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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: 266
Date published: April 30, 2018
Status: Active

Mapping Florida's Coastal Waters

The FCMaP approach divides Florida into 6 regions that are geologically and physiographically distinct in terms of coastal characteristic.

Date published: April 10, 2018
Status: Active

What to Expect in a Big Urban Earthquake

When a big earthquake hits a populated area, expect these effects.

Date published: April 10, 2018
Status: Active

The HayWired Scenario: An Urban Earthquake in a Connected World

An interactive, graphics-rich summary of the hazards in the HayWired Scenario.

Date published: April 9, 2018
Status: Active

Global Ocean Mineral Resources

Addressing issues concerning mineral resources that occur within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Pacific coastal States, Pacific islands of U.S. affiliation, and areas beyond national jurisdictions.

Date published: April 5, 2018

Kilauea Advisory Messages Usability Study

Improving Advisories for volcanic activity.

Date published: March 30, 2018
Status: Completed

Tropical Storm Colin - Forecast of Coastal Change

Forecast of coastal change for Tropical Storm Colin.

Date published: March 30, 2018
Status: Active

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP) is an initiative between Federal and Florida State agencies and institutions to coordinate and facilitate the collection and accessibility of Florida coastal seafloor data in order to fill priority areas and gaps.

Contacts: Cheryl Hapke, Ph.D., Philip Kramer, Ph.D.
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.

Filter Total Items: 4,327
Year Published: 2017

Can thermoluminescence be used to determine soil heating from a wildfire?

The Silverado wildfire occurred from September 12 to 20, 2014, burning 960 acres in Orange County, California. Soil samples from within the burn area were obtained and the thermoluminescence (TL) properties of those samples were compared against a control sample to understand wildfire heating. We performed a series of experiments investigating the...

Rengers, Francis K.; Pagonis, Vasilis; Mahan, Shannon A.

Year Published: 2017

Basalt–trachybasalt samples in Gale Crater, Mars

The ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, observed numerous igneous float rocks and conglomerate clasts, reported previously. A new statistical analysis of single‐laser‐shot spectra of igneous targets observed by ChemCam shows a strong peak at ~55 wt% SiO2 and 6 wt% total alkalis, with a minor...

Edwards, Peter H.; Bridges, John C.; Wiens, Roger C.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Dyar, M. Darby; Fisk, Martin; Thompson, Lucy; Gasda, Patrick J.; Filiberto, Justin; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Blaney, Diana L.; Hutchinson, Ian

Year Published: 2017

Preface: The lunar reconnaissance orbiter

When the call for papers for a special issue of Icarus devoted to analysis of data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission was announced in March 2015 we envisioned a single issue with only a possibility of a second. We certainly were gratified by the response from within and outside the LRO instrument teams such that we were compelled to...

Keller, John W; Gaddis, Lisa R.; Petro, Noah E.; Aharonson, Oded
Keller, John W., Gaddis, L., Petro, N., and Aharonson, O., 2017, Preface--The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: Icarus, v. 298, 1 p., https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.001.

Year Published: 2017

A wideband magnetoresistive sensor for monitoring dynamic fault slip in laboratory fault friction experiments

A non-contact, wideband method of sensing dynamic fault slip in laboratory geophysical experiments employs an inexpensive magnetoresistive sensor, a small neodymium rare earth magnet, and user built application-specific wideband signal conditioning. The magnetoresistive sensor generates a voltage proportional to the changing angles of magnetic...

Kilgore, Brian D.
Kilgore BD. A Wideband Magnetoresistive Sensor for Monitoring Dynamic Fault Slip in Laboratory Fault Friction Experiments. Sensors. 2017; 17(12):2790.

Year Published: 2017

CO2 cycle

This chapter discusses the use of models, observations, and laboratory experiments to understand the cycling of CO2 between the atmosphere and seasonal Martian polar caps. This cycle is primarily controlled by the polar heat budget, and thus the emphasis here is on its components, including solar and infrared radiation, the effect of clouds (water...

Titus, Timothy N.; Byrne, Shane; Colaprete, Anthony; Forget, Francois; Michaels, Timothy I.; Prettyman, Thomas H.

Year Published: 2017

Community tools for cartographic and photogrammetric processing of Mars Express HRSC images

The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the Mars Express orbiter (Neukum et al. 2004) is a multi-line pushbroom scanner that can obtain stereo and color coverage of targets in a single overpass, with pixel scales as small as 10 m at periapsis. Since commencing operations in 2004 it has imaged ~ 77 % of Mars at 20 m/pixel or better. The...

