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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.Read Our Science Strategy
SAFRR brings together tsunami and communication experts to discuss potential changes to safety messages, based on improved scientific understanding of Hawaii's tsunami hazard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
View recent events or search for past earthquakes. Optimized for mobile and desktop.
View current advisories, events, and what is going on in the news.
There are 169 potentially active volcanoes in the U.S., and the USGS Volcano Hazards Program provides warnings of unrest and eruption for these volcanoes. We offer volcano monitoring data, provide maps and geologic information, conduct research how volcanoes work, and engage with community education and outreach.
High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula 2014, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2014-002-FA
High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula in 2014.
Download Real-Time Data
Download real-time and definitive data and indices from USGS geomagnetic observatories.
Real-Time Display of Geomagnetism Plots
Real-time HEZF data from USGS geomagnetic observatories with satellite data used to fill gaps.
Real-Time Disturbance Storm Time (Dst) Display
Real-time Dst data from USGS observatories as well as other world partners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula in 2015, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2015-001-FA
The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012. The U.S. Geological Survey conducted cruises during the summers of 2014 and 2015 to map the inner continental shelf of the Delmarva Peninsula using geophysical and sampling techniques to define the geologic framework
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.
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?
U.S. Geological Survey natural hazards science strategy: promoting the safety, security, and economic well-being of the Nation
The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in natural hazards is to develop and apply hazard science to help protect the safety, security, and economic well-being of the Nation. The costs and consequences of natural hazards can be enormous, and each year more people and infrastructure are at risk. USGS scientific research—founded on...Holmes, Robert R.; Jones, Lucile M.; Eidenshink, Jeffery C.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Kirby, Stephen H.; Love, Jeffrey J.; Neal, Christina A.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Plunkett, Michael L.; Weaver, Craig S.; Wein, Anne; Perry, Suzanne C.
Operational Group Sandy technical progress report
Hurricane Sandy made US landfall near Atlantic City, NJ on 29 October 2012, causing 72 direct deaths, displacing thousands of individuals from damaged or destroyed dwellings, and leaving over 8.5 million homes without power across the northeast and mid-Atlantic. To coordinate federal rebuilding activities in the affected region, the President...
Relative azimuth inversion by way of damped maximum correlation estimates
Horizontal seismic data are utilized in a large number of Earth studies. Such work depends on the published orientations of the sensitive axes of seismic sensors relative to true North. These orientations can be estimated using a number of different techniques: SensOrLoc (Sensitivity, Orientation and Location), comparison to synthetics (Ekstrom...Ringler, A.T.; Edwards, J.D.; Hutt, C.R.; Shelly, F.
Report on the 2010 Chilean earthquake and tsunami response
In July 2010, in an effort to reduce future catastrophic natural disaster losses for California, the American Red Cross coordinated and sent a delegation of 20 multidisciplinary experts on earthquake response and recovery to Chile. The primary goal was to understand how the Chilean society and relevant organizations responded to the magnitude 8.8...
Geoinformatics in the public service: building a cyberinfrastructure across the geological surveys
Advanced information technology infrastructure is increasingly being employed in the Earth sciences to provide researchers with efficient access to massive central databases and to integrate diversely formatted information from a variety of sources. These geoinformatics initiatives enable manipulation, modeling and visualization of data in a...Keller, G. Randy; Baru, Chaitanya; Allison, M. Lee; Gundersen, Linda C.; Richard, Stephen M.
Temporal variations in Global Seismic Stations ambient noise power levels
Recent concerns about time-dependent response changes in broadband seismometers have motivated the need for methods to monitor sensor health at Global Seismographic Network (GSN) stations. We present two new methods for monitoring temporal changes in data quality and instrument response transfer functions that are independent of Earth seismic...Ringler, A.T.; Gee, L.S.; Hutt, C.R.; McNamara, D.E.
OMG earthquake! can twitter improve earthquake response?
[No abstract available]Earle, P.; Guy, M.; Buckmaster, R.; Ostrum, C.; Horvath, S.; Vaughan, A.
Natural Hazards - A National Threat
The USGS Role in Reducing Disaster Losses -- In the United States each year, natural hazards cause hundreds of deaths and cost billions of dollars in disaster aid, disruption of commerce, and destruction of homes and critical infrastructure. Although the number of lives lost to natural hazards each year generally has declined, the economic cost...Geological Survey, U.S.
