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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
Estuarine processes, hazards, and ecosystems describes several interdisciplinary projects that aim to quantify and understand estuarine processes through observations and numerical modeling. Both the spatial and temporal scales of these mechanisms are important, and therefore require modern instrumentation and state-of-the-art hydrodynamic models. These projects are led from the U.S....
Synchronized field work focused on geochemistry, geology, and metabolic processes overlaid on a habitat map of an entire reef to produce a synoptic overview of reef processes that contribute to carbonate precipitation and dissolution.
Recent scientific study reveals that certain large earthquakes in the Aleutian Islands can produce much greater tsunami inundation than Hawaii typically experiences. This higher level of tsunami inundation necessitates changes to current tsunami safety instructions - but only for this Aleutian event.
Hurricane Matthew coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Hurricane Harvey coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Hurricane Irma coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Hurricane Sandy Response- Linking the Delmarva Peninsula's Geologic Framework to Coastal Vulnerability
The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. In order to better constrain controls on coastal vulnerability and evolution, the region’s sediment sources, transport pathways and sinks must be identified. This project defines the geologic framework of the Delmarva coastal system through geophysical...
The nation's coastlines are vulnerable to the interrelated hazards posed by earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis.
Policy-makers, individuals from government agencies, and natural resource managers are under increasing pressure to manage changing coastal areas to meet social, economic, and natural resource demands, particularly under a regime of sea-level rise. Scientific knowledge of coastal processes and habitat-use can support decision-makers as they balance these often-conflicting human and ecological...
Hurricane Nate coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
The USGS National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards group releases coastal change forecasts and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change for landfalling storms.
This data release contains the compilation of multiple elevation products into a continuous digital elevation model at a resolution of 3-arcseconds (approximately 90 meters) from the terrestrial landscape to the seafloor for the contiguous U.S. and portions of Mexico and Canada, focused on the coastal interface.
Surveys of the bathymetry and backscatter intensity of the sea floor south of Long Island, New York, were carried out in November 1998 using a Simrad EM1000 multibeam echosounder mounted on the Canadian Coast Guard ship Frederick G. Creed.
The area was mapped by the U.S. Geological Survey with support from the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the University of New Brunswick.
Bathymetry and backscatter intensity of the sea floor of the Historic Area Remediation Site in 1996, 1998, and 2000
Surveys of the bathymetry and backscatter intensity of the sea floor of the Historic Area Remediation Site (HARS), offshore of New York and New Jersey, were carried out in 1996, 1998, and 2000 using a Simrad EM1000 multibeam echosounder mounted on the Canadian Coast Guard ship Frederick G. Creed
Bathymetry, backscatter intensity, and geomorphology of the sea floor of the Hudson Canyon and adjacent slope and rise
The Hudson Canyon begins on the outer continental shelf off the eastern coast of the United States at about 100-meters (m) water depth and extends offshore southeastward across the continental slope and rise. A multibeam survey was carried out in 2002 to map the bathymetry and backscatter intensity of the sea floor of the Hudson Canyon and adjacent slope and rise.
Bathymetry and backscatter intensity of the sea floor of the Atlantic Beach artificial reef, offshore of New York
The Atlantic Beach artificial reef, located on the sea floor 3 nautical miles south of Atlantic Beach, New York in about 20 meters water depth, was built to create habitat for marine life. The data from this survey are bathymetry, backscatter intensity, and navigation trackline.
Bathymetry and backscatter intensity of the sea floor of the Sandy Hook artificial reef, offshore of New Jersey
The Sandy Hook artificial reef, located on the sea floor offshore of Sandy Hook, New Jersey was built to create habitat for marine lie. The collected data from this cruise are bathymetry, backscatter intensity, and navigation trackline.
Sediment Texture and Geomorphology of the Sea Floor from Fenwick Island, Maryland to Fisherman's Island, Virginia
These data are a qualitatively derived interpretive polygon shapefile defining surficial sediment type and distribution, and geomorphology, for nearly 1,400 square kilometers of sea floor on the inner-continental shelf from Fenwick Island, Maryland to Fisherman’s Island, Virginia, USA.
Groundwater data were collected in the spring and fall of 2008 from three sites representing different geological settings and biogeochemical conditions within the surficial glacial aquifer of Long Island, NY.
National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS compilation of Updated Vector Shorelines and Associated Shoreline Change Data for the Southeast Atlantic Coast
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting a national assessment of coastal change hazards. One component of this research effort, the National Assessment of Shoreline Change Project documents changes in shoreline position as a proxy for coastal change.
