Resources for Teachers

College: Natural Hazards

General Natural Hazards|| Earthquakes|| Floods|| Landslides|| Tsunamis|| Volcanoes|| Wildfires

General Natural Hazards

Natural Hazards Gateway- Backgroud Information
Provides many links and resources to USGS information related to earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanoes, and wildfires.   

USGS Emergency Operations Portal and the Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDS)- Backgroud Information and Photos
Explore critical pre- and post-disaster images and datasets online for immediate viewing and downloading. The USGS provides these images for use in disaster preparations, rescue and relief operations, damage assessments, and reconstruction efforts. For a quick introduction to HDDS, read a one-page fact sheet.


USGS Earthquake Hazards Program- Backgroud Information
The best starting point for browsing information on earthquake data, hazards, preparedness, monitoring, and research. Click on the "Learn" tab to access extensive educational materials and FAQs. The regional office links near the bottom of the page lead to site-specific information. The links in the blue section at the bottom of the page are an excellent starting point for advanced features like analysis tools and software.   

National Seismic Hazard Maps- Maps
National maps of ground motion for various probability levels.   

Earthquake Catalog (ANSS Comprehensive Catalog)- Backgroud Information
Searchable database of earthquake source parameters and other products produced by contributing seismic networks.. Data is available in multiple formats. The oldest data is from 1900.

Quaternary Fault and Fold Database of the United States- Backgroud Information
This Web site contains information on faults and associated folds in the United States that are believed to be sources of M>6 earthquakes during the Quaternary (the past 1,600,000 years). Maps of these geologic structures are linked to detailed descriptions and references.  

 Quaternary Faults Web Mapping Application- Map
Use this interactive map to find information about individual Quaternary faults in the United States. Click on a fault to get its name, age, slip rate, slip sense, and a data link.

Google Earth/KML Files- Backgroud Information
KML files for Quaternary faults in the U.S., ShakeMaps, and real time earthquakes. Additional files provide detailed looks at specific faults in California.

Earthquake Notification Service (ENS)- Backgroud Information
A free service that sends automated notification e-mails when earthquakes happen in your area. Customize ENS to only deliver messages for certain areas, at specified times, and to multiple addresses. ENS can even send text notifications to your cell phone.

PAGER - Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response- Backgroud Information
The PAGER system provides estimates of the number of people and the names of cities exposed to severe shaking following significant earthquakes worldwide.

The Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami of March 27, 1964- Backgroud Information
Explore numerous resources created for the 50th anniversary of the second largest earthquake ever recorded and the tsunami that it created. Watch videos, animations, archival film, and a public lecture; read short fact sheets as well as historic publications; and delve into historical photographs. An interactive "story map" of 1964 Anchorage is an especially good way to engage students of any age.

The San Andreas Fault System, California- Backgroud Information
This classic 1990 compilation of scientific papers on the San Andreas fault, is a technical and exhaustive resource of information about the fault and is an essential companion to all newly published research about the fault system. The book is available for download or to purchase.

The San Andreas Fault In The San Francisco Bay Area, California: A Geology Field Trip Guidebook To Selected Stops On Public Lands- Backgroud Information
A field guide with descriptions of places the public can go to view the San Andreas Fault. Introductory materials include an overview of the San Andreas Fault System, geology, landscape features, and plant communities that reveal information about the underlying geology.

The Hayward Fault- Backgroud Information
Northern California's Hayward fault is a tectonic time bomb, due anytime for another magnitude 6.8 to 7.0 earthquake. Learn about the fault, and explore 

Where's the Hayward Fault? A Green Guide to the Fault.The ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario- Backgroud Information
The question is not if but when southern California will be hit by a major earthquake. This 16-page Circular published in 2008 identifies the physical, social, and economic consequences of a theoretical magnitude 7.8 earthquake in southern California.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone- Backgroud Information
Three large earthquakes of magnitude 7.5-7.7 shook the central U.S. in 1811-1812. Located at the junction of Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee, those quakes are a powerful reminder that risk of a similar event exists today. Several classroom-friendly resources were developed for the bicentennial of these earthquakes.

