Mission Areas

Natural Hazards

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

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.

Hurricane Sandy Science

Hurricane Sandy Science

Hurricane Sandy made a variety of impacts along the highly populated northeastern Atlantic seaboard in October 2012. Improved understanding of these impacts will better prepare us for the next large storm.

Explore the Science

Hazards Risk Reduction

Hazards Risk Reduction

Americans are more at risk from natural hazards today than at any other time in our nation's history. The Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR) Project builds natural hazards resilience through research and communication of hazards science.

Become SAFRR

Natural Hazards Programs

Through these programs, the USGS provides alerts and warnings of geologic hazards and supports the warning responsibilities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for geomagnetic storms, tsunamis, and volcanic ash.

Coastal and Marine Geology

Earthquake Hazards

Geomagnetism

Global Seismographic Network

Landslide Hazards

Volcano Hazards

Emergency Management

Learn About Hazards

News

Graphic of a seismometer reading
May 25, 2017

The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program recently released a new strategic plan for earthquake monitoring entitled the “Advanced National Seismic System – Current Status, Development Opportunities, Priorities, 2017-2027.”

Prescribed Burn at Tall Timbers Research Station
May 24, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are taking technology to the next level, using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to acquire both fire intensity and emissions data during prescribed burns.

Tuktu Bluffs of the Alaska North Slope
May 23, 2017

Budget Focuses on Core USGS Science and Efficiency

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
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Photograph of damaged homes on Fire Island following Hurricane Sandy.
December 5, 2016

As Hurricane Sandy moved northward along the U.S. Atlantic coast in October 2012, USGS scientists worked to determine where and how the storm’s waves and surge might dramatically reshape the beaches and dunes that stand between the storm and coastal developments....

Oblique aerial photograph of an estuarine wetland area.
December 5, 2016

A quantitative understanding of long- and short-term physical changes along wetland coastlines is required to support assessments of ecological and societal vulnerabilities to environmental change. The Barrier Island and Estuarine Wetland Physical Change Assessment project will integrate a wetland assessment with existing coastal-change hazard assessments for the adjacent dunes and beaches,...

Tsunami Messaging Image
September 2, 2016

SAFRR brings together tsunami and communication experts to discuss potential changes to safety messages, based on improved scientific understanding of Hawaii's tsunami hazard.

Tsunami Awareness Image
September 1, 2016

Students at Art Center College of Design learned about tsunamis from SAFRR partners in natural science, social science, and emergency management, then designed a fun, engaging, multi-faceted awareness campaign.

homes damaged by hurricane Sandy on Fire Island, New York
April 13, 2016

Scientists perform a range of studies that document, assess, and model coastal change, risk, and vulnerability. Studies include historical shoreline change, the geologic structure and history of coastal regions, sediment supply and transport, sea-level rise, and how extreme storm events affect rates and impacts of coastal change.

Devastation of the coastal city of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
April 13, 2016

We study the distribution and hazard potential of coastal and submarine events such as earthquakes and submarine landslides and associated tsunami potential, hurricane induced coastal inundation, extreme storms, sea-level rise and oil and gas spills. We also model development to help evaluate and forecast coastal hazard probability and occurrence.

Methane hydrate
April 13, 2016

Our scientists conduct research studies focused on geologic mapping, sampling and understanding of mineral and energy resources and studies of the geologic setting and processes to inform renewable energy development offshore.

crustose coralline algae
April 13, 2016

We bring together multidisciplinary expertise focused on developing tools and models to improve understanding of how healthy ecosystems function as well as how they respond to environmental changes and human impacts including ecosystem restoration. Research studies address coral reef, coastal wetland, benthic habitat and groundwater resources.

Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy
April 12, 2016

USGS scientists at the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center and other offices received funding for studies related to habitat change, storm surge and ecological modeling, migratory bird impacts, and other topics of interest. The Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application showcases the data and analytical products resulting from these studies.

