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Two same-size items: Pack of playing cards (top) and circuit board with fan and electronic components (bottom).
July 18, 2017
The small computer, or “micro-controller,” at the bottom of this photo controls the operation of two video cameras mounted on the 10-story Dream Inn hotel in Santa Cruz, California. The cameras take 10-minute videos of Santa Cruz Main Beach and Cowells Beach every half hour during daylight hours ( view the most recent images ). The micro-controller, mounted near the cameras in a weatherproof box...
July 14, 2017
The USGS and its cooperators have installed debris-flow monitoring equipment in the largest drainage basin at Chalk Cliffs, CO. Data collection at this site supports research on the hydrologic factors that control debris-flow initiation, entrainment, and flow dynamics. This debris flow took place July 19, 2017. The video includes a single view of an instrumented reach of the channel. A larger...
Photograph of California coastal Highway 1 looking north toward Big Sur.
July 12, 2017
Near San Simeon, view looks north up Highway 1 along the California coast toward Big Sur.
Aerial photograph looking from an airplane down on the Big Sur Landslide in California.
July 7, 2017
USGS scientists continue to monitor the slide by collecting imagery every couple of weeks, weather permitting. Pilot Bob Van Wagenen, contracted through the Department of the Interior’s Office of Aviation Services, takes air photos for Jon Warrick’s Big Sur Landslide team, flying out of the Watsonville Municipal Airport in a Cessna 182R. He uses a camera-plus-GPS system designed by USGS ocean...
Image in mostly black and gray tones showing distant view of beach stretching from bottom left to upper right of photo.
June 20, 2017
“Variance” image produced from video shot at Madeira Beach, Florida, on June 20, 2017. The more the light intensity changes at a given spot, or “pixel,” during the video, the brighter the value assigned to that pixel. Motion tends to produce changes in light intensity. Note bright bands parallel to shore where waves were breaking. Researchers are using these and other video images to improve...
Distant view of sandy beach stretching from bottom left to upper right of photo
June 20, 2017
Snapshot, or first frame of from a 17-minute video shot on June 20, 2017, in Madeira Beach, Florida. Researchers at the USGS are using these and other video images to improve understanding and computer modeling of beach processes, especially those that change the coast. See also, a time-averaged image derived from the same video .
Distant view of sandy beach stretching from bottom left to upper right of photo.
June 20, 2017
Time-averaged image, or “timex,” created by averaging the intensity of light recorded at each spot, or “pixel,” during a 17-minute video taken at Madeira Beach, Florida, on June 20, 2017. Blurred white bands show where waves are breaking. Offshore band shows location of a sand bar. Line between wet and dry sand shows the maximum height on the beach reached by the waves (“runup”). Researchers at...
Piles of seaweed fragments on sand beach. Low sand cliff on left with broken walkway. Multistory buildings, clouds in distance.
June 7, 2017
Photograph taken June 7, 2016, one day after Tropical Storm Colin, on Sunset Beach in the town of St. Pete Beach, Florida. Storm waves eroded the beach and dune, producing a cliff-like feature called a beach scarp.
Sandy beach with white foamy water on right, low grassy dunes on left. Multistory building in distance. Dark-gray cloudy sky.
June 6, 2017
Photograph taken during Tropical Storm Colin, June 6, 2016, on Sunset Beach in the town of St. Pete Beach, Florida.
2017 (approx.)
SEABed Observation and Sampling System (SeaBOSS) operations were conducted north of Nantucket, MA as part of an agreement with Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management to map the geology of Massachusetts waters . The overall goal of the USGS–CZM mapping cooperative is to characterize the sea floor and shallow substrate inside the 3-mile limit of State waters, using high-resolution geophysical...
2017 (approx.)
SeaBOSS operations were conducted north of Nantucket, MA as part of an agreement with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management to map the geology of MA waters. The geologic and bathymetric maps help us understand the processes that have shaped the coast and how it has evolved over time, and thereby help evaluate the vulnerability of coastal environments to storms, sea-level rise, and...
Big Sur Landslide fly around animation
May 27, 2017
Big Sur Landslide fly around from May 27, 2017, a preliminary computer animation. The slide created roughly 13 acres of new California land.
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Image: USGS Logo
July 31, 2017

A new U.S. Geological Survey-led study suggests that earthquake-related deformation just below the Earth's surface can be quite different from how it is expressed at the surface.

Girls points to a location on a map laying on the ground.
July 27, 2017


Twenty-five middle-school girls from 11 cities in Washington and Oregon are participating in the third annual “GeoGirls” outdoor volcano science program at Mount St. Helens, jointly organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount St. Helens Institute.

Photo of the Mud Creed landslide near Big Sur, California
July 14, 2017

Scientists from the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center mapped the offshore extent of the Mud Creek landslide on California’s Big Sur coast on July 11, 2017.

3D flyover view of Mud Creek slide
July 11, 2017

The Mud Creek landslide on California’s Big Sur coast keeps eroding.

USGS: Science for a changing world
July 7, 2017

Media Alert: Reporters wishing to accompany USGS scientists in the field the week of July 10 should contact Bill Coon, 607-220-6280 or wcoon@usgs.gov by 5 pm EDT Friday, July 7.

July 6, 2017

The USGS has up-to-date details on the July 6, 2017 event.

Full-Circle Vista from Naukluft Plateau on Mars
July 3, 2017

Billions of dollars and a decade worth of research are on the line in the instant that a spacecraft touches down on Mars. When deciding where to land on the planet’s rocky surface, it is essential to analyze potential landing sites and their surface characteristics.

Image shows a road split due to earthquake damage
June 22, 2017

Earthquakes are estimated to cost the nation $6.1 billion annually in building stock losses according to an updated report published today by FEMA.

Turnagain Arm Railway
June 21, 2017

Subduction zone events pose significant threats to lives, property, economic vitality, cultural and natural resources and quality of life. The tremendous magnitudes of these events are unique to subduction zones, and they can have cascading consequences that reverberate around the globe.

June 19, 2017

Living in the Outer Banks means living with the power of the sea. Jutting out from North Carolina’s coast into the Atlantic Ocean, this series of sandy barrier islands is particularly vulnerable to damage from major storms. In April 2016, another nor’easter was set to strike, but this time, Dare County officials were approached by their local weather forecaster with a new kind of prediction.

4D Photogrammetry of Mud Creek Landslide
June 15, 2017

USGS analysis of air photos collected June 13 shows that new land created by a May 20 landslide on California’s Big Sur coast is eroding. 

Satellite View of the Wilderness Breach
June 9, 2017

When Hurricane Sandy struck the south shore of Long Island, New York, on October 29, 2012, it caused substantial erosion of the beach and dunes. Storm waves cut through Fire Island National Seashore’s wilderness area, forming a breach. The resulting channel allowed water to flow between the Atlantic Ocean and Great South Bay.