A deep reef in deep trouble
The well-documented degradation of shallower reefs which are often closer to land and more vulnerable to pollution, sewage and other human-related stressors has led to the suggestion that deeper, more remote offshore reefs could possibly serve as sources of coral and fish larvae to replenish the shallower reefs. Yet, the distribution, status, and...Menza, Charles; Kendall, M.; Rogers, C.; Miller, J.
Hurricanes 2004: An overview of their characteristics and coastal change
Four hurricanes battered the state of Florida during 2004, the most affecting any state since Texas endured four in 1884. Each of the storms changed the coast differently. Average shoreline change within the right front quadrant of hurricane force winds varied from 1 m of shoreline advance to 20 m of retreat, whereas average sand volume change...Sallenger, Asbury H.; Stockdon, Hilary; Fauver, Laura A.; Hansen, Mark; Thompson, David; Wright, C. Wayne; Lillycrop, Jeff
Experimental investigations regarding the use of sand as an inhibitor of air convection in deep seismic boreholes
Tilt has been the nemesis of horizontal long period seismology since its inception. Modern horizontal long period seismometers with their long natural periods are incredibly sensitive to tilt. They can sense tilts smaller than 10-11 radians. To most readers, this is just a very very small number, so we will begin with an example, which should help...Holcomb, L. Gary; Sandoval, Leo; Hutt, Bob
Taking the Earth's pulse
During the past 35 years, scientists have developed a vast network of seismometers that record earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and nuclear explosions throughout the world. Seismographic data support disaster response, scientific research, and global security. With this network, the United States maintains world leadership in monitoring the...Woodward, Robert L.; Benz, Harly M.; Brown, William M.
After a month, the wildfires of Southern California are nearly contained. Landsat 8 imagery shows the dramatic burn scars left behind.
At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.
Overview of the 4 Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf
Video camera atop a hotel in Madeira Beach, Florida.
USGS scientists, along with collaborators from the Marine Biological Laboratory, deployed a carbon flux tower on Great Marsh in 2017. Great Marsh is a 3800 acre salt marsh complex behind the Sandy Neck barrier beach in Barnstable, Cape Cod. This ecosystem is home to a variety of animals, including deer, fox, owls, and the rare Diamondback terrapin. The carbon flux tower monitors the exchange...
Michael Casso, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center physical scientist, seeks volunteers from Children’s School of Science students to have their breath measured for carbon dioxide and methane, greenhouse gases USGS scientists measure in the oceans
Estimated and measured ocean depths (bathymetry) from Madeira Beach, Florida. Each panel shows same geographic area. m = meters. Left: Snapshot transformed from original oblique camera view to overhead “map” view. Middle: Bathymetry estimated by applying cBathy algorithm to July 2017 video imagery. Right: Bathymetry measured with sonar in February 2017. Despite being based on data collected 5...
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Oceanographer, Neil Ganju, sharing science at the 2017 Woods Hole Science Stroll outreach event
Geological Sampling (videos, photos and sediment samples) in Long Island Sound on the newly stretched R/V Connecticut with scientist from USGS, UConn and Univ of New Haven
Develop a new bathymetry map of Lake Powell, UT-AZ, and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers. Bathymetric data, acoustic backscatter imagery, and limited CHIRP sub-bottom data were collected by the USGS Utah Water Science Center (UTWSC) and Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) within Lake Powell, October - November, 2017.
USGS scientists at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center spoke by phone with Scientific American writer Andrea Thompson on November 15.
For the first time, scientists have found gold particles in boiling fluids from a hydrothermal vent.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, USGS scientists treated visitors to displays about their research at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.
A team of federal scientists addressed comments from researchers who disagree with their conclusions that river channel evolution is driven primarily by physical factors rather than an overabundance of elk after wolf eradication.
The USGS has up-to-date details on the November 30, 2017 event.
"Gravity Never Sleeps": The USGS collaborates with community partners for a series of briefings on Capitol Hill to discuss national landslide hazards.
At the request of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), USGS geologist Curt Storlazzi chaired a session at a conference on issues affecting DoD installations.
The USGS updated its shoreline-change rates for Alaska’s north coast between the U.S.-Canadian Border and Icy Cape as part of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards.
In the underground rivers and flooded caves of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where Mayan lore described a fantastical underworld, scientists have found a cryptic world in its own right.
Coral reefs already stressed by ocean acidification are particularly vulnerable to polluted groundwater, according to a recent study by USGS geologist Nancy Prouty and colleagues.