Wu, B.; Di, K.; Oberst, J.; Karachevtseva, I.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Howington-Kraus, Elpitha; Edmundson, Kenneth L.; Redding, Bonnie L.; Galuszka, Donna M.; Hare, Trent M.; Gwinner, K.
Kirk, R.L., Howington-Kraus, E., Edmundson, K., Redding, B., Galuszka, D., Hare, T., and Gwinner, K.: Community tools for cartographic and photogrammetric processing of Mars express HiRISE images, International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, v. XLII-3/W1, p. 69-76, https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-archives-XLII-3-W1-69-2017, 2017.

Year Published: 2017

Correcting spacecraft jitter in HiRISE images

Mechanical oscillations or vibrations on spacecraft, also called pointing jitter, cause geometric distortions and/or smear in high resolution digital images acquired from orbit. Geometric distortion is especially a problem with pushbroom type sensors, such as the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument on board the Mars...

Wu, B.; Di, K.; Oberst, J.; Karachevtseva, I.; Sutton, S. S.; Boyd, A.K.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Cook, Debbie; Backer, Jean; Fennema, A.; Heyd, R.; McEwen, A.S.; Mirchandani, S.D.
Sutton, S.S., Boyd, A.K., Kirk, R.L., Cook, D., Backer, J.W., Fennema, A., Heyd, R., McEwen, A.S., and Mirchandani, S.D., 2017, Correcting spacecraft jitter in HiRISE images: International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, v. XLII-3/W1, p. 141-148, https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-archives-XLII-3-W1-141-2017.

Year Published: 2017

Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: Testing and certification platform

Earthquake early warning systems provide warnings to end users of incoming moderate to strong ground shaking from earthquakes. An earthquake early warning system, ShakeAlert, is providing alerts to beta end users in the western United States, specifically California, Oregon, and Washington. An essential aspect of the earthquake early warning...

Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Kohler, Monica D.; Given, Douglas D.; Guiwits, Stephen; Andrews, Jennifer; Meier, Men-Andrin; Ahmad, Mohammad; Henson, Ivan; Hartog, J. Renate; Smith, Deborah
Cochran, E. S., Kohler, M. D., Given, D. D., Guiwits, S., Andrews, J., Meier, M.-A., Ahmad, M., Henson, I., Hartog, R., Smith, D. E. (2018). Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: Testing and Certification Platform, Seismological Research Letters, 89 (1), 108–117, doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0220170138.

Year Published: 2017

Earthquake early Warning ShakeAlert system: West coast wide production prototype

Earthquake early warning (EEW) is an application of seismological science that can give people, as well as mechanical and electrical systems, up to tens of seconds to take protective actions before peak earthquake shaking arrives at a location. Since 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey has been working in collaboration with several partners to...

Kohler, Monica D.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Given, Douglas D.; Guiwits, Stephen; Neuhauser, Doug; Hensen, Ivan; Hartog, J. Renate; Bodin, Paul; Kress, Victor; Thompson, Stephen; Felizardo, Claude; Brody, Jeff; Bhadha, Rayo; Schwarz, Stan
Monica D. Kohler, Elizabeth S. Cochran, Doug Given, Steve Guiwits, Doug Neuhauser, Ivan Henson, Renate Hartog, Paul Bodin, Victor Kress, Stephen Thompson, Claude Felizardo, Jeff Brody, Rayo Bhadha, Stan Schwarz; Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: West Coast Wide Production Prototype. Seismological Research Letters ; 89 (1): 99–107. doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0220170140

Year Published: 2017

Effects of thermal variability on broadband seismometers: Controlled experiments, observations, and implications

Isolating seismic instruments from temperature fluctuations is routine practice within the seismological community. However, the necessary degree of thermal stability required in broadband installations to avoid generating noise or compromising the fidelity in the seismic records is largely unknown and likely application dependent. To quantify the...

Doody, Claire; Ringler, Adam; Anthony, Robert E.; Wilson, David; Holland, Austin; Hutt, Charles R.; Sandoval, Leo
Doody, C. D., A. T. Ringler, R. E. Anthony, D. C. Wilson, A. A. Holland, C. R. Hutt, and L. D. Sandoval (2017). Effects of thermal variability on broadband seismometers: Controlled experiments, observations, and implications, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 108 (1), 493-502.

Year Published: 2017

Quake warnings, seismic culture

Since 1990, nearly one million people have died from the impacts of earthquakes. Reducing those impacts requires building a local seismic culture in which residents are aware of earthquake risks and value efforts to mitigate harm. Such efforts include earthquake early warning (EEW) systems that provide seconds to minutes notice of pending shaking...

