USGS announces awards for 2018 earthquake monitoring and research
The U.S Geological Survey announces that the agency has awarded more than $20 million in 2018 for earthquake monitoring and applied research.Read Story
Better Performance and New Features on Earthquake Website
Better performance and new features: landslides and liquefaction estimates, population map layer, Spanish Did You Feel It?, and aftershock forecasts.Read More
Seismic Sensors Record a Hurricane’s Roar
Newly installed infrasound sensors at a Global Seismographic Network station on Puerto Rico recorded the sounds of Hurricane Maria passing overhead.Read Story
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.
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
In late August 2018, scientists and technical staff from the USGS Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources Program completed the acquisition of over 2000 km of multichannel seismic (MCS) data as part of the Mid-Atlantic Resource Imaging Experiment (MATRIX) conducted aboard the...
This page highlights images from the field, where we work, and USGS at work.
Gundersen and K.O. Emory Wings; A U.S. Geological Survey Sustainable Design and High Performance Building Project
Due to programmatic growth, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC), management identified the need to increase the size of one laboratory building on the campus by 44 percent, and determined that the best way to achieve the EPAct 2005 energy reduction mandates for new construction was to...
Explore the fascinating undersea world of coral reefs. Learn how we map, monitor, and model coral reefs so we can better understand, protect, and preserve our Nation's reefs.
The USGS Law of the Sea project helps identify the submerged extent of the U.S. land territory beyond 200 nautical miles. This land area, called the extended continental shelf (ECS), is an important maritime zone with resources and marine habitats. Its size may exceed one million square kilometers, encompassing areas in the Arctic, Atlantic, Bering Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific west coast....
Significant Earthquakes on a major fault system in Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Lesser Antilles, 1500–2010: Implications for Seismic Hazard
Earthquakes have been documented in the northeastern Caribbean since the arrival of Columbus to the Americas; written accounts of these felt earthquakes exist in various parts of the world. To better understand the earthquake cycle in the Caribbean, the records of earthquakes in earlier catalogs and historical documents from various archives, which are now available online, were critically...
Sediment Geochemistry Lab
The Sediment Geochemistry Laboratory is a research support service of the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center. This laboratory is equipped to analyze carbon, count gamma emissions, process sediment cores, and digest biogenic silica in marine sediments.
Ocean models provide critical information for coastal and marine spatial planning, emergency responders and for understanding implications of climate change and human activities. Models are run by numerous academic institutions and government agencies, typically with different access protocols that stifle use, comparison with data, and innovation.
Several components of this project are applications to evaluate the model against critical field measurements or to test new model components. Data from field measurements is described in our publications and available in our databases.
Ongoing acquisition of new instruments and development of analytical methods provides us with the means to make better observations of coastal ocean processes. The measurements provide us with insight and data for critical evaluation of model performance. Advances in a range of measurement capabilities, including bottom stress, sediment erodibility, water properties and nutrient concentrations...
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) led a project funded by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) with support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), to develop a community sediment-transport modeling system (CSTMS).
Numerical models are used by scientists, engineers, coastal managers, and the public to understand and predict processes in the coastal ocean. This project supports the development and application of open-source coastal models and has several objectives: 1) improve the code of numerical sediment-transport models by implementing new or improved algorithms; 2) obtain measurements of coastal...
Sidescan sonar, single beam bathymetry, and navigation collected offshore of Sandwich Beach in 2016, U.S. Geological Field Activity 2016-030-FA
The objectives of the survey were to provide bathymetric and sidescan sonar data for sediment transport studies and coastal change model development for ongoing studies of nearshore coastal dynamics along Sandwich Town Neck Beach, MA. Data collection equipment used for this investigation are mounted on an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) uniquely adapted from a commercially sold gas-powered...
Table and accompanying photographs for biogeomorphic classification of shorebird nesting sites on the U.S. Atlantic coast from March to September, 2016
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 piping plover habitat distribution and...
Grand Bay, a 30-square-kilometer embayment of the Gulf of Mexico bordered by 20 square kilometers of salt marsh, is experiencing rapid lateral shoreline erosion at up to 5 meters per year. Determining whether the eroded sediment is exported to the deep ocean or imported via tidal channels and deposited on the marsh platform is critical to understanding the long-term response of the marsh to...
To better identify the significant processes affecting our coastlines and how those processes create coastal change we have developed a Coupled Ocean – Atmosphere – Wave – Sediment Transport (COAWST) Modeling System, which is integrated by the Model Coupling Toolkit to exchange data fields between the ocean model ROMS, the atmosphere model WRF, the wave model SWAN, and the sediment...
