Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
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
The USGS provides practical, unbiased information about the Nation's rivers and streams that is crucial in mitigating hazards associated with floods. This site provides information about the USGS activities, data, and services provided during regional high-flow events, such as hurricanes or multi-state flooding events.
Our scientists work with NASA and other space agencies to lead investigations, select rover landing sites, create geologic maps and cartographic products for numerous spacecraft missions throughout our solar system. Our Astrogeology Science Center continues to provide support for numerous past, present and future space missions.
Monitors and studies the active geologic processes and hazards of the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field and its caldera. Yellowstone National Park contains the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world. YVO also monitors volcanic activity in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.
The USGS Astrogeology Science Center is a hub for planetary research. The center provides guest facilities, labs, and numerous cartographic resources for both the scientific community and the general public. Geologists, archivists, data specialists, and cartographers are employed at the center to assist the planetary science community.
Our satellite remote sensing research and applications are essential for providing required data for mapping fire fuels, assessing fire effects, monitoring fire danger, and measuring progress in implementing the National Fire Plan. Land management agencies, scientific communities, and citizenry affected by wildland fires can benefit from our work.
The Astrogeology Science Center's mission includes producing planetary maps and cartographic products which reveal topography, geology, topology, image mosaics and more, all made available to the international scientific community and the general public as a national resource.
ShakeOut, an scenario model was developed to understand the impacts and implications of a hypothetical but realistic 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault. Pairing robust science with state-of-the-art modeling and visualization tools, ShakeOut is an accessible and effective message to enhance community preparedness and resilience to earthquakes.
MTBS is a multi-year project designed to map the burn severity and perimeters of fire across all lands of the United States for the period spanning 1984 through 2010. The data generated by MTBS will be used to identify national trends in burn severity and evaluate the effectiveness of the National Fire Plan and Healthy Forest Restoration Act.
An existing technological capability (not yet implemented in CA) for providing a few seconds of advance notification before arrival of earthquake-generated seismic waves causing ground shaking, with current efforts underway to move forward with providing users with the means to utilize the system for warning and preparedness action plans.
Post-fire landslides are particularly hazardous because they can occur with little warning, can exert great force on objects in their paths, can strip vegetation, block drainage ways, damage structures, and endanger human life. Our focus is to develop tools and methods for the prediction of post-wildfire landslide activity and hazard delineation.
What persuades someone to heed a debris flow or wildfire evacuation warning? SAFRR partners in emergency management are especially interested in the results of this study, now underway with Columbia's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions.
Ecosystems throughout the western U.S. are often dependent on a particular fire regime to reduce hazardous fuels and rejuvenate forests or even guide evolution of plant life and regulate ecological communities. Today fire’s role is more complicated. For example, fire can favor invasive plants and these invaders may, in turn, alter the fire regime.
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.
PILOT – The Planetary Image LOcator Tool
PILOT is a web based search tool for the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC) database of the Planetary Data System. PILOT features SPICE-corrected image locations and searching capabilities using a navigable map, user selectable image constraints, and facilitates bulk downloads and/or image processing using POW.
POW – The Map Projection on the Web
The Map Projection on the Web service was created to help researchers convert raw Planetary Data System images to a science-ready map projected images. The system integrates the Planetary Image LOcator Tool (PILOT) and the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC), ISIS3, GDAL, and the Astrogeology processing cluster for its’ processing needs.
Astro Web Maps – Our Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS)
Astro Web Maps – Our Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS) are based on Open Geospatial Consortium standards and allow capable mapping clients to view full-resolution planetary mosaicked Basemaps. Services are available for community use and are critical for our Planetary Nomenclature, Planetary Geologic Mapping and PILOT sites
Allows existing map-projected (derived) image products to be re-projected, stretched, clipped, and converted into a variety of useful formats. Version 2 allows us to quickly add new mosaics and potentially many other derived science products for conversion and download.
GDAL – The Geospatial Data Abstraction Library
GDAL is a translator library for raster geospatial data formats that is released under an X/MIT style Open Source license by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. As a library, it presents a single abstract data model for all supported formats. It also comes with a variety of useful commandline utilities for data translation and processing.
Real-time Earthquake Information
Get real-time earthquake notifications sent to you using a number of popular mediums: Feeds, Email, Twitter, etc…
Maps of flood and high flow conditions within the U.S.
Technology and Tools
Links to a variety of Coastal and Marine Geology mapping technologies, data modeling and visualization tools.
Latest Earthquakes Map and List
View recent events or search for past earthquakes. Optimized for mobile and desktop.
Research Data and Products
USGS earthquake data including real-time and historic earthquake catalogs, GIS data, hazards, and more.
Observations and modeling of seismic background noise
The preparation of this report had two purposes. One was to present a catalog of seismic background noise spectra obtained from a worldwide network of seismograph stations. The other purpose was to refine and document models of seismic background noise that have been in use for several years. The second objective was, in fact, the principal reason...Peterson, Jon R.
An Evaluation of Installation Methods for STS-1 Seismometers
INTRODUCTION This report documents the results of a series of experiments conducted by the authors at the Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory (ASl) during the spring and summer of 1991; the object of these experiments was to obtain and document quantitative performance comparisons of three methods of installing STS-1 seismometers....Holcomb, L. Gary; Hutt, Charles R.
A C Language Implementation of the SRO (Murdock) Detector/Analyzer
A signal detector and analyzer algorithm was described by Murdock and Hutt in 1983. The algorithm emulates the performance of a human interpreter of seismograms. It estimates the signal onset, the direction of onset (positive or negative), the quality of these determinations, the period and amplitude of the signal, and the background noise at the...Murdock, James N.; Halbert, Scott E.