Mount Rainier seen from Puyallup, Washington
March 17, 2016

The Volcano Hazards Program develops long-range volcano hazards assessments. These includes a summary of the specific hazards, their impact areas, and a map showing ground-hazard zones. The assessments are also critical for planning long-term land-use and effective emergency-response measures, especially when a volcano begins to show signs of unrest.

HayWired Scenario ShakeMap
March 15, 2016

The HayWired project is an earthquake scenario currently underway to model and study impacts on the San Francisco Bay area from a Mw 7.05 earthquake on the Hayward fault.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

View recent events or search for past earthquakes. Optimized for mobile and desktop.

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Hurricane Sandy Data Viewer - Olga
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.

Fish on seafloor, Offshore Northern California
April 18, 2016

Coastal and Marine Geology Video and Photography Portal

This portal contains U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) video and photography of the seafloor off of coastal California and Massachusetts, and aerial imagery of the coastline along segments of the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic coasts. These data were collected as part of several USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program Seafloor Mapping projects and Hurricane and Extreme Storm research.

Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy
April 12, 2016

Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Map

The Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application showcases data and analytical products from Aerial reconnaissance imagery; Environmental Contaminants; and Reproductive success of piper plovers.

Tephra and gas eruption from Mount St. Helens crater with dome
March 17, 2016

Volcano Monitoring Data

Many volcanoes in the U.S. are monitored by arrays of several instruments that detect subtle movements within the earth and changes in gas and water chemistry. The Volcano Hazards Program streams this data to its Volcano Observatories and makes it available on volcano-specific websites.

Lidar data of the Gulf Islands, Florida
March 17, 2016

Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System

Site provides access to Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) data via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards services; serving data to GeoMapApp and Virtual Ocean 2-D and 3-D earth browsing tools, for data integration, visualization and analysis; and metadata catalogs for data discovery.

Colored, shaded multibeam data, offshore of Monterey, CA.
March 15, 2016

California State Waters Map Series GIS Data and Metadata

GIS data files for map areas offshore of California are listed with a brief description, a small image, and links to the metadata files and the downloadable data files.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

Real-time Earthquake Information

Get real-time earthquake notifications sent to you using a number of popular mediums: Feeds, Email, Twitter, etc…

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

Flood Watch

Maps of flood and high flow conditions within the U.S.

Screenshot of Waterwatch website drought page
March 7, 2016

Drought Watch

Where in the Nation are droughts or very low flows occurring now? How can I see these sites on a map and get to the data?

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

Real-time Streamflow

Map and data of real-time streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day of the year in the U.S.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

ISIS – The Integrated System for Imagers and Spectrometers

ISIS has many standard image processing operations such as contrast stretch, image algebra, filters, and statistical analysis. Isis operates on both classical two-dimensional images as well as three-dimensional cubes collected from imaging spectrometers. It also has unique capabilities for processing data from NASA spacecraft missions.

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Fish on seafloor, Offshore Northern California
April 14, 2016

CSMP is a cooperative program to create a comprehensive coastal and marine geologic and habitat base map series for all of California's State waters. Data collected during this project reveal the seafloor offshore of the California coast in unprecedented detail and provide an ecosystem context for the effective management of this precious marine resource.

Map shows color-coded seafloor character offshore of Monterey, California
March 7, 2016

This portal is a “go to” source for maps related to ocean and coastal mapping. Information is organized by geography or region, by theme, and by the year data was published.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

Maps of flood and high flow conditions within the U.S.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

Map of USGS Magnetic observatory locations.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

We conduct post-fire debris-flow hazard assessments for select fires in the Western U.S. We use geospatial data related to basin morphometry, burn severity, soil properties, and rainfall characteristics to estimate the probability and volume of debris flows that may occur in response to a design storm.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

This map and the original delineate areas where large numbers of landslides have occurred and areas which are susceptible to landsliding in the conterminous United States.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

The purpose of the Inventory Project is to provide a framework and tools for displaying and analyzing landslide inventory data collected in a spatially aware digital format from individual states.