Collections inventory for the U.S. Geological Survey Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Samples Repository
The collections inventory database for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) Samples Repository is published as a USGS data release (Buczkowski and others, 2018), and is available to search online through the Samples Repository’s inventory search interface. Sample collections in the Repository can be searched and selected through a map...
Effect of pore fluid chemistry on the sedimentation and compression behavior of pure, endmember fines
The data in this release support the correlation effort by providing: 1) sedimentation results that provide insight into micro-scale sediment fabric and void ratio dependence on sediment/fluid interactions, and 2) consolidation results that quantify the macro-scale compressibility and recompressibility parameters for a suite of fine-grained sediments and differing pore fluids.
Movie-maps of low-latitude horizontal-intensity magnetic disturbance are derived from magnetic vector time series data collected at multiple ground-based observatories. Using a technique similar to that used in the calculation of Dst, a quiet time baseline is subtracted from the time series from each observatory. The remaining disturbance time series are shown in a polar coordinate system that...
Seabed maps showing topography, ruggedness, backscatter intensity, sediment mobility, and the distribution of geologic substrates in Quadrangle 6 of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Region offshore of Boston, Massachusetts
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Sanctuary Program, has conducted seabed mapping and related research in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) region since 1993.
Using information from recent earthquakes, improved mapping of active faults, and a new model for estimating earthquake probabilities, the 2014 Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities updated the 30-year earthquake forecast for California. They concluded that there is a 72 percent probability (or likelihood) of at least one earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or greater striking somewhere in
This map shows the location of and evidence for recent movement on active fault traces within the Hayward Fault Zone, California.
The maps in this archive display estimated intensities and ground motions for the largest earthquakes in the HayWired aftershock sequence. The aftershock sequence follows the HayWired M7.0 mainshock that is imagined to occur on April 18, 2018 along the Hayward Fault.These maps have been used in analyses of the HayWired scenario.
The HayWired scenario depicts a hypothetical M7.0 earthquake on California’s Hayward Fault. This site includes an interactive map showing fault traces and ShakeMap contours, information on the tectonic setting of the Hayward Fault and fault rupture history; and a USGS ShakeMap, which provides ground motion information for the HayWired scenario mainshock.
The seismic-landslide probability map covers the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. The slope failures are triggered by a hypothetical earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.0 occurring on April 18, 2018, at 4:18 p.m. on the Hayward Fault in the east bay part of California’s San Francisco Bay region.
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.
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.
Using tectonic tremor to constrain seismic‐wave attenuation in Cascadia
Tectonic tremor can be used to constrain seismic‐wave attenuation for use in ground‐motion prediction equations (GMPEs) in regions where moderately sized earthquakes occur infrequently. Here we quantify seismic‐wave attenuation by inverting tremor ground motion amplitudes in different frequency bands of interest, to determine frequency dependence...Littel, Geena F.; Thomas, Amanda M.; Baltay, Annemarie S.
Developing hydro-meteorological thresholds for shallow landslide initiation and early warning
Consistent relations between shallow landslide initiation and associated rainfall characteristics remain difficult to identify, due largely to the complex hydrological and geological processes causing slopes to be predisposed to failure and those processes that subsequently trigger failures. Considering the importance of hillslope hydrology for...Mirus, Benjamin B.; Morphew, Michael D.; Smith, Joel B.
Holocene fault reactivation in the eastern Cascades, Washington
Significant uncertainty remains concerning how and where crustal shortening occurs throughout the eastern Cascade Range in Washington State. Using light detection and ranging (lidar) imagery, we identified an ∼5‐km‐long">∼5‐km‐long lineament in Swakane canyon near Wenatchee, roughly coincident with a...Carlson, Benjamin L.; Schermer, Elizabeth R.; Amos, Colin B.; Stephenson, William J.; Sherrod, Brian; Mahan, Shannon A.
Identifying physics‐based thresholds for rainfall‐induced landsliding
Most regional landslide warning systems utilize empirically derived rainfall thresholds that are difficult to improve without recalibration to additional landslide events. To address this limitation, we explored the use of synthetic rainfall to generate thousands of possible storm patterns and coupled them with a physics‐based hydrology and slope...Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Collins, Brian D.
