background seismicity in the area and any continuing aftershocks of the Aug. 23, 2011 earthquake near Louisa and Mineral, Va.

Date published: January 8, 2014

Stories of Lava Flows and Volcanic Landscapes from Ka`ū to North Kona Featured in Public Talk

The lava flows and volcanic landscapes along Māmalahoa and Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highways, from Ka‘ū to North Kona, will be the focus of a public talk offered by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists on Wed., Jan. 22.

Date published: January 3, 2014

Geophysical Studies Reveal Potential Quake Hazard in Spokane Area

Preliminary interpretations of a recent geophysical survey confirm the presence of earthquake faults and reveal the possibility of previously unknown faults beneath the greater Spokane area.