March 7, 2016

The Planetary Geologic Mapping Program serves the international science community through the production of high-quality and refereed geologic maps of planetary bodies. This program is in coordination between NASA science programs and the USGS Astrogeology Science Center.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

View recent events or search for past earthquakes. Optimized for mobile and desktop.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 7, 2016

View recent events or search for past earthquakes. Optimized for mobile and desktop.

The Natural Hazards Science Strategy is a 10-year plan to provide scientific observations, analyses, and research that are critical for the Nation to become more resilient to natural hazards.

Read Our Science Strategy
Filter Total Items: 65
Observations and a linear model of water level in an interconnected inlet-bay system
Year Published: 2017

Observations and a linear model of water level in an interconnected inlet-bay system

A system of barrier islands and back-barrier bays occurs along southern Long Island, New York, and in many coastal areas worldwide. Characterizing the bay physical response to water level fluctuations is needed to understand flooding during extreme events and evaluate their relation to geomorphological changes. Offshore sea level is one of the...

Aretxabaleta, Alfredo; Ganju, Neil Kamal; Butman, Bradford; Signell, Richard
Aretxabaleta, A. L., N. K. Ganju, B. Butman, and R. P. Signell (2017), Observations and a linear model of water level in an interconnected inlet-bay system, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122, doi:10.1002/2016JC012318.
Inner-shelf ocean dynamics and seafloor morphologic changes during Hurricane Sandy
Year Published: 2017

Inner-shelf ocean dynamics and seafloor morphologic changes during Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was one of the most destructive hurricanes in US history, making landfall on the New Jersey coast on Oct 30, 2012. Storm impacts included several barrier island breaches, massive coastal erosion, and flooding. While changes to the subaerial landscape are relatively easily observed, storm-induced changes to the adjacent shoreface...

Warner, John C.; Schwab, William C.; List, Jeffrey; Safak, Ilgar; Liste, Maria; Baldwin, Wayne E.
Warner, J.C., Schwab, W.C., List, J.H., Safak, I., Liste, M., and Baldwin, W, 2017, Inner-shelf ocean dynamics and seafloor morphologic changes during Hurricane Sandy: Continental Shelf Research, v. 138, 1-18 p doi:10.1016/j.csr.2017.02.003.
Development of a coupled wave-flow-vegetation interaction model
Year Published: 2017

Development of a coupled wave-flow-vegetation interaction model

Emergent and submerged vegetation can significantly affect coastal hydrodynamics. However, most deterministic numerical models do not take into account their influence on currents, waves, and turbulence. In this paper, we describe the implementation of a wave-flow-vegetation module into a Coupled-Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport (COAWST)...

Beudin, Alexis; Kalra, Tarandeep; Ganju, Neil Kamal; Warner, John C.
Alexis Beudin, Tarandeep S. Kalra, Neil K. Ganju, John C. Warner, Development of a coupled wave-flow-vegetation interaction model, Computers & Geosciences, Volume 100, March 2017, Pages 76-86, ISSN 0098-3004, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cageo.2016.12.010.
Barrier island breach evolution: Alongshore transport and bay-ocean pressure gradient interactions
Year Published: 2016

Barrier island breach evolution: Alongshore transport and bay-ocean pressure gradient interactions

Physical processes controlling repeated openings and closures of a barrier island breach between a bay and the open ocean are studied using aerial photographs and atmospheric and hydrodynamic observations. The breach site is located on Pea Island along the Outer Banks, separating Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean. Wind direction was a major...

Safak, Ilgar; Warner, John C.; List, Jeffrey
Safak, I., J. C. Warner, and J. H. List (2016), Barrier island breach evolution: Alongshore transport and bay-ocean pressure gradient interactions, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 121, doi:10.1002/2016JC012029.
Biogeomorphic classification and images of shorebird nesting sites on the U.S. Atlantic coast
Year Published: 2016

Biogeomorphic classification and images of shorebird nesting sites on the U.S. Atlantic coast

Atlantic coast piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nest sites are typically found on low-lying beach and dune systems, which respond rapidly to coastal processes like sediment overwash, inlet formation, and island migration that are sensitive to climate-related changes in storminess and the rate of sea-level rise. Data were obtained to understand...