National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS compilation of Updated Vector Shorelines and Associated Shoreline Change Data for the Gulf of Mexico Coast
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting a national assessment of coastal change hazards. One component of this research effort, the National Assessment of Shoreline Change Project, documents changes in shoreline position as a proxy for coastal change. Shoreline position is an easily understood feature representing the historical location of a beach position through time.
Topographic, imagery, and raw data associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Black Beach, Falmouth, Massachusetts on 18 March 2016
The U.S. Geological Survey worked in collaboration with members of the Marine Biological Laboratory and Woods Hole Analytics at Black Beach, in Falmouth, Massachusetts to explore scientific research demands on UAS technology for topographic and habitat mapping applications.
Data and calculations to support the study of the sea-air flux of methane and carbon dioxide on the West Spitsbergen margin in June 2014
This dataset collected on the West Spitsbergen margin during U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program Field Activity 2014-013-FA, which was carried out in conjunction with the University of Tromso and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel on the R/V Helmer Hanssen.
Kelp, cobbles, and currents: Biologic reduction of coarse grain entrainment stress
Models quantifying the onset of sediment motion do not typically account for the effect of biotic processes because they are difficult to isolate and quantify in relation to physical processes. Here we investigate an example of the interaction of kelp (Order Laminariales) and coarse sediment transport in the coastal zone, where it is possible to...Masteller, Claire C; Finnegan, Noah J; Warrick, Jonathan; Miller, Ian M.
Rapid water quality change in the Elwha River estuary complex during dam removal
Dam removal in the United States is increasing as a result of structural concerns, sedimentation of reservoirs, and declining riverine ecosystem conditions. The removal of the 32 m Elwha and 64 m Glines Canyon dams from the Elwha River in Washington, U.S.A., was the largest dam removal project in North American history. During the 3 yr of dam...Foley, Melissa M.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Beirne, Matthew M.; Paradis, Rebecca; Ritchie, Andrew; Warrick, Jonathan A.
Global volcanic hazards and riskLoughlin, S. C.; Vye-Brown, C.; Sparks, R.S.J.; Brown, S. K.; Barclay, J.; Calder, E.; Cottrell, E.; Jolly, G.; Komorowski, J.C.; Mandeville, C.; Newhall, C.; Palma, J.; Potter, S.; Valentine, G.; Baptie, B.; Biggs, J.; Crosweller, H. S.; Ilyinskaya, E.; Kilburn, C.; Mee, K.; Pritchard, M.; Jenkins, S. F.; Wilson, T. M.; Magill, C.; Miller, V.; Stewart, C.; Blong, R.; Marzocchi, W.; Boulton, M.; Bonadonna, C.; Costa, A.; Auker, Melanie Rose; Deligne, N. I.; Lindsay, J.M.; Smid, E.; Selva, J.; Sandri, L.; Tonini, R.; Macedonio, G.; Solidum, R.; Hincks, T.; Aspinall, W.; Pallister, J.; Surono; Andreastuti, Supriyati; Subandriyo, J.; Sumarti, Sri; Sayudi, D.; Karume, K.; Horwell, C.; Baxter, P.; Kamanyire, R.; Webley, P.W.; Leonard, G.; Poland, M.; Gottsmann, J.; Ortiz Guerrero, N.; Delgado Granados, H.; Lombana Criollo, C.; Wagner, K.; Ogburn, S.E; Wadge, G.; Stone, J.; Marti, J.; Ramon, P.; Mothes, P.; Mandeville, Charles W.; Brown, S. K.; Loughlin, S. C.; Sparks, R.S.J.; Vye-Brown, C.; Barclay, J.; Calder, E.; Cottrell, E.; Jolly, G.; Komorowski, J.C.; Mandeville, C.; Newhall, C.; Palma, J.; Potter, S.; Valentine, G.
High-rate injection is associated with the increase in U.S. mid-continent seismicity
An unprecedented increase in earthquakes in the U.S. mid-continent began in 2009. Many of these earthquakes have been documented as induced by wastewater injection. We examine the relationship between wastewater injection and U.S. mid-continent seismicity using a newly assembled injection well database for the central and eastern United States. We...Weingarten, Matthew; Ge, Shemin; Godt, Jonathan W.; Bekins, Barbara A.; Rubinstein, Justin L.
Strategic science: new frameworks to bring scientific expertise to environmental disaster response
Science is critical to society’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from environmental crises. Natural and technological disasters such as disease outbreaks, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, oil spills, and tsunamis require coordinated scientiﬁc expertise across a range of disciplines to shape effective policies and protocols....Stoepler, Teresa Michelle; Ludwig, Kristin A.
