Mission Areas

Natural Hazards

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
Filter Total Items: 228
Date published: June 23, 2018
Status: Active

Early Warning System

Once the smoke clears from a wildfire, the danger is not over!! Other hazards, such as flash floods and debris flows, now become the focus. Areas recently burned by wildfires are particularly susceptible to flash floods and debris flows during rainstorms.

Date published: June 23, 2018
Status: Active

Emergency Assessment of Post-Fire Debris-Flow Hazards

Estimates of the probability and volume of debris flows that may be produced by a storm in a recently burned area, using a model with characteristics related to basin shape, burn severity, soil properties, and rainfall.

Wildfire can significantly alter the hydrologic response of a watershed to the extent that even modest rainstorms can produce dangerous flash floods and debris flows....

Date published: June 22, 2018
Status: Active

Seattle, WA Landslide Information

More Information on Seattle's Project Impact.

Date published: June 19, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Samples Repository-Collections Management

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Samples Repository (Buczkowski, 2018) is to

1. serve as the USGS repository for geological, biological, and geochemical samples collected through field research sponsored by the WHCMSC,

2. provide long-term storage of these samples collected by WHCMSC scientists and affiliated researchers under controlled conditions to ensure...

Date published: June 19, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Samples Repository- Facilities

The USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center's Samples Repository is co-located on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Quissett Campus at 384 Woods Hole Road in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

The K.O. Emery Geotechnical Wing serves as the primary storage location for all geological, biological, and geochemical samples collected through USGS research, or in the permanent...

Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Samples Repository

Since 2002, the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Samples Repository (WHCMSC) has been supporting research by providing secure storage for geological, biological, and geochemical samples; maintaining organization and an active inventory of these sample collections; as well as by providing access to these collections for study and reuse.

Over the years, local storage...

Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

Significant Landslides in the United States

Significant Landslide Events 1906-1999

Please Note: Additional landslides may be added as they occur and are evaluated over time.

Date published: June 8, 2018
Status: Active

Seattle Area, Washington

Contacts: Rex Baum, The National Weather Service and the City of Seattle, Washington
Date published: June 8, 2018
Status: Active

Portland, Oregon

Recent Conditions

Instrument installation at this site took place during the summer and fall of 2006. These instruments are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including

Contacts: Jonathan Godt, Rex Baum, Portland State University, The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
Date published: June 8, 2018
Status: Active

Millicoma Meander, Elliott State Forest, Oregon

Recent Conditions

Instruments were installed in late summer 2012 and are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including

Contacts: Rex Baum, Jeffrey Coe, Joel Smith, The Oregon Department of Forestry
Date published: June 8, 2018
Status: Active

Knife Ridge, Elliott State Forest, Oregon

Recent Conditions

The instruments were installed in the summer and fall of 2009 and are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including

Contacts: Jonathan Godt, Rex Baum, The Oregon Department of Forestry, The Elliott State Forest, The Colorado School of Mines
Date published: June 8, 2018
Status: Active

Poplar Cove, Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina

Recent Conditions

The instruments were installed in the summer of 2014 and are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including

Contacts: Jonathan Godt, The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Coweeta Experimental Forest, Colorado School of Mines
Filter Total Items: 105
Date published: March 7, 2016

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

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

Date published: March 7, 2016

Map-a-Planet 2

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Real-time Earthquake Information

Get real-time earthquake notifications sent to you using a number of popular mediums: Feeds, Email, Twitter, etc…

Date published: March 7, 2016

Flood Watch

Maps of flood and high flow conditions within the U.S.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Technology and Tools

Links to a variety of Coastal and Marine Geology mapping technologies, data modeling and visualization tools.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Latest Earthquakes Map and List

View recent events or search for past earthquakes. Optimized for mobile and desktop.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Research Data and Products

USGS earthquake data including real-time and historic earthquake catalogs, GIS data, hazards, and