Sturdivant, Emily; Thieler, E. Robert; Zeigler, Sara; Winslow, Luke; Hines, Megan K.; Read, Jordan S.; Walker, Jordan I.
Sturdivant, E.J., Thieler, E.R., Zeigler, S.L., Winslow, L.A., Hines, M.K., Read, J.S., Walker, J.I., 2016, Biogeomorphic classification and images of shorebird nesting sites on the U.S. Atlantic coast: U.S. Geological Survey data release, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F70V89X3.
Oceanographic and water-quality measurements collected south of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, 2014–2015
Year Published: 2016

Oceanographic and water-quality measurements collected south of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, 2014–2015

This web page provides access to oceanographic and water-quality observations made at seven sites near the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO) as part of National Science Foundation “Bottom Stress and the Generation of Vertical Vorticity Over the Inner Shelf” project. The objective was to measure bottom stress at several locations with...

Montgomery, Ellyn T.; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Martini, Marinna A.; Trowbridge, Jannelle; Scully, M.; Brosnahan, Sandra M.
Montgomery, E.T., Sherwood, C.R., Martini, M.A., Trowbridge, J., Scully, M, and Brosnahan, S.M., 2016, Oceanographic and water-quality measurements collected south of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, 2014–2015: U.S. Geological Survey data release, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7542KQR.
High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula, 2014, USGS Field Activity 2014-002-FA
Year Published: 2016

High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula, 2014, USGS Field Activity 2014-002-FA

The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. A U.S. Geological Survey cruise was conducted in the summer of 2014 to map the inner continental shelf of the Delmarva Peninsula using geophysical and sampling techniques to define the geologic framework...

Pendleton, Elizabeth; Ackerman, Seth D.; Baldwin, Wayne E.; Danforth, William W.; Foster, David S.; Thieler, E. Robert; Brothers, Laura L.
Pendleton, E.A., Ackerman, S.D., Baldwin, W.E., Danforth, W.W., Foster, D.S., Thieler, E.R., and Brothers, L.L. 2015, High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula, 2014, USGS Field Activity 2014-002-FA (ver. 2.0, March 2015): U.S. Geological Survey data release. http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7MW2F60
Low-altitude aerial imagery and related field observations associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016
Year Published: 2016

Low-altitude aerial imagery and related field observations associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016

Low-altitude (approximately 120 meters above ground level) digital images were obtained from cameras mounted in a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flown from the lawn adjacent to the Coast Guard Beach parking lot on 1 March, 2016. The UAV was a Skywalker X8 operated by Raptor Maps, Inc., contractors to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)...

Sherwood, Christopher R.
Sherwood, C., 2016, Low-altitude aerial imagery and related field observations associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016: U.S. Geological Survey data release, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7CN721H.
Geomorphological control on variably saturated hillslope hydrology and slope instability
Year Published: 2016

Geomorphological control on variably saturated hillslope hydrology and slope instability

In steep topography, the processes governing variably saturated subsurface hydrologic response and the interparticle stresses leading to shallow landslide initiation are physically linked. However, these processes are usually analyzed separately. Here, we take a combined approach, simultaneously analyzing the influence of topography on both...

Giuseppe, Formetta; Simoni, Silvia; Godt, Jonathan W.; Lu, Ning; Rigon, Riccardo
Formetta, G., Simoni, S., Godt, J.W., Lu, N., and Rigon, R., 2016, Geomophological control on variably saturated hillslope hydrology and slope instability: Water Resources Research, v. 52, no. 6, p. 4590-4607
Coastal bathymetry data collected in June 2014 from Fire Island, New York—The wilderness breach and shoreface
Year Published: 2016

Coastal bathymetry data collected in June 2014 from Fire Island, New York—The wilderness breach and shoreface

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, collected bathymetric data along the upper shoreface and within the wilderness breach at Fire Island, New York, in June 2014. The U.S. Geological Survey is involved in a post-Hurricane Sandy effort to map and monitor the...