Allen, Richard M.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Huggins, Tom; Miles, Scott; Otegui, Diego
Allen, R. M., Cochran, E.S., Huggins, T., Miles, S., and Otegui, D. (2017). Quake warnings, seismic culture, Science, 358(6367), p. 1111, doi: 10.1126/science.aar4640.

Year Published: 2017

Spatial data analytics on heterogeneous multi- and many-core parallel architectures using python

Parallel vector spatial analysis concerns the application of parallel computational methods to facilitate vector-based spatial analysis. The history of parallel computation in spatial analysis is reviewed, and this work is placed into the broader context of high-performance computing (HPC) and parallelization research. The rise of cyber...

Laura, Jason R.; Rey, Sergio J.
Laura, Jason, and Rey, Sergio J., 2016, Spatial Data Analytics on Heterogeneous Multi- and Many-Core Parallel Architectures Using Python, in Shekhar, S., et al., eds.: Encyclopedia of GIS, Springer, 10 p., doi:10.1007/978-3-319-23519-6_1569-1.

Filter Total Items: 2,526
Lava entering the ocean causing laze plumes
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Laze Plumes

Lava from fissure 8 is entering the sea this morning on the southern portion of the flow front primarily through the open channel, but also along this 1 km (0.6 mi) wide area with multiple laze plumes from smaller oozing lobes.

Lava entering the ocean
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ocean Entry

North facing view of the 1 km (0.6 mi) long ocean entry with multiple lobes of lava flowing into the sea.

June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Remobilized Ash Plume

Recent explosive events haven't produced significant ash plumes from the summit, but downwind communities may still experience ashfall when previously erupted ash is remobilized. On authorized permission from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, our Unmanned Aircraft Systems crew is conducting gas measurements at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. They snapped this photograph from Chain of Craters

...
Comparison of two photos
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano —

Comparison of photographs taken on June 13 and 26 from near Keanakāko'i Crater overlook in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park shows a subsidence scarp that formed as the Kīlauea Crater floor subsided. Scientists estimate the dramatic dropping of the crater floor in this area occurred sometime between June 23 and 26. The view is to the west. Halema‘uma‘u crater is in upper

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Lava channels
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Braided Lava Channels

Lava within the braided portion of the fissure 8

...
View from the air across a tidal march, mudflat, and channels with bay water to the right and a city in the background.
June 26, 2018

Bair Island, Redwood City

After 100 years of restricted tidal activity to support agricultural use and salt harvesting, the tidal marshes around San Francisco Bay, like this one at Bair Island, are steadily rebuilding, returning to a stunning mosaic of marsh, mudflat, and channels.

June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Eruption Lava Flow Timelapse

A new video shows a timelapse of the lava flows erupted in Kīlauea's Lower East Rift Zone between May

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Webcam photo that shows a plume late at night.
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Webcam Plume

At 10:41 p.m. HST on June 26, after approximately 25 hours of elevated seismicity, a collapse explosion occurred at the summit producing an 

...
Looking down a long roadway toward and active fissure
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 From Luana Street

View of the fissure 8 cone and fountain from the end of Luana Street in Leilani Estates. Photo taken at 12:20 p.m.

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

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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.

Filter Total Items: 380
Date published: September 18, 2017

USGS Teams Up with Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to Research Teton Fault

Just after Labor Day, U.S. Geological Survey field crews began digging a trench within the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski area, on the lower reaches of Buffalo Bowl. 

Date published: September 15, 2017

Landsat Images Before and After Harvey Illustrate Flooding in Texas

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page at https://www.usgs.gov/harvey.

Date published: September 13, 2017

USGS Measures the Impacts of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma’s heavy rains and storm surge caused severe flooding in parts of the Southeast.

Date published: September 13, 2017

Throughout Hurricane Season, USGS Science is There Before, During, and After the Storm

When a major storm is on the horizon, the USGS uses its water monitoring, coastal change, mapping, and modeling expertise to help prepare for, respond to, and recover from hurricanes and tropical storms.

Date published: September 8, 2017

River Levels Set Records in Texas: USGS Continues to Monitor Rivers in the State Due to Flooding

Editor’s note: this news release will be updated online with more information on the streamgage records being set in Texas as it becomes available.

Rivers and streams reached record levels as a result of Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall, with about 40 U.S. Geological Survey streamgages measuring record peaks.

Date published: September 8, 2017

USGS Efforts Continue After Harvey

As Harvey’s record breaking rainfall and catastrophic flood waters recede in Texas and western Louisiana, U.S. Geological Survey teams are collecting high water marks, monitoring water levels and coastal change, retrieving storm tide sensors and collecting samples for water quality analysis.

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.

Filter Total Items: 178