Science for a risky world—A U.S. Geological Survey plan for risk research and applications
Executive SummaryNatural hazards—including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, hurricanes, droughts, floods, wildfires, geomagnetic storms, and pandemics—can wreak havoc on human communities, the economy, and natural resources for years following an initial event. Hazards can claim lives and cause billions of dollars in damage...Ludwig, Kristin A.; Ramsey, David W.; Wood, Nathan J.; Pennaz, Alice B.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Luco, Nicolas; Koenig, Todd A.; Hudnut, Kenneth W.; Davis, Donyelle K.; Bright, Patricia R.
Incorporating teleseismic tomography data into models of upper mantle slab geometry
Earthquake-based models of slab geometry are limited by the distribution of earthquakes within a subducting slab, which is often heterogeneous. The fast seismic velocity signature of slabs in tomography studies is independent of the distribution of earthquakes within the slab, providing a critical constraint on slab geometry when earthquakes are...Portner, Daniel E.; Hayes, Gavin
Additional period and site class maps for the 2014 National Seismic Hazard Model for the conterminous United States
The 2014 update of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM) for the conterminous United States (2014 NSHM; Petersen and others, 2014, 2015) included probabilistic ground motion maps for 2 percent and 10 percent probabilities of exceedance in 50 years, derived from seismic hazard curves for peak ground...Shumway, Allison; Petersen, Mark D.; Powers, Peter; Rezaeian, Sanaz
KG²B, a collaborative benchmarking exercise for estimating the permeability of the Grimsel granodiorite - Part 1: measurements, pressure dependence and pore-fluid effects
Measuring the permeability of tight rocks remains a challenging task. In addition to the traditional sources of errors that affect more permeable formations (e.g. sample selection, non-representative specimens, disturbance introduced during sample acquisition and preparation), tight rocks can be particularly prone to solid–fluid interactions and...David, Christian; Wasserman, J.; Amann, F.; Lockner, David A.; Rutter, E.H.; Vanorio, T; Amann Hildenbrand, A.; Billiotte, J.; Reuschle, T.; Lasseux, D.; Fortin, J.; Lenormand, R.; Selvadurai, A.P.S.; Meredith, P.G.; Browning, J.; Mitchell, T.M.; Loggia, D.; Nono, F.; Sarout, J.; Esteban, L.; Davy, C.; Louis, L.; Boitnott, G.; Madonna, C.; Jahns, E.; Fleury. M.; Berthe, G.; Delage, P.; Braun, P.; Grégoire, D.; Perrier, L.; Polito, P.; Jannot, Y.; Sommier, A.; Krooss, B.; Fink, R.; Hu, Q.; Klaver, J.; Clark, A.
Research to improve ShakeAlert earthquake early warning products and their utility
Earthquake early warning (EEW) is the rapid detection of an earthquake and issuance of an alert or notification to people and vulnerable systems likely to experience potentially damaging ground shaking. The level of ground shaking that is considered damaging is defined by the specific application; for example, manufacturing equipment may...Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Aagaard, Brad T.; Allen, Richard M.; Andrews, Jennifer; Baltay, Annemarie S.; Barbour, Andrew J.; Bodin, Paul; Brooks, Benjamin A.; Chung, Angela; Crowell, Brendan W.; Given, Douglas D.; Hanks, Thomas C.; Hartog, J. Renate; Hauksson, Egill; Heaton, Thomas H.; McBride, Sara; Meier, Men-Andrin; Melgar, Diego; Minson, Sarah E.; Murray, Jessica R.; Strauss, Jennifer A.; Toomey, Douglas
Back to full interseismic plate locking decades after the giant 1960 Chile earthquake
Great megathrust earthquakes arise from the sudden release of energy accumulated during centuries of interseismic plate convergence. The moment deficit (energy available for future earthquakes) is commonly inferred by integrating the rate of interseismic plate locking over the time since the previous great earthquake. But accurate integration...Melnick, Daniel; Li, Shaoyang; Moreno, Marcos; Cisternas, Macro; Jara-Muñoz, Julius; Wesson, Robert L.; Nelson, Alan R.; Báez, Juan Carlos; Deng, Zhiguo
The Hayward Fault—Is it due for a repeat of the powerful 1868 earthquake?
On October 21, 1868, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay area. Although the region was sparsely populated, the quake on the Hayward Fault was one of the most destructive in California’s history. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) studies show that similar Hayward Fault quakes have repeatedly jolted the region in the past and that...Brocher, Thomas M.; Boatwright, Jack; Lienkaemper, James J.; Prentice, Carol S.; Schwartz, David P.; Bundock, Howard
Bedrock mapping and seismic hazard assessment at Gold Basin landslide, Washington
The Gold Basin landslide is located along the South Fork Stillaguamish River, within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in western Washington State. Recent concerns related to slope stability after the 2014 State Route 530 Landslide near Oso, Washington, forced the closure of the U.S. Forest Service Gold Basin Campground in May of 2014. In...Staisch, Lydia M.