An analysis of three new infrasound arrays around Kīlauea Volcano
A network of three new infrasound station arrays was installed around Kīlauea Volcano between July 2012 and September 2012, and a preliminary analysis of open-vent monitoring has been completed by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Infrasound is an emerging monitoring method in volcanology that detects perturbations in atmospheric pressure at...Thelen, Weston A.; Cooper, Jennifer
Resilience by Design: Bringing Science to Policy Makers
No one questions that Los Angeles has an earthquake problem. The “Big Bend” of the San Andreas fault in southern California complicates the plate boundary between the North American and Pacific plates, creating a convergent component to the primarily transform boundary. The Southern California Earthquake Center Community Fault Model...Jones, Lucile M.
Closing the loop of the soil water retention curve
The authors, to their knowledge for the first time, produced two complete principal soil water retention curves (SWRCs) under both positive and negative matric suction regimes. An innovative testing technique combining the transient water release and imbibition method (TRIM) and constant flow method (CFM) was used to identify the principal paths...Lu, Ning; Alsherif, N; Wayllace, Alexandra; Godt, Jonathan W.
Science during crisis: the application of social science during major environmental crises
Historical and contemporary experience suggests that science plays an increasingly critical role in governmental and institutional responses to major environmental crises. Recent examples include major western wildfires (2009), the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010), the Fukushima nuclear accident (2011), and Hurricane Sandy (2012). The...Manfredo, Michael J.; Vaske, Jerry J.; Rechkemmer, Andreas; Duke, Esther; Machlis, Gary; Ludwig, Kris
Coseismic landslides reveal near-surface rock strength in a high-relief tectonically active setting
We present quantitative estimates of near-surface rock strength relevant to landscape evolution and landslide hazard assessment for 15 geologic map units of the Longmen Shan, China. Strength estimates are derived from a novel method that inverts earthquake peak ground acceleration models and coseismic landslide inventories to obtain material...Gallen, Sean F.; Clark, Marin K.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Using science to strengthen our Nation's resilience to tomorrow's challenges: understanding and preparing for coastal impacts
Hurricane Sandy caused unprecedented damage across some of the most densely populated coastal areas of the northeastern United States. The costly, landscape-altering destruction left in the wake of this storm is a stark reminder of our Nation’s need to become more resilient as we inevitably face future coastal hazards. As our Nation recovers from...Simmons, Dale L.; Andersen, Matthew E.; Dean, Teresa A.; Focazio, Michael J.; Fulton, John W.; Haines, John W.; Mason, Jr., Robert R.; Tihansky, Ann B.; Young, John A.
Modification of the Quaternary stratigraphic framework of the inner-continental shelf by Holocene marine transgression: An example offshore of Fire Island, New York
The inner-continental shelf off Fire Island, New York was mapped in 2011 using interferometric sonar and high-resolution chirp seismic-reflection systems. The area mapped is approximately 50 km long by 8 km wide, extending from Moriches Inlet to Fire Island Inlet in water depths ranging from 8 to 32 m. The morphology of this inner-...Schwab, William C.; Baldwin, Wayne E.; Denny, Jane F.; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Gayes, Paul T.; List, Jeffrey; Warner, John C.
Helicopter overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift zone on May 19, 2018, around 8:18 AM, HST. ‘A‘ā lava flows emerging from the elongated fissure 16-20 form channels. The flow direction in this picture is from upper center to the lower left.
Mount St. Helens erupted 38 years ago, May 18, 1980
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 18, 2018.
USGS scientists lead investigation of tropical subterranean estuaries in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico!
USGS scientists lead investigation of tropical subterranean estuaries in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico!
New seismic hazard and risk assessments can help at-risk communities prepare for future earthquake disasters
Studying the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault
Measurements of the three-dimensional structure of the earth, as opposed to the one-dimensional models typically used, can help scientists more accurately determine which areas of the United States are most vulnerable to blackouts during hazardous geomagnetic storms.
The Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, California, recently welcomed Andrew Pomeroy, a Fulbright scholar from Australia who will spend approximately 6 months here conducting research on sediment movement in coral reef systems.
After lying hidden in sediments for thousands of years, delicate frozen gas structures are in the spotlight for both scientific research and the national interest. These structures, known as gas hydrate, are being investigated by scientists the world over for their possible contributions to the global energy mix, as well as their potential interaction with the environment.
For several years, KIGAM, the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, has hosted an international program for geoscience resources (IS-Geo). The IS-Geo program draws together federal and private-sector professionals from the international community to discuss a range of specific geoscience and mineral topics.
Newspaper story on earthquake hazards in Santa Rosa, California, features information from USGS scientists
USGS scientists Janet Watt and Suzanne Hecker provided information to the article’s author.
Living and working on the Pacific islands hosting a key missile tracking site soon could be almost impossible due to the impacts of climate change.