Nelson, Timothy R.; Miselis, Jennifer L.; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Wilson, Kathleen E.; Henderson, Rachel E.; Brenner, Owen T.; Reynolds, Billy J.; Hansen, Mark E.
Nelson, T.R., Miselis, J.L., Hapke, C.J., Wilson, K.E., Henderson, R.E., Brenner, O.T., Reynolds, B.J., and Hansen, M.E., 2016, Coastal bathymetry data collected in June 2014 from Fire Island, New York—The wilderness breach and shoreface: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1007, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1007.
Seasonal sediment dynamics shape temperate bedrock reef communities
Year Published: 2016

Seasonal sediment dynamics shape temperate bedrock reef communities

Mobilized seafloor sediment can impact benthic reef communities through burial, scour, and turbidity. These processes are ubiquitous in coastal oceans and, through their influence on the survival, fitness, and interactions of species, can alter the structure and function of benthic communities. In northern Monterey Bay, California, USA, as much as...

Jared D. Figurski, Jan Freiwald, Steve I. Lonhart, and Curt D. Storlazzi
Figurski, J.D., Freiwald, J., Lonhart, S.I., and Storlazzi, C.D., 2016, Seasonal sediment dynamics shape temperate bedrock reef communities: Marine Ecology Progress Series, v. 552, pp. 19–29, doi: 10.3354/meps11763
Conversion to drip irrigated agriculture may offset historic anthropogenic and wildfire contributions to sediment production
Year Published: 2016

Conversion to drip irrigated agriculture may offset historic anthropogenic and wildfire contributions to sediment production

This study is an investigation into the roles of wildfire and changing agricultural practices in controlling the inter-decadal scale trends of suspended sediment production from semi-arid mountainous rivers. In the test case, a decreasing trend in suspended sediment concentrations was found in the lower Salinas River, California between 1967 and...

