Mission Areas

Natural Hazards

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

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
Filter Total Items: 289
Date published: July 21, 2018
Status: Active

Models

View and download model results from magnetic studies.

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Fresno (FRN)

The Geomagnetism Program established an observatory near Fresno in 1980. The observatory is on the USFS San Joaquin Experimental Range (SJER) of the US Forest Service under terms of an agreement with the USGS and the Geomagnetism Program.

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Guam (GUA)

The Guam observatory was established in 1957. The observatory is situated on property owned by the U.S. Air Force according to terms of an agreement with the USGS and the Geomagnetism Program. The facility is shared with the USGS Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) ...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Fredericksburg (FRD)

The Geomagnetism Program established its first observatory at Cheltenham Maryland in 1900, 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 observatory was moved to Fredericksburg in 1956, a site which for many years served as the Program’s headquarters. Today, because it has produced high-quality data for so...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Deadhorse (DED)

The Deadhorse magnetic observatory is the newest USGS observatory, with initial operational capability established in March 2010. This observatory is unique in that it is a public-private partnership between the USGS and Schlumberger. The observatory was constructed by Schlumberger in cooperation with the USGS under a technical assistance agreement. The...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

College (CMO)

The Geomagnetic Program, then part of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey, began work in Fairbanks during the Second International Polar Year, 1932-1934, as part of an effort with the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution. Collaborative work with the University of Alaska began in the 1940's, with the full-fledged College observatory commencing operation in 1948. Today,...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Stennis (BSL)

The Geomagnetism Program established an observatory on the Stennis Space Center in 1986. The site of the space center is large, including some forest land, which helps insulate the observatory from outside interference. The Stennis observatory, formerly known as the Bay St. Louis observatory, is operated as a partnership between the USGS and the Stennis...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Barrow (BRW)

The Barrow magnetic observatory was established in 1949, with major upgrades in 1957 associated with the International Geophysical Year. The current physical plant was put into place in 1975. The observatory is of particular importance to the Geomagnetism Program because it is the most northerly of all the USGS observatories, being located well within the auroral oval. The observatory is...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Boulder (BOU)

The Boulder observatory was established in 1963. The grounds for the observatory are overseen by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Department of Commerce. This observatory is closest to Program headquarters in Golden. Therefore, in addition to serving as a site for routine data collection, Boulder also functions as the...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Observatories

Get information on and locations of geomagnetic observatories operated by the USGS and partners of the USGS geomagnetism program.

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Instrumentation

See the instruments we use at our geomagnetic observatories and how they help us to gather data.

Date published: July 18, 2018
Status: Active

Overview

USGS Geomagnetism Program research staff evaluate data produced by magnetic observatories, including those operated by the USGS, data processing methods, and magnetic indices derived from observatory data.

Contacts: Jeffrey J Love
Filter Total Items: 143
Date published: July 25, 2017

Data Release for USGS Field Activity 2014-607-FA--Oregon OCS Seafloor Mapping: Selected Lease Blocks Relevant to Renewable Energy

Data collected during 12-hour day operations in 2014, out of Charleston Harbor near Coos Bay, Oregon. The cruise plan consisted of 23 days on site split between sonar mapping and video ground truth surveying.

Date published: June 18, 2017

Water level measurements collected in West Falmouth Harbor, MA, May - October 2016

Water-level gauges were deployed at two sites in West Falmouth Harbor between May and October 2016. Two sequential deployments were required to provide measurements for the entire period. 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.

Date published: June 18, 2017

Water level measurements collected in West Falmouth Harbor, MA, May - October 2016

Water-level gauges were deployed at two sites in West Falmouth Harbor between May and October 2016. Two sequential deployments were required to provide measurements for the entire period. 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.

Date published: June 18, 2017

Water level measurements collected in West Falmouth Harbor, MA, May - October 2016

Water-level gauges were deployed at two sites in West Falmouth Harbor between May and October 2016. Two sequential deployments were required to provide measurements for the entire period. 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.

Date published: June 18, 2017

Water level measurements collected in West Falmouth Harbor, MA, May - October 2016

Water-level gauges were deployed at two sites in West Falmouth Harbor between May and October 2016. Two sequential deployments were required to provide measurements for the entire period. 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.

