Explore our planet through photography and imagery, including climate change and water all the way back to the 1800s when the USGS was surveying the country by horse and buggy.
Wood boring beetle tunnels inside of an ‘ōhi‘a log. Researchers are investigating if the spread of beetle frass (excrement) is a pathway for movement of a fungus that causes Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.
Illuminated with ultraviolet light, this living desmid cell has a bright red chloroplast. USGS biologist Barry H. Rosen, an expert on aquatic microorganisms, takes exquisite microscopic photos as part of his study of these single-celled green algae, which he has collected in a nearly pristine area of the northern Everglades. This cell got smooshed (the technical term for it) “as I...
The wire weight is lowered to determine stage of Bull Lake Creek above Bull Lake
This image shows blue spheres representing relative amounts of Earth's water in comparison to the size of the Earth. Are you surprised that these water spheres look so small? They are only small in relation to the size of the Earth. These images attempt to show three dimensions, so each sphere represents "volume." They show that in comparison to the volume of the globe, the amount of water on...
Some days, measurements just can't be made... This is 03146500 Licking River near Newark. Licking County Highway department works diligently to clear an 80' x 40' log jam that was putting pressure on bridge piers. Adverse conditions like those pictured above are the norm for a hydro tech. On this day, the risk of debris floating down and getting caught on either the hydro tech or equipment was...
Well pumping as part of an aquifer test in Lovelock Valley, Nevada.
Long Island Sound Survey mapping team. This project is a collaboration of several agencies and institutions including Univ of Connecticut, Univ of New Haven, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, NOAA, LDEO, USGS
Seafloor photograph of a spider crab, sediment, rocks, taken by the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center SeaBOSS during a deployment off the R/V Connecticut in Long Island Sound
SeaBOSS on the fantail of R/V Connecticut on Long Island Sound
SeaBOSS on the fantail of the R/V Connecticut on Long Island Sound at sunrise
This HiRISE image cutout shows Recurring Slope Lineae in Tivat crater on Mars in enhanced color. The narrow, dark flows descend downhill (towards the upper left). Analysis shows that the flows all end at approximately the same slope, which is similar to the angle of repose for sand.
Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been...
Wire weight mounted on bridge crossing Blacks Fork, streamgage 09219200
Flooding on a road in Olympic National Park, Washington, on November 24, 2017.
Hydrologic technician Sarah Davis measured low-flow discharge at USGS streamgage 06334500, Little Missouri River near Camp Crook, SD (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/sd/nwis/inventory/?site_no=06334500&agency_cd=USGS&) on November 16, 2017. Measurements of stream...
Biologist, John T. makes a high water measurement at stream gage 03145484 Raccoon Creek near Granville, OH. High water measurements ensure accurate flood forecasting by NOAA for downstream citizens and property owners. These forecasts can help people prepare for the rising waters, help reduce property damages, and most importantly save lives.
A series of images from various sources of shaded-relief topography show the progression of the Mud Creek landslide area, from 2010 through October 12, 2017.
- lidar data from 2010
- lidar data from 2016
- structure-from-motion (SfM), March 8, 2017
- SfM, May 19, 2017
- SfM, May 27, 2017
- SfM, May 31, 2017
- SfM, June 13, ...
Direct fluorescent antibody test (DFAT) for the detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum in tissues. Fluorescing R. salmoninarum cells are visible on a slide.
The World's Water - Distribution of Earth's Water
The Earth is a watery place. But just how much water exists on, in, and above our planet? About 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth's water. Water also exists in the...
The Alsea River in the Oregon Coast Range
USGS ecologist Lisa Allen carefully removes an endangered Least Bell's Vireo from a net. She and Principal Investigator Barbara Kus are studying these birds' migration patterns to provide the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and international efforts with information to assist in species recovery.
Setting up to measure streamflow, Muddy Creek near Dad
Animated GIF of a scientist at Kīlauea Volcano in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park looking back and forth using a range finder. Footage found in the USGS video: Kīlauea Summit Eruption | Lava Returns to Halemaʻumaʻu.
