Mission Areas

Natural Hazards

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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
Filter Total Items: 150
Date published: March 12, 2018
Status: Active

U.S. Geological Survey Gas Hydrates Project

The USGS Gas Hydrates Project focuses on the study of natural gas hydrates in deepwater marine systems and permafrost areas. The primary goals are:

  • Evaluate methane hydrates as a potential energy source
  • Investigate the interaction between methane hydrate destabilization and climate change at short and long time scales, particularly in the Arctic
  • Study the spatial
  • ...
Date published: March 5, 2018
Status: Active

Estuarine Processes Tidal Wetlands

Tidal wetlands are an important geomorphic and ecological feature of the coastal zone. Our projects deal with the physical forcings that affect wetland stability over event-to-annual timescales, including wave attack, sediment supply, and sea-level rise. 

Date published: March 5, 2018
Status: Active

Estuarine Processes Coastal Hazards

Extreme tides and coastal storms transfer high water levels to estuaries through natural and managed entrances. The size of the transfer depends on the duration of the event and the geomorphology of the estuary. We use observational data and modeling scenarios to understand and spatially map this transfer at our study sites.

Date published: March 5, 2018
Status: Active

Estuarine Processes Geomorphic Change

Changes to the geomorphic structure of estuaries impact hydrodynamics, ecosystem function, and navigation. We are implementing new methods of observing and modeling these changes using innovative field and computational approaches.

Date published: March 1, 2018

Estuarine Processes, Hazards, and Ecosystems

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....

Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Coral Reef Seafloor Erosion and Coastal Hazards

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.

Contacts: Kimberly Yates
Date published: February 22, 2018
Status: Completed

Hawaii Tsunami Messaging

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.

Date published: February 21, 2018
Status: Completed

SAFRR Newsletters

SAFRR Newsletters summarize the recent activities in the project.

Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Active

Hurricane Matthew - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Matthew coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Harvey - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Harvey coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: January 30, 2018
Status: Active

Hurricane Irma - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Irma coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: January 30, 2018
Status: Completed

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...

Filter Total Items: 97
Date published: June 1, 2017

Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS)

The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future SLR scenarios, as well as long-term shoreline change and cliff retreat. Several versions of CoSMoS have been implemented for areas of the California coast.

Date published: May 26, 2017

Data from Earthquake-Induced Landslide Hazards for a M7.0 Scenario Earthquake on the Hayward Fault

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.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: April 18, 2017

Liquefaction potential as a result of HayWired earthquake scenario mainshock (April 18, 2018) shaking in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, San Francisco Bay area, California

These data are a geospatial representation of liquefaction potential for the HayWired earthquake scenario, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurring on the Hayward Fault on April 18, 2018, with an epicenter in the city of Oakland, CA. These data are the product of an analysis that created a detailed liquefaction probability map covering the northern Santa Clara County and western Alameda County...

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: February 23, 2017

Data Viewer—Post-Hurricane Sandy Lidar Elevations and Features

This viewer provides visualization for and accessibility to USGS lidar data obtained following Hurricane Sandy (October 2012). Access and download data and publications that include the source lidar data and the coastal dune and shoreline data needed to examine coastal change and erosion hazards.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Download Real-Time Data

Download real-time and definitive data and indices from USGS geomagnetic observatories.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Real-Time Display of Geomagnetism Plots

Real-time HEZF data from USGS geomagnetic observatories with satellite data used to fill gaps.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Real-Time Disturbance Storm Time (Dst) Display

Real-time Dst data from USGS observatories as well as other world partners.

Date published: April 18, 2016

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.

Date published: April 12, 2016

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.

Date published: March 17, 2016

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.

Date published: March 17, 2016

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.

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June 13, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — UAS Survey of Halema‘uma‘u Crater Rim

A UAS mission on June 13, 2018, filmed details of the dramatic changes occurring within Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea's summit since explosive eruptions of ...

Crater with small gases rising
June 13, 2018

Halema`uma`u Crater - June 13, 2018

Halema`uma`u Crater - June 13, 2018

June 12, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Lava Fountain

Fissure 8 fountains reached heights up to 160 feet overnight. ...

Aerial of crater cracks
June 12, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Halema`uma`u Crater Cracks

A closer view of the cracks cutting across the parking lot for the former Halema‘uma‘u visitor overlook (closed since 2008, when an active vent opened within the crater). Additional photos—ground views—of the parking lot cracks were posted on June 7 and 11.

June 12, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Bay

Aerial views of the ocean entry on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on June 12, 2018, around 6:30 a.m. HST, show multiple small ...

Fissure eruption with houses in the foreground
June 12, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano —

Image taken during the June 12, 2018, morning helicopter overflight of fissure 8 and the lava channel.

