Mission Areas

Natural Hazards

Every year in the United States, natural hazards threaten lives and livelihoods and result in billions of dollars in damage. We work with many partners to monitor, assess, and conduct targeted research on a wide range of natural hazards so that policymakers and the public have the understanding they need to enhance preparedness, response, and resilience.

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Reducing Risk

Reducing Risk

USGS scientists develop new products to make science available to the public, emergency managers, and decision-makers. These efforts increase public safety and reduce risk and economic losses caused by natural hazards.

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Hazard Research

Hazard Research

USGS scientists conduct research to understand earth processes and the natural hazards they can pose to society in order to increase public safety and reduce risk and economic loss.

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News

Date published: October 25, 2019

Deep Landslides Not Reactivated by 2018 Anchorage Quake (SSA News)

"Major landslides triggered by the 1964 magnitude 9.2 Great Alaska earthquake responded to, but were not reactivated by, the magnitude 7.1 Anchorage earthquake that took place  30 November 2018, researchers concluded in a new study published in Seismological Research Letters."

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Date published: October 17, 2019

All Systems Go for First Statewide Testing of ShakeAlert in the United States

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey and the State of California pressed the “go” button to allow the first-ever statewide public testing of the California Early Earthquake Warning System, which is powered by USGS’s earthquake early warning alerts, called ShakeAlerts.

Date published: October 17, 2019

What if the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System Had Been Operating During the M6.9 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake?

How will ShakeAlert® likely perform now on a large earthquake impacting a major urban area? How much warning will you get? To answer this, let’s do a thought experiment...

Read the new Science for Everyone article at What if the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System...

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

The LArge-n Seismic Survey in Oklahoma (LASSO) experiment

In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey deployed more than 1,800 vertical-component nodal seismometers in Grant County, Oklahoma to study induced seismic activity associated with production of the Mississippi Limestone Play. The LArge-n Seismic Survey in Oklahoma (LASSO) array operated for approximately one month, covering a 25-km-by-32-km region with...

Dougherty, S.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Harrington, R. M.
Dougherty, S.L., Cochran, E.S., and Harrington, R.M. (2019). The LArge-n Seismic Survey in Oklahoma (LASSO) Experiment, Seismological Research Letters, 90 (5): 2051-2057, doi:10.1785/0220190094.

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Year Published: 2019

Status of three-dimensional geological mapping and modeling activities in the U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), created in 1879, is the national geological survey for the United States and the sole science agency within its cabinet-level bureau, the Department of the Interior. The USGS has a broad mission, including: serving the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth;...

Sweetkind, Donald; Graymer, Russell; Higley, D.K.; Boyd, Oliver S.

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Year Published: 2019

The HayWired earthquake scenario—Societal consequences

The HayWired Earthquake Scenario—Societal Consequences is the third 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 understand...

Detweiler, Shane T.; Wein, Anne M.
Detweiler, S.T., and Wein, A.M., eds., The HayWired earthquake scenario—Societal consequences: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5013–R–W, https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175013V3.