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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
Understanding the processes that control local sediment fluxes is critical in evaluating regional vulnerability to coastal erosion. This project task involves the analysis of observational data collected as part of the South Carolina Coastal Erosion Study (SCCES), and additional coastal process modeling for the Grand Strand region....
The most prominent morphologic features along the shoreline of the Carolinas are its four capes. From north to south, Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, Cape Fear, and Cape Romain segment the coastline into the northern outer banks, Raliegh Bay, Onslo Bay, and Long Bay regions. Continental shelf areas seaward of the capes are characterized by large, highly dynamic shoal complexes, which influence...
Fire Island, a 50-km long barrier-island system between Fire Island Inlet and Moriches Inlet, attracts significant tourism, includes federal, state, and county parks, contains a number of coastal communities, provides storm damage protection to the adjacent heavily populated mainland, and supports a distinct barrier island ecosystem, all of which are affected by coastal change. Mitigating the...
The Geomagnetism Program has operated an observatory at Puerto Rico since 1903. The current observatory site, consisting of 36 acres in the mountains near Cayey, has been in use since 1965.
Prior to the purchase of Alaska by the United States, the Russians operated a meteorological and magnetic observatory at Sitka from 1842 to 1867. The Geomagnetism Program established an observatory at Sitka, near the historic Russian cemetery, in 1901, when the Program was part of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and under the leadership of Drs Louis A. Bauer and John A. Fleming. The present...
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Shumagin Magnetic Observatory is located near Sand Point, Alaska on the northwest coast of Popof Island, 575 air miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. The observatory was established in 2003 to provide increased geomagnetic data coverage in southern Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. The observatory is located on land owned by ...
The Newport observatory was established in 1966. The site, located in the Colville National Forest outside of Newport, supports several geophysical operations and is operated by the USGS under a special use permit with the US Forest Service.
The Geomagnetism Program established an observatory at Honolulu in 1902, when the Program was part of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and under the leadership of Drs Louis A. Bauer and John A. Fleming. The present observatory site was established in 1960. The observatory is located at Ewa Beach at the former location of the Pacific Tsunami Warning...
Total water level (TWL) at the shoreline is the combination of tides, surge, and wave runup. A forecast of TWL is an estimate of the elevation where the ocean will meet the coast and can provide guidance on potential coastal erosion and flooding hazards.
Obique photos offer a unique perspective of the coast. Features such as beach erosion or accretion, dune erosion and overwash can all be clearly characterized in this imagery. It also documents coastal infrastructure, as well as the damage that infrastructure may incur as the result of an impacting hurricane.
Multibeam and multichannel sparker seismic-reflection data between Cross Sound and Dixon Entrance, offshore southeastern Alaska, collected from 2016-05-17 to 2016-06-12 during field activity 2016-625-FA
Multibeam bathymetry and multichannel sparker seismic relfection data collected along the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault between Icy Point and Dixon Entrance, offshore southeastern Alaska from 2016-05-17 to 2016-06-12.
Help scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey annotate aerial photographs with keyword tags to identify changes to the coast after extreme storms.
Multichannel minisparker and chirp seismic-reflection data of field activity 2015-651-FA; Chatham Strait and Cross Sound, southeastern Alaska from 2015-08-03 to 2015-08-21
High-resolution multichannel minisparker and chirp seismic-reflection data were collected in August of 2015 to explore marine geologic hazards of inland waterways of southeastern Alaska. Sub-bottom profiles were acquired in the inland waters between Glacier Bay and Juneau, including Cross Sound and Chatham Strait.
Interpretive data release for Oregon Outer Continental Shelf Seafloor Mapping: Selected Lease Blocks Relevant to Renewable Energy
This data release includes the results of analysis of video data conducted by Oregon State University and the geo-habitat interpretation of multibeam echo sounder (MBES) data conducted by the USGS.
National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS compilation of updated vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the north coast of Alaska, U.S. Canadian border to Icy Cape
This data release is an update to the original North Coast of Alaska data and includes revised rate-of-change calculations based on two additional shoreline positions data and improved rate metrics.
Interactive access to coastal change science and data for our Nation’s coasts. Information and products are organized within three coastal change hazard themes: 1) extreme storms, 2) shoreline change, and 3) sea-level rise. Displays probabilities of coastal erosion.
Water-level gauges were deployed at two sites in West Falmouth Harbor between April and June 2017. One gauge was mounted under the town-owned West Falmouth boat dock and the other on the private Associates dock near the mouth of the Harbor. Data from the upper sensor at the Associates dock were used to make atmospheric pressure corrections at both sites.