Animated GIF of lava bubbling up from Kīlauea Volcano in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The source of the GIF comes from footage found within the USGS video: Kīlauea Summit Eruption | Lava Returns to Halemaʻumaʻu.
Video shot from drones yields details about changing landslide on California’s Big Sur coast
On October 12, USGS drones collected video footage of the Mud Creek landslide, which buried California State Highway 1 under a third-of-a-mile-wide mass of rock and dirt on May 20. USGS scientists have been monitoring the slide by transforming photos shot from an airplane into...
Residents had little warning when wildfires that ignited late Sunday night, October 8, 2017, were fanned by wind gusts of 50 miles per hour and blasted across California's wine country. More than 100,000 acres have burned as of October 11, with less than 6 percent of the fires contained.
Elevated water levels and high waves during Hurricane Nate overtopped low spots in the line of dunes near Fort Morgan, Alabama. The fan-like sand deposits behind the dunes indicate that sand was transported landward, while the sandbar offshore indicates that sand was also transported seaward during the storm. The predicted probability of overwash for this location was 84%.
The low-elevation west end of Dauphin Island is especially vulnerable to storms and has been impacted by multiple storm events over the last decade. Storm surge and waves from Hurricane Nate overtopped and cut through the line of dunes in front of the road, depositing sand across the road in overwash fans. The predicted probability of overwash in this location was 95%.
Elevated water levels during Hurricane Nate overtopped and eroded the rock barrier that was constructed to close the breach that formed in Dauphin Island during Hurricane Katrina. The predicted probability of inundation in this location was 96%.
The low elevation spit on the far western end of west Dauphin Island was breached during Hurricane Nate. The predicted probability of inundation was 54%, likely due to the inclusion of the higher elevation dunes to the east of the spit in the 1-km alongshore prediction area.
Elevated water levels during Hurricane Nate overtopped the low dunes on Petit Bois Island. The predicted probability of overwash for this location was 99%.
The low-elevation east end of Horn Island was inundated by waves and storm surge during Hurricane Nate. The predicted probability of inundation for this location was 98%.
Low elevation dunes on East Ship Island were inundated by waves and surge from Hurricane Nate. Sand was transported across the entire island, covering vegetation and filling in ponds. The predicted probability of inundation in this location was 98%.
On the east end of West Ship Island, dunes were overtopped by elevated water levels during Hurricane Nate. The predicted probability of overwash for this location was 100%.
Screen shot of the Coastal Change Hazards Portal showing potential coastal change impacts during a direct landfall of Hurricane Nate based on NHC Advisory 12, 0800 AM EDT SAT OCT 07 2017.
Installing new radar sensor and staff plate, Big Sandy River
Microscopic view of blue green algae sample. Some algae produce toxins that threaten the health and safety of living things that come in direct contact. Cyanobacteria - Phormidium (blue green algae)
Tropical Storm Nate's predicted effect on Northern Gulf sandy shorelines, based on landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, is shown at three intensities. Outer band: Dune erosion. Middle band: Dune overwash. Inner band: Dune inundation, with potential flooding behind the dune. Credit: USGS Coastal Change Hazard Portal.
Location 9: This beach on Palm Island illustrates varying coastal responses to elevated water levels during Irma. The southern portion of the beach experienced beach erosion, the northern portion overwashed, and the middle section was inundated. Predicted probabilities of dune erosion, overwash, and inundation were 100, 98, and 78 percent respectively.
Location 8: A home on Little Gasparilla Island was swept away by Hurricane Irma’s waves and surge. The beach narrowed significantly and two more homes are now more vulnerable to future storm impacts. The predicted probability of overwash for this location was 97%.
Location 7: Low elevation dunes were overtopped by waves and surge from Hurricane Irma. Sand was transported landward covering vegetation and walking trails. The predicted probability of overwash in this location was 99%.