This package is used to calculate coastal geomorphology variables along shore-normal transects. The calculated variables are used as inputs for modeling geomorphology using a Bayesian Network (BN).
iPlover was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center and the USGS Center for Integrated Data Analytics. It is used by trained and vetted personnel to record information about habitats on coastal beaches and he environment surrounding them.
USGS Research Geologist Dr. Erika Lentz is conducting real-time kinematic GPS surveys on barrier island dunes, part of her research looking at how coastal landscapes respond to sea-level rise.
Screen shot of the Coastal Change Hazards Portal showing potential coastal change impacts during a direct landfall of Hurricane Florence based on NHC Advisory 48, 500 AM AST TUE SEP 11 2018.
The USGS Coastal Change Hazards Storm Team has forecast coast-wide levels of beach erosion, inundation and overwash due to Hurricane Florence's expected path and landgfall.
The Coastal Change Hazards Storm Team has forecast changing water levels at specific locations over time.
Cover of the 2018 publication, "California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment: Statewide Summary Report."
Two views from the Rainbow Falls overlook, downstream of the Wailuku River streamgage near Hilo, Hawaii. The image on the left shows a typical base flow of about 35 cubic feet per second (cfs). The image on the right shows the early impact of Hurricane Lane with a flow of about 26,000 cfs taken at 8:35 a.m. HST, August 23, 2018. This U.S. Geological Survey streamgage has...
Jenny White McKee and Pete Dal Ferro of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center retrieve two airguns during the 2018 MATRIX cruise aboard the R/V Hugh R. Sharp. The seismic streamer is visible on the winch in the foreground.
Landsat 8 captured satellite views of California’s largest wildfire on record in the summer of 2018. The Mendocino Complex Fire in northern California is a combination of two fires: the Ranch Fire and the River Fire.
Both fires started July 27, and hot, dry, windy conditions caused them to spread rapidly. Landsat 8 imaged the area the day before the fires broke out...
Data acquired by the U.S. Geological Survey on the U.S. Atlantic Margin in August 2018 reveal new information about the distribution of gas hydrates in the sector stretching from the upper continental slope to deep water areas offshore New Jersey to North Carolina.
Science for a Risky World: A USGS Plan for Risk Research and Applications – USGS publishes strategic plan for examining risk
USGS explores opportunities to advance its capabilities in risk assessment, mitigation, and communication in new strategic plan.
Learn About USGS Hazards Science and More About National Preparedness Month: The very nature of natural hazards means that they have the potential to impact a majority of Americans every year. USGS science provides part of the foundation for emergency preparedness whenever and wherever disaster strikes.
"In Yosemite Valley, rockfalls can happen every four to five days, where boulders that can be larger than your average car or apartment building thunder down steep mountainsides." - Seeker
As Hurricane Lane approached Hawaiʻi, personnel in the Honolulu Emergency Operations Center on Oahu contacted Curt Storlazzi of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center to ask for information on potential coastal flooding that could help them direct emergency-management services to areas of higher risk.
Field work completed for powerful Hurricane Florence, while experts watch Isaac and Olivia
Editor's note: This story was originally published on Tuesday, Sept. 11 and was updated at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Florence, visit the USGS Hurricane Florence page at https://www.usgs.gov/florence.
Initial effect will probably be erosion on 75 percent of North Carolina beaches, experts say.
To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Florence, visit the USGS Hurricane Florence page at https://www.usgs.gov/florence.
From July 31 to August 23, a joint USGS-NOAA cruise mapped seafloor depths, texture, and gas seeps in the Cascadia subduction zone offshore of Washington, Oregon, and northern California.
USGS and NASA researchers meet to discuss Synthetic Aperture Radar for assessing USGS coastal-flooding projections
USGS and NASA researchers met July 16 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to discuss Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery of the Southern California coast collected during higher-than-normal tides (“king tides”) in fall 2016.
Moving Mountains: Elwha River Still Changing Five Years After World’s Largest Dam-Removal Project: More than 20 million tons of sediment flushed to the sea
Starting in 2011, the National Park Service removed two obsolete dams from the Elwha River in Olympic National Park, Washington. It was the world’s largest dam-removal project. Over the next five years, water carrying newly freed rocks, sand, silt and old tree trunks reshaped more than 13 miles of river and built a larger delta into the Pacific Ocean.