Ensemble smoothed seismicity models for the new Italian Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Map
We develop a long‐term (a few decades or longer) earthquake rate forecast for Italy based on smoothed seismicity for incorporation in the 2017–2018 Italian Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Maps (IPSHM). Because the earthquake rate models from previous IPSHM were computed using source zones that were drawn around seismicity and tectonic provinces, the...Akinci, Aybige; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Taroni, Matteo
Reexamination of the subsurface fault structure in the vicinity of the 1989 moment-magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake, central California, using steep-reflection, earthquake, and magnetic data
We reexamine the geometry of the causative fault structure of the 1989 moment-magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in central California, using seismic-reflection, earthquake-hypocenter, and magnetic data. Our study is prompted by recent interpretations of a two-part dip of the San Andreas Fault (SAF) accompanied by a flower-like structure in the...Zhang, Edward; Fuis, Gary S.; Catchings, Rufus D.; Scheirer, Daniel S.; Goldman, Mark; Bauer, Klaus
On the feasibility of real-time mapping of the geoelectric field across North America
A review is given of the present feasibility for accurately mapping geoelectric fields across North America in near-realtime by modeling geomagnetic monitoring and magnetotelluric survey data. Should this capability be successfully developed, it could inform utility companies of magnetic-storm interference on electric-power-grid systems. That real...Love, Jeffrey J.; Rigler, E. Joshua; Kelbert, Anna; Finn, Carol A.; Bedrosian, Paul A.; Balch, Christopher C.
Injection-induced moment release can also be aseismic
The cumulative seismic moment is a robust measure of the earthquake response to fluid injection for injection volumes ranging from 3100 to about 12 million m3. Over this range, the moment release is limited to twice the product of the shear modulus and the volume of injected fluid. This relation also applies at the much smaller injection volumes...McGarr, Arthur; Barbour, Andrew J.
The thermophysical properties of the Bagnold Dunes, Mars: Ground truthing orbital data
We compare the thermophysical properties and particle sizes derived from the Mars Science Laboratory rover's Ground Temperature Sensor of the Bagnold dunes, specifically Namib dune, to those derived orbitally from Thermal Emission Imaging System, ultimately linking these measurements to ground truth particle sizes determined from Mars Hand Lens...Edwards, Christopher S.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Hamilton, Victoria E.; Fergason, Robin L.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Bennett, Kristen A.; Sacks, Leah; Lewis, Kevin; Smith, Michael D.
The limits of earthquake early warning: Timeliness of ground motion estimates
The basic physics of earthquakes is such that strong ground motion cannot be expected from an earthquake unless the earthquake itself is very close or has grown to be very large. We use simple seismological relationships to calculate the minimum time that must elapse before such ground motion can be expected at a distance from the earthquake,...Minson, Sarah E.; Meier, Men-Andrin; Baltay, Annemarie S.; Hanks, Thomas C.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.
Integrating real-time subsurface hydrologic monitoring with empirical rainfall thresholds to improve landslide early warning
Early warning for rainfall-induced shallow landsliding can help reduce fatalities and economic losses. Although these commonly occurring landslides are typically triggered by subsurface hydrological processes, most early warning criteria rely exclusively on empirical rainfall thresholds and other indirect proxies for subsurface wetness. We explore...Mirus, Benjamin B.; Becker, Rachel E.; Baum, Rex L.; Smith, Joel B.
Seismicity in the Challis, Idaho region, January 2014 - May 2017: Late aftershocks of the 1983 Ms 7.3 Borah Peak earthquake
In April 2014, after about 20 yrs of relatively low seismicity, an energetic earthquake sequence (maximum ML">ML 4.8) began 25–30 km northwest of the 1983 Ms">Ms 7.3 Borah Peak earthquake rupture area near the town of Challis, Idaho. This sequence ended in the fall of 2014, but in January 2015, a second energetic...Pang, Guanning; Koper, Keith D.; Stickney, Michael C.; Pechmann, James C.; Burlacu, Relu; Pankow, Kristine L.; Payne, Suzette; Benz, Harley M.