A.B. Gray, G.B. Pasternack, E.B. Watson, M.A. Goñi, J.A. Hatten, J.A. Warrick
Gray, A.B., Pasternack, G.B., Watson, E.B., Goñi, M.A., Hatten, J.A., and Warrick, J.A., 2016, Conversion to drip irrigated agriculture may offset historic anthropogenic and wildfire contributions to sediment production: Science of The Total Environment, v. 556, pp. 219–230, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.018.
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2017 (approx.)
Seismometers record vibrations from a wide assortment of ground motion events. Each event type has a distinctive ground-motion signal with unique frequency and amplitude—its own seismic signature. Seismologists are trained to identify the source of seismic events seen on a webicorder based on its ‘seismic signature’. Although most ground vibrations have a frequency too low for human hearing, we...
A cabin along Alaska's Arctic coast was recently washed into the ocean because the bluff it was sitting on eroded away.
May 2017 (approx.)
From the Sound Waves Newletter article, "Erosion Doubles Along Part of Alaska's Arctic Coast — Cultural and Historical Sites Lost" at http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2009/05/research2.html
April 19, 2017
See the actual drone footage at: https://www.usgs.gov/media/videos/prescribed-burn-tall-timbers-research-... Footage of drone during a prescribed fire at Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, Florida (April 19, 2017).
March 2017 (approx.)
The USGS Texas Water Science Center has developed a new mobile application called “Water On-the-Go” that gives people easy access to current conditions in streams across Texas. The information reflects what is happening in streams near you at that very moment. Go to -- https://txpub.usgs.gov/water-onthego -- to see where waters are rising and how current conditions are changing around you. #...
March 2017 (approx.)
The USGS Texas Water Science Center has developed a new mobile application called “Water On-the-Go” that gives people easy access to current conditions in streams across Texas. The information reflects what is happening in streams near you at that very moment. Go to -- https://txpub.usgs.gov/water-onthego -- to see where waters are rising and how current conditions are changing around you. #...
long stretch of beach, with row of houses teetering on the edge of the cliff above beach. Bare rocks exposed & no sand on beach
February 2017 (approx.)
Bedrock exposed at low tide along the beach at Isla Vista, California
Photo of shoreline with very little sandy beach. Heavy equipment is  piling up large boulders (rip rap) along the eroded shore
February 2017 (approx.)
Installing large boulders as rip rap to armor the shore against further erosion at Goleta Beach in Southern California. The tide is very low (negative).
row of palm trees along a low cliff behind a narrow beach with very little sand
February 2017 (approx.)
Beach loss and armoring at Goleta Beach, very low (negative) tide
house perched at the top of cliff edge above beach.
February 2017 (approx.)
Exposed bedrock on the beach during very low (negative) tide at Isla Vista, California
photo of bare rocks exposed below cliffs at low tide along a shoreline.
February 2017 (approx.)
Exposed bedrock on the beach, below the University of California, Santa Barbara.
February 23, 2017
How does a scanning electron microscope (SEM) work? What does USGS study with the SEM? Earthquakes Volcanoes Mineral and energy resources Soil and aquifer processes By Leslie Hayden, USGS Geologist, Diane Moore, USGS Geologist, Kathryn Watts, USGS Research Geologist, Marjorie Schulz, USGS Research Hydrologist, and Laura Stern, USGS Research Geophysicist
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Graphic of a seismometer reading
May 25, 2017

The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program recently released a new strategic plan for earthquake monitoring entitled the “Advanced National Seismic System – Current Status, Development Opportunities, Priorities, 2017-2027.”

Prescribed Burn at Tall Timbers Research Station
May 24, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are taking technology to the next level, using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to acquire both fire intensity and emissions data during prescribed burns.

Image shows an aerial view of the San Andreas Fault
May 19, 2017

This EarthWord isn’t a new dance-move; it’s been around since we’ve had tectonic plates...

Image: Coral reefs, Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands
May 18, 2017

The frequency and severity of coastal flooding throughout the world will increase rapidly and eventually double in frequency over the coming decades even with only moderate amounts of sea level rise, according to a new study released today in “Scientific Reports.”

Image Placeholder
May 18, 2017

Members of the news media are invited to attend the next Earthquake Country Alliance - Bay Area Regional Workshop to be held at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park on May 23. ECA workshops are educational and informational opportunities to learn more about the latest in earthquake science, preparedness, and mitigation, as well as to arrange interviews with subject matter experts.

Image shows several insets against the backdrop of Mount St. Helens erupting
May 18, 2017

Today, in 1980, Mount St. Helens unleashed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. Two years later, USGS founded the Cascades Volcano Observatory to monitor Mount St. Helens and all the Cascades Volcanoes.

Side-by-side comparison of the northwest wall of Kīlauea Caldera on a clear day (left) and a day with thick vog (right).
May 18, 2017

Just like smog and fog, this EarthWord is not what you want to see while driving...

Image shows billowing clouds of steam and smoke emanating from the ground
May 17, 2017

This EarthWord is straight up steampunk...

Image shows damage from a lahar, including a submerged bridge
May 16, 2017

Which sounds more dangerous, lava or mud? The answer may surprise you...

USGS map displaying potential to experience damage from a natural or human-induced earthquake in 2017
May 15, 2017

It’s not just something you run into on a golf course-it’s this week’s EarthWord!

2014 South Napa Earthquake in California
May 15, 2017

Early on the morning of August 24, 2014, Loren Turner was awoken by clattering window blinds, a moving bed, and the sound of water splashing out of his backyard pool. He experienced what is now named the “South Napa Earthquake.”