Date published: June 1, 2017

Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS)

The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions of storm-induced coastal flooding, erosion, and cliff failures over large geographic scales. CoSMoS projections are currently available for the north-central coast (Half Moon Bay to Pt. Arena), San Francisco Bay, and southern California.

Date published: May 26, 2017

Data from Earthquake-Induced Landslide Hazards for a M7.0 Scenario Earthquake on the Hayward Fault

The seismic-landslide probability map covers the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. The slope failures are triggered by a hypothetical earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.0 occurring on April 18, 2018, at 4:18 p.m. on the Hayward Fault in the east bay part of California’s San Francisco Bay region.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: April 18, 2017

Liquefaction potential as a result of HayWired earthquake scenario mainshock (April 18, 2018) shaking in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, San Francisco Bay area, California

These data are a geospatial representation of liquefaction potential for the HayWired earthquake scenario, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurring on the Hayward Fault on April 18, 2018, with an epicenter in the city of Oakland, CA. These data are the product of an analysis that created a detailed liquefaction probability map covering the northern Santa Clara County and western Alameda County...

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: February 23, 2017

Data Viewer—Post-Hurricane Sandy Lidar Elevations and Features

This viewer provides visualization for and accessibility to USGS lidar data obtained following Hurricane Sandy (October 2012). Access and download data and publications that include the source lidar data and the coastal dune and shoreline data needed to examine coastal change and erosion hazards.

Date published: January 20, 2017

Oceanographic and Water-Quality Measurements collected south of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, November - December, 2015

Two platforms were deployed at adjacent sites near the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO ) to compare their ability to measure bottom shear stress. One platform was a low-profile (20 cm-high) sled, and the other platform was a large (2.5-m high) quadpod. Both platforms supported a pair of single-point acoustic-Doppler current...

Date published: January 20, 2017

Oceanographic and Water-Quality Measurements collected south of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, November - December, 2015

Two platforms were deployed at adjacent sites near the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO ) to compare their ability to measure bottom shear stress. One platform was a low-profile (20 cm-high) sled, and the other platform was a large (2.5-m high) quadpod. Both platforms supported a pair of single-point acoustic-Doppler current...

Date published: July 20, 2016

Oceanographic and Water-Quality Measurements collected south of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, 2014–2015

The objective was to measure bottom stress at several locations with varying bottom depths, sediment types, and bedforms. Instruments to measure water temperature, conductivity, pressure, optical turbidity, and velocity were deployed between July 2014 and January 2015. Bottom platforms with upward-looking acoustic Doppler current profilers, pressure sensors, and water-quality sensors were...

Filter Total Items: 4,632
Year Published: 2018

The intensity signature of induced seismicity

We analyze a comprehensive database of ∼63,000">∼63,000 geocoded community intensity observations from >400">>400 earthquakes of moment magnitude M≥3.5">M≥3.5 in Oklahoma from 2010 to 2016 to define the intensity signature of induced events. We show that natural and induced...

Atkinson, Gail M.; Wald, David J.; Worden, Charles; Quitoriano, Vince
Gail M. Atkinson, David Wald, C. Bruce Worden, Vince Quitoriano; The Intensity Signature of Induced Seismicity. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America ; 108 (3A): 1080–1086. doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170316

Year Published: 2018

The widespread influence of Great Lakes microseisms across the United States revealed by the 2014 polar vortex

During the winter of 2014, a weak polar vortex brought record cold temperatures to the north‐central (“Midwest”) United States, and the Great Lakes reached the highest extent of ice coverage (92.5%) since 1979. This event shut down the generation of seismic signals caused by wind‐driven wave action within the lakes (termed “lake microseisms”),...

Anthony, Robert E.; Ringler, Adam T.; Wilson, David C.
Anthony, R.E., A.T. Ringler, D.C. Wilson (2018), The Widespread Influence of Great Lakes Microseisms Across the United States Revealed by the 2014 Polar Vortex, Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 3436-3444. doi:10.1002/2017GL076690

Year Published: 2018

Leveraging geodetic data to reduce losses from earthquakes

Seismic hazard assessments that are based on a variety of data and the best available science, coupled with rapid synthesis of real-time information from continuous monitoring networks to guide post-earthquake response, form a solid foundation for effective earthquake loss reduction. With this in mind, the Earthquake Hazards Program (EHP) of the U...