Application of microtremor horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (MHVSR) analysis for site characterization: State of the art
Nakamura (Q Rep Railway Tech Res Inst 30:25–33, 1989) popularized the application of the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (HVSR) analysis of microtremor (seismic noise or ambient vibration) recordings to estimate the predominant frequency and amplification factor of earthquake shaking. During the following quarter century, popularity in the...Molnar, S.; Cassidy, J. F. ; Castellaro, S.; Cornou, C.; Crow, H.; Hunter, J. A.; Matsushima, S.; Sanchez-Sesma, F. J.; Yong, Alan
Strong variation in weathering of layered rock maintains hillslope‐scale strength under high precipitation
The evolution of volcanic landscapes and their landslide potential are both dependent upon the weathering of layered volcanic rock sequences. We characterize critical zone structure using shallow seismic Vp and Vs profiles and vertical exposures of rock across a basaltic climosequence on Kohala peninsula, Hawai’i, and exploit...Von Voigtlander, Jennifer; Clark, Marin K.; Zekkos, Dimitrios; Greenwood, William W.; Anderson, Suzanne P.; Anderson, Robert S.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Interaction between hydraulic fracture and a preexisting fracture under triaxial stress conditions
Enhanced reservoir connectivity generally requires maximizing the intersection between hydraulic fracture (HF) and preexisting underground natural fractures (NF), while having the hydraulic fracture cross the natural fractures (and not arrest). We have studied the interaction between a hydraulic fracture and a polished saw-cut fault. The...Mighani, Saied; Lockner, David A.; Kilgore, Brian D.; Sheibani, Farrokh; Evans, Brian
A suite of exercises for verifying dynamic earthquake rupture codes
We describe a set of benchmark exercises that are designed to test if computer codes that simulate dynamic earthquake rupture are working as intended. These types of computer codes are often used to understand how earthquakes operate, and they produce simulation results that include earthquake size, amounts of fault slip, and the patterns of...Harris, Ruth A.; Barall, Michael; Aagaard, Brad T.; Ma, Shuo; Roten, Daniel; Olsen, Kim B.; Duan, Benchun; Liu, Dunyu; Luo, Bin; Bai, Kangchen; Ampuero, Jean-Paul; Kaneko, Yoshihiro; Gabriel, Alice-Agnes; Duru, Kenneth; Ulrich, Thomas; Wollherr, Stephanie; Shi, Zheqiang; Dunham, Eric; Bydlon, Sam; Zhang, Zhenguo; Chen, Xiaofei; Somala, Surendra N.; Pelties, Christian; Tago, Josue; Cruz-Atienza, Victor Manuel; Kozdon, Jeremy; Daub, Eric; Aslam, Khurram; Kase, Yuko; Withers, Kyle; Dalguer, Luis
Southern end of the active fissure 8 flow margin north of the Analannui Park, known as the warm ponds. The flow margin is estimated to be about 500 m (0.3 mi) from the park.
Fissure 8 and Leilani Estates viewed from the south. Houses in the foreground are located in the southern portion of Leilani Estates. Fissure 8 and surrounding...
Lava still oozes from the northern edge of the ‘a‘ā flow near the lighthouse at Cape Kumukahi (upper right). Smoke from burning vegetation marks location of lava oozeouts. View is toward the northeast.
Braided section of the lava channel located "downstream" between about 3.5 to 6 km (2.2 to 3.7 mi) from fissure 8 (upper right). The width of the two channels in the middle center is about 325 m (1,065 ft). View is toward the southwest.
View of the partially filled Kapoho Crater (center) and the open lava channel where it makes a 90-degree turn around the crater. The open channel no longer directly enters the ocean. Lava flows freely through the channel only to the southern edge of Kapoho Crater (left side of image). Clearly, lava moves into and through the molten core of the thick ‘a‘ā flow across a...
Clarifying Latitude and Longitude for Planets besides Earth
Tracking the movement of sediment and contaminants from northern California wildfire areas to San Francisco Bay
USGS research geologist Renee Takesue of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center collected 20 sediment samples from Sonoma Creek and Napa River north of San Francisco Bay on March 17.
In a newly published study, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their partners calculate possible alert times that earthquake early warning systems can provide people at different levels of ground motion from light to very strong shaking.
During the week of March 26, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will begin four days of mapping selected beaches and the adjacent seafloor in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Results will be compared to surveys from last fall to highlight changes due to winter waves, and to sediment inputs from area streams.
A building in Japan was analyzed before and after a seismic retrofit to make it more resilient to shaking.
Collecting clues to the geologic history and mineral resources of the Rio Grande Rise, southwest Atlantic Ocean
USGS scientists James Hein and Kira Mizell participated in a University of São Paulo research cruise to the western Rio Grande Rise, an underwater plateau in international waters of the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil.
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center researchers plan to survey selected beaches and parts of the shallow seafloor in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties from March 27-30.
USGS and NASA held a joint workshop titled “From Cells to Satellites: Methane Biogeochemistry at Multiple Scales” on March 16 at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
USGS scientists lead investigation of tropical subterranean estuaries in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico!
USGS scientists lead investigation of tropical subterranean estuaries in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico!
The eastern edge of Panamint Valley,CA has two types of faults that can be seen in the near-surface geology. 150 geophones and a seismic source will help reveal the subsurface picture.