June 12, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - June 12, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Status of Kīlauea Volcano, June 12, 2018, Jessica Ball, Volcanologist

Aerial view of crater
June 12, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Halema‘uma‘u Crater

Events at the summit of Kīlauea over the past few weeks have dramatically reshaped Halema‘uma‘u, shown here in this aerial view, which looks west across the crater. The obvious flat surface (photo center) is the former Halema‘uma‘u crater floor, which has subsided at least 100 m (about 300 ft) during the past couple weeks. Ground cracks circumferential to the crater rim can be seen cutting...

Lava flows entering the ocean
June 12, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Multiple Ocean Entries

The south side of the ocean entry was most active today, with many small streams of lava and corresponding steam plumes spread along a fairly broad section of the southern part of the delta. USGS image taken June 12, 2018, around 6:13 AM.

Aerial view of Kapoho Bay
June 12, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Bay

Aerial view of the ocean entry at Kapoho, where a lava delta about 250 acres in size is filling the bay. USGS image taken June 12, 2018, around 6:50 a.m. HST.

Braided lava channels
June 12, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Braided Lava Channels

Fissure 8 (fountain visible in distance) feeds lava into an active braided channel that flows about 8 miles (north, then east) to the ocean entry in Kapoho Bay. USGS image taken June 12, 2018, around 6:50 a.m. HST.

June 11, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - June 11, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Status of Kīlauea Volcano, June 11, 2018, Jessica Ball, USGS Volcanologist

Filter Total Items: 338
Date published: January 24, 2018

Alaska Earthquake Rattles Florida’s Groundwater Plumbing

At 12:32 am Alaska time on January 23, 2018, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake shook Alaska residents out of their beds and set off fears of a tsunami all down the West Coast. Fortunately, the tsunami was only a few inches in height, but within an hour of the earthquake in Alaska, waves of a different sort were hitting far away in Florida. 

Date published: January 23, 2018

ShakeAlert: The Path to West Coast Earthquake Early Warning: How a Few Seconds Can Save Lives and Property — Public Lecture

News reporters are invited to attend an illustrated public lecture to learn how U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are developing ShakeAlert. The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system will begin limited operations this year. Alerts could save lives and properties but several challenges remain. With millions at risk, why isn't full public alerting happening yet?

Date published: January 23, 2018

Magnitude 7.9 Earthquake Gulf of Alaska

The USGS has up-to-date details on the January 23, 2018 event.

Date published: January 18, 2018

USGS Scientist Mobilizes with Recon Team to Learn from Mexico's Earthquake Early Warning System

USGS seismologist Elizabeth Cochran studied the performance of Mexico City’s earthquake early warning system,  during devastating Sept. 19, 2017 event


Date published: January 17, 2018

USGS scientist explains how king tides provide a glimpse of future sea levels

USGS geologist Patrick Barnard spoke to the public at a “Coffee and King Tides” gathering held in Half Moon Bay, California, on December 4.

Date published: January 17, 2018

USGS coastal-flooding projections inform national defense authorization act

Results of USGS research investigating sea-level rise impacts to Department of Defense (DoD) facilities in Pacific atolls are included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.

Date published: January 16, 2018

Enthusiastic response to open house at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz

USGS scientists at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, spoke with an estimated 300 visitors during a December 9 open house.

Date published: January 12, 2018

3-D Structure of Buried Ice Sheets on Mars Revealed by High-Resolution Images

For the first time, high-resolution images show the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars. According to an in-depth analysis led by the USGS, the images reveal never-before-observed details about the ice sheets, including that some begin just a few feet below the Martian surface and extend to depths greater than 300 feet.  

Date published: January 11, 2018

Future impacts of sea-level rise on Cape Cod with Erika Lentz and WBZ Meteorologist, Danielle Niles

Interview on future impacts of sea-level rise on Cape Cod with meteorologist Danielle Niles on Trunk River Beach, Falmouth, MA

Date published: December 13, 2017

Eyes on the Coast—Video Cameras Help Forecast Coastal Change

USGS scientists have installed video cameras pointed at beaches on the coasts of western Florida and central California. They’re analyzing the videos to measure features of the beach and ocean so they can improve coastal-change forecasts.

Date published: December 12, 2017

USGS Research Geologist Publishes New AGU Article Forecasting Barrier Island Response to Sea-Level Rise

A new article combines geomorphological and pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy observations from coastal New Jersey with a morphodynamic model to forecast the response of barrier islands to various rates of sea-level rise and explores the impact of human alterations on forecasted behavior.

Date published: December 12, 2017

SEABOSS Survey in Long Island Sound

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