A numerical study of some potential sources of error in side-by-side seismometer evaluations
This report presents the results of a series of computer simulations of potential errors in test data, which might be obtained when conducting side-by-side comparisons of seismometers. These results can be used as guides in estimating potential sources and magnitudes of errors one might expect when analyzing real test data. First, the derivation...Holcomb, L. Gary
A direct method for calculating instrument noise levels in side-by-side seismometer evaluations
The subject of determining the inherent system noise levels present in modem broadband closed loop seismic sensors has been an evolving topic ever since closed loop systems became available. Closed loop systems are unique in that the system noise can not be determined via a blocked mass test as in older conventional open loop seismic sensors....Holcomb, L. Gary
IRIS/USGS Plans for Upgrading the Global Seismograph Network
PREFACE This report has been prepared to provide information to organizations that may be asked to participate in a program to upgrade the global seismographic network. In most cases, the organizations that will be offered new instrumentation by the U.S. Geological Survey currently operate stations in the World-Wide Standardized Seismograph...Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.
Description and Preliminary Testing of the CDSN Seismic Sensor Systems
INTRODUCTION The China Digital Seismograph Network (CDSN) is being designed and installed to provide the People's Republic of China with the facilities needed to create a national digital database for earthquake research. The CDSN, which is being developed jointly by the PRC State Seismological Bureau and the U.S. Geological Survey,...Peterson, Jon; Tilgner, Edwin E.
A new event detector designed for the Seismic Research Observatories
A new short-period event detector has been implemented on the Seismic Research Observatories. For each signal detected, a printed output gives estimates of the time of onset of the signal, direction of the first break, quality of onset, period and maximum amplitude of the signal, and an estimate of the variability of the background noise. On the...Murdock, James N.; Hutt, Charles R.
A Note on Transients in the SRO and ASRO Long-Period Data
Data users have occasionally observed pulse-like transients in the long-period waveforms recorded at the Seismic Research Observatories (SRO) and at the Modified High-Gain Long-Period (ASRO) stations. In a recent paper, Dziewonski et al (1981) reported transients associated with earthquake signals record at some SRO stations, and the authors...Peterson, Jon
Design concepts for a Global Telemetered Seismograph Network
This study represents a first step in developing an integrated, real-time global seismic data acquisition system a Global Telemetered Seismograph Network (GTSN). The principal objective of the GTSN will be to acquire reliable, high-quality, real-time seismic data for rapid location and analysis of seismic events. A secondary, but important,...Peterson, Jon; Orsini, Nicholas A.
Preliminary Study of Methods for Upgrading USGS Antarctic Seismological Capability
Purpose The purpose of this study is to evaluate potential methods for obtaining higher quality seismic data from Antarctica. Currently, USGS-sponsored WWSSN stations are located at Scott Base, Sanae Base, and at South Pole Station. Scott and Sanae Stations are located near the coast; data obtained from coastal installations are normally...Holcomb, L. Gary
Test and calibration of the Digital World-Wide Standardized Seismograph
During the past decade there has been steady progress in the modernization of the global seismograph network operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The World-Wide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN) has been augmented by new stations with advanced instrumentation, including the Seismic Research Observatories (SRO) and the modified...Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.
Location Map of Atlantic Beach artificial reef, offshore of New York
In March 2008, a new volcanic vent opened within Halema‘uma‘u, a crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawaiʻi. This new vent is one of two ongoing eruptions on the volcano. The other is on Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone, where vents have been erupting nearly nonstop since 1983. The duration of these simultaneous summit and rift zone eruptions on...
Predicted probabilities of dune erosion (inner strip), overwash (middle strip), and inundation (outer strip) for Hurricane Nate. Pictures are representative of coastal change observed during past storm events.
Basemap image of the survey locations south of Long Island Sound
Ice-like gas hydrates under capping rock encrusted with mussels on the sea floor of the northern Gulf of Mexico.
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,...
The 3DR Solo with GoPro Hero4 camera and gimbal. Coming to a survey area near you soon. Photo credit: Shawn Harrison, USGS. This photo was taken during USGS unmanned aerial systems (drone) pilot training. Two training sessions were held - one in February-March 2017 in Santa Cruz, California and the second in April 2017 in Gainesville, Florida. This photo originally was...
The USGS Utah Water Science Center and the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center conducted a collaborative geophysical research effort within Lake Powell, UT-AZ to map the bathymetry of the lake and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers.
Documentary features USGS researchers
USGS geologists Jon Warrick (Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center) and Kevin Schmidt (Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center) are quoted in a November 9 Los Angeles Times story titled “Highway 1 was buried under a massive landslide. Months later, engineers battle Mother Nature to fix it.”
The USGS has up-to-date details on the November 12, 2017 event.
Coastal communities count on beaches for recreation and for protection from large waves, but beaches are vulnerable to threats such as erosion by storms and flooding. Whether beaches grow, shrink, or even disappear depends in part on what happens just offshore. How do features like shifting sandbars affect waves, currents, and the movement of sand from the beach to offshore and back?
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.
Coral reef expert Caroline Rogers was the only USGS employee in the Virgin Islands when the Category 5 storm hit.
In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.
An international team of scientists just finished probing the depths of the Pacific Ocean offshore of Alaska and British Columbia, to better understand the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault. During the past century, the 700-mile-long fault has generated at least half a dozen major earthquakes, and future shocks threaten coastal communities in both the United States and Canada.
Do you know what to do the moment the ground starts shaking? Drop, Cover, and Hold On!
No, this EarthWord isn’t how natural gas quenches its thirst-it just sounds like it...
A study finds that although the “wilderness breach” created by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 has reached a relatively stable size and location, the channel and shoals will keep changing in response to weather. Related research shows the breach isn’t likely to increase storm-tide flooding in Great South Bay.