Murray, Jessica R.; Roeloffs, Evelyn A.; Brooks, Benjamin A.; Langbein, John O.; Leith, William S.; Minson, Sarah E.; Svarc, Jerry L.; Thatcher, Wayne R.
Murray, J.R., Roeloffs, E.A., Brooks, B.A., Langbein, J., Leith, W., Minson, S.E., Svarc, J., and Thatcher, W., 2018, Leveraging geodetic data to reduce losses from earthquakes: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1037, 34 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181037.

Year Published: 2018

Numerical models of pore pressure and stress changes along basement faults due to wastewater injection: Applications to the 2014 Milan, Kansas Earthquake

We have developed groundwater flow models to explore the possible relationship between wastewater injection and the 12 November 2014 Mw 4.8 Milan, Kansas earthquake. We calculate pore pressure increases in the uppermost crust using a suite of models in which hydraulic properties of the Arbuckle Formation and the Milan earthquake fault zone,...

Hearn, Elizabeth H.; Koltermann, Christine; Rubinstein, Justin R.
Hearn, E. H., C. Koltermann, and J. Rubinstein (2018), Numerical Models of Pore Pressure and Stress Changes Along Basement Faults Due to Wastewater Injection: Applications to the 2014 Milan, Kansas Earthquake, Geochemistry, Geophys. Geosystems, doi:10.1002/2017GC007194.

Year Published: 2018

Proximity of Precambrian basement affects the likelihood of induced seismicity in the Appalachian, Illinois, and Williston Basins, central and eastern United States

A dramatic seismicity rate increase in the central and eastern United States (CEUS) over the past decade has been largely associated with the increase in enhanced oil and gas recovery operations and change in industry practices. However, certain areas of the CEUS that have experienced large increases in oil and gas operations, such as the Bakken...

Skoumal, Robert J.; Brudzinski, Michael R.; Currie, Brian S.

Year Published: 2018

The HayWired earthquake scenario—Engineering implications

The HayWired Earthquake Scenario—Engineering Implications is the second volume of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5013, which describes the HayWired scenario, developed by USGS and its partners. The scenario is a hypothetical yet scientifically realistic earthquake sequence that is being used to better...

Detweiler, Shane T.; Wein, Anne M.
Detweiler, S.T., and Wein, A.M., eds., 2018, The HayWired earthquake scenario—Engineering implications: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5013–I–Q, 429 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175013v2.

Year Published: 2018

The HayWired earthquake scenario—We can outsmart disaster

The HayWired earthquake scenario, led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), anticipates the impacts of a hypothetical magnitude-7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault. The fault is along the east side of California’s San Francisco Bay and is among the most active and dangerous in the United States, because it runs through a densely urbanized and...

Hudnut, Kenneth W.; Wein, Anne M.; Cox, Dale A.; Porter, Keith A.; Johnson, Laurie A.; Perry, Suzanne C.; Bruce, Jennifer L.; LaPointe, Drew
Hudnut, K.W., Wein, A.M., Cox, D.A., Porter, K.A., Johnson, L.A., Perry, S.C., Bruce, J.L., and LaPointe, D., 2018, The HayWired earthquake scenario—We can outsmart disaster: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018–3016, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183016.

Year Published: 2018

Measuring impact crater depth throughout the solar system

One important, almost ubiquitous, tool for understanding the surfaces of solid bodies throughout the solar system is the study of impact craters. While measuring a distribution of crater diameters and locations is an important tool for a wide variety of studies, so too is measuring a crater's “depth.” Depth can inform numerous studies including...

Robbins, Stuart J.; Watters, Wesley A.; Chappelow, John E.; Bray, Veronica J.; Daubar, Ingrid J.; Craddock, Robert A.; Beyer, Ross A.; Landis, Margaret E.; Ostrach, Lillian; Tornabene, Livio L.; Riggs, Jamie D.; Weaver, Brian P.
Robbins, S.J. et al., 2018. Measuring impact crater depth throughout the solar system. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 53(4), 583-626.

Year Published: 2018

Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

Reconstruction of the palaeoenvironmental context of Martian sedimentary rocks is central to studies of ancient Martian habitability and regional palaeoclimate history. This paper reports the analysis of a distinct aeolian deposit preserved in Gale crater, Mars, and evaluates its palaeomorphology, the processes responsible for its deposition, and...