Earthquake Information by Region- Maps
Links to seismicity maps and related information that is available for individual countries.

Earthquake Summary Posters- Posters
View and download posters that provide detailed information and a brief discussion about large earthquakes soon after they occur. Images include the epicentral area, plate tectonic environment, earthquake history, and generalized seismic hazard of the region. A one-stop-shop for information about large earthquakes that have occurred since 2002.

Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2007- Map
Download a map that illustrates over 100 years of global seismicity in the context of plate tectonics. This map provides a slightly different perspective from This Dynamic Planet, which is targeted to educators.

Seismicity of the Aleutian Arc 1900-2007- Map
Download a map showing the details of seismicity on the Aleutian Arc, which are not visible on the above global map.


USGS Flood Information- Backgroud Information
Gateway to USGS research on floods. Includes highlighted flood resources and recent USGS news related to floods. This is a good jumping-off point for general flood science.

Large Floods in the United States : Where they Happen and Why- Backgroud Information
 A 13-page on-line publication that describes the geographic and climatic factors that influence the occurrence and impacts of large floods in the United States.

WaterWatch -- Current water resources conditions- Map
Map of flood and high flow condition (United States). A Google Map version is also available.

FAQs about Floods- Backgroud Information
Frequently Asked Questions about floods.


Tsunamis & Earthquakes- Backgroud Information
An exhaustive list of USGS tsunami links including animations of actual and hypothetical tsunamis.

Surviving a Tsunami-Lessons from Chile, Hawaii, and Japan- Backgroud Information
This on-line 1999 publication describes the causes and impacts of large tsunamis, with examples from around the Pacific Rim.

Can It Happen Here?- Backgroud Information
Could a tsunami such as the one that affected the Indian Ocean on December, 26, 2004 happen in the United States? This site discusses likely tsunami scenarios for the entire U.S. coastline.

The Orphan Tsunami of 1700 - Japanese Clues to a Parent Earthquake in North America- Backgroud Information
In 1700, a mysterious tsunami flooded fields and washed away houses in Japan. Yet no one in Japan felt an earthquake. Follow along with scientists as they discover clues suggesting that the tsunami originated from a large earthquake in the Cascadia region of North America.


The Landslide Handbook—A Guide to Understanding Landslides- Backgroud Information
What is a landslide? Where do they occur? What causes them? How are they monitored? How can they be prevented? What safety measures can you follow if you live near steep hills? All these questions are answered in this 129-page publication. Written for a general audience, it is heavily illustrated with diagrams and photographs taken at location around the globe.

U.S. Landslide Inventory and Interactive Map- Backgroud Information
An interactive map showing landslide and flood hazard areas of the United States.

Maps of Holocene Debris Flows in the Conterminous United States- Maps
This 1999 publications shows the locations of 6,600 debris flows and areas of possible future debris flows in the conterminous U.S.

Riding the Storm- Backgroud Information
A catastrophic 1982 rainstorm triggered 18,000 landslides in the San Francisco Bay Area. In this online video, learn what USGS scientists have discovered in the last two decades about landslide dynamics and which slopes are most susceptible to sliding.


Volcano Hazards Program- Backgroud Information
The best starting point for current information about volcano activity, volcano hazards, and learning materials. For historical information about individual volcanoes, visit the websites for our regional USGS Volcano Observatories:

Fire and Mud: Eruptions and Lahars of Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines- Backgroud Information
This history of the devastating 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo highlights the new science that was learned at the time and the challenges that lie ahead to prevent and/or mitigate another disaster.

Alaska Volcanoes Guidebook for Teachers- Backgroud Information


GeoMAC Wildland Fire Support- Backgroud Information
The Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group (GeoMAC) is an internet-based mapping application designed for fire managers (and the public) to access online maps of current fire locations and perimeters in the conterminous 48 States and Alaska.