Banham, Steve G.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Watkins, Jessica A.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Edgar, Lauren; Stack, Kathryn M.; Barnes, Robert; Bell, Jame F. III; Day, Mackenzie D.; Ewing, Ryan C.; Lapotre, Mathieu G.A.; Stein, Nathan T.; Rivera-Hernandez, Frances; Vasavada, Ashwin R.
Banham, S. G., Gupta, S., Rubin, D. M., Watkins, J. A., Sumner, D. Y., Edgett, K. S., Grotzinger, J. P., Lewis, K. W., Edgar, L. A., Stack-Morgan, K. M., Barnes, R., Bell, J. F., Day, M. D., Ewing, R. C., Lapotre, M. G.A., Stein, N. T., Rivera-Hernandez, F. and Vasavada, A. R. (2018), Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars. Sedimentology. https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.12469

Year Published: 2018

Relaxed impact craters on Ganymede: Regional variation and high heat flows

Viscously relaxed craters provide a window into the thermal history of Ganymede, a satellite with copious geologic signs of past high heat flows. Here we present measurements of relaxed craters in four regions for which suitable imaging exists: near Anshar Sulcus, Tiamat Sulcus, northern Marius Regio, and Ganymede's south pole. We describe a...

Singer, Kelsi N.; Bland, Michael T.; Schenk, Paul M.; McKinnon, William B.
Sing, K. N., Bland, M. T., Schenk, P. M., McKinnon, W. B., 2018. Relaxed impact craters on Ganymede: Regional variation and high heat flows. Icarus 306, 214-224.

Year Published: 2018

Incorporating spatially heterogeneous infiltration capacity into hydrologic models with applications for simulating post‐wildfire debris flow initiation

Soils in post‐wildfire environments are often characterized by a low infiltration capacity with a high degree of spatial heterogeneity relative to unburned areas. Debris flows are frequently initiated by run‐off in recently burned steeplands, making it critical to develop and test methods for incorporating spatial variability in infiltration...

McGuire, Luke A.; Rengers, Francis K.; Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Mirus, Benjamin B.

Year Published: 2018

2018 one‐year seismic hazard forecast for the central and eastern United States from induced and natural earthquakes

This article describes the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2018 one‐year probabilistic seismic hazard forecast for the central and eastern United States from induced and natural earthquakes. For consistency, the updated 2018 forecast is developed using the same probabilistic seismicity‐based methodology as applied in the two previous forecasts....

Petersen, Mark D.; Mueller, Charles; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Hoover, Susan M.; Rukstales, Kenneth S.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Williams, Robert A.; Shumway, Allison; Powers, Peter M.; Earle, Paul; Llenos, Andrea L.; Michael, Andrew J.; Rubinstein, Justin L.; Norbeck, Jack; Cochran, Elizabeth S.
Mark D. Petersen, Charles S. Mueller, Morgan P. Moschetti, Susan M. Hoover, Kenneth S. Rukstales, Daniel E. McNamara, Robert A. Williams, Allison M. Shumway, Peter M. Powers, Paul S. Earle, Andrea L. Llenos, Andrew J. Michael, Justin L. Rubinstein, Jack H. Norbeck, Elizabeth S. Cochran; 2018 One‐Year Seismic Hazard Forecast for the Central and Eastern United States from Induced and Natural Earthquakes. Seismological Research Letters ; 89 (3): 1049–1061. doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0220180005

Filter Total Items: 2,698
Lava channel
July 8, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Open-Ended Lava Channel

Close view of the "end" of the open lava channel where lava moves beneath the crusted ‘a‘ā flow.

animated GIF showing subsidence at a crater
July 8, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Animated GIF of Crater Subsidence

This animated GIF shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana CosmoSkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the 

...
A man stands smiling on a high coastal bluff near solar panels and a pole supported by guy wires, with a camera mounted on top.
July 8, 2018

Video camera installation, Barter Island

USGS oceanographer Shawn Harrison poses in front of the USGS video camera installation atop the coastal bluff of Barter Island in northern Alaska.

July 7, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Timelapse Changes at Caldera (6/13 - 7/7)

This series of images from June 13 through July 7, 2018, show dramatic down-dropping of part of Kīlauea Volcano's summit caldera floor. For weeks,

...
Men and women sitting in a room with tables and chairs listening to a woman talk, she's pointing at a screen on the wall.
July 7, 2018

USGS hosts community outreach event on Barter Island

USGS oceanographer Li Erikson speaks at a community outreach event on Barter Island, Alaska, to present results from earlier USGS studies and to discuss ongoing USGS research.

Camera looking over a summit
July 7, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — SO2 Camera

For several years, a special ultraviolet camera has been located near Keanakākoʻi Crater at Kīlauea's summit. The camera was capable of detecting SO2 gas coming from Halema‘uma‘u crater. This morning, the camera was removed because there is very little SO2 to measure these days at the summit. In addition, cracking near Keanakākoʻi Crater was making access difficult.

Fissure eruption
July 7, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8

View of Fissure 8 and channel during the morning overflight on July 7.

Lava entering the ocean
July 6, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Bay

Ocean entry in Kapoho as viewed from morning helicopter overflight.

Satellite image over crater
July 6, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Satellite View of Kīlauea Summit

The WorldView-3 satellite acquired this view of Kīlauea's summit on July 3. Despite a few clouds, the area of heaviest fractures in the caldera is clear. Views into the expanding Halema‘uma‘u crater reveal a pit floored by rubble. HVO, on the northwest caldera rim, is labeled.

Dust rising from inside a crater after a rock collapse
July 5, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Dust from Summit Explosion

Rocks generate brown dust as they tumble down the western caldera wall during the collapse explosion event on July 5, 2018.

Dust rising from a crater after a rock collapse
July 5, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Collapse and Dust Rising at Halema`uma`u Crater

At 1:20 PM HST on July 5, a collapse explosion event occurred at Kīlauea's summit. The energy released by the event was equivalent to a M5.2 earthquake. The shaking

...
Filter Total Items: 407
Date published: March 14, 2018

USGS Authors New Report on Seismic Hazard, Risk, and Design for South America

New seismic hazard and risk assessments can help at-risk communities prepare for future earthquake disasters

Date published: March 8, 2018

New 3D Measurements Improve Understanding of Geomagnetic Storm Hazards

Measurements of the three-dimensional structure of the earth, as opposed to the one-dimensional models typically used, can help scientists more accurately determine which areas of the United States are most vulnerable to blackouts during hazardous geomagnetic storms.

Date published: March 8, 2018

Fulbright Scholar Joins Coral Reef Project at Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

The Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, California, recently welcomed Andrew Pomeroy, a Fulbright scholar from Australia who will spend approximately 6 months here conducting research on sediment movement in coral reef systems.

Date published: March 8, 2018

Modern Perspective on Gas Hydrates

After lying hidden in sediments for thousands of years, delicate frozen gas structures are in the spotlight for both scientific research and the national interest. These structures, known as gas hydrate, are being investigated by scientists the world over for their possible contributions to the global energy mix, as well as their potential interaction with the environment.

Date published: March 1, 2018

Washington DC Stone and Brick Buildings Vulnerable to Distant Quakes

A new study shows that DC geologic conditions strongly affect earthquake shaking.

Date published: February 25, 2018

Magnitude 7.5 Earthquake, Papua New Guinea

The USGS has up-to-date details on the February 25, 2018 event.

Date published: February 23, 2018

USGS in South Korea

 For several years, KIGAM, the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, has hosted an international program for geoscience resources (IS-Geo).  The IS-Geo program draws together federal and private-sector professionals from the international community to discuss a range of specific geoscience and mineral topics.

Date published: February 21, 2018

Newspaper story on earthquake hazards in Santa Rosa, California, features information from USGS scientists

USGS scientists Janet Watt and Suzanne Hecker provided information to the article’s author.

Date published: February 20, 2018

Pacific Missile Tracking Site Could Be Unusable in 20 Years Due to Climate Change

Living and working on the Pacific islands hosting a key missile tracking site soon could be almost impossible due to the impacts of climate change.

Date published: February 19, 2018

USGS fields tsunami questions after earthquake off Kodiak, Alaska

USGS geophysicist Eric Geist fielded questions about tsunamis after a magnitude 7.9 earthquake off southern Alaska prompted a tsunami watch for the U.S. west coast.

Date published: February 16, 2018

One of the first Black USGS geophysicists, pioneers subsurface research

Early in his college career, U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Rufus Catchings became drawn to the mysteries that lie beneath the earth’s surface — and was determined to understand them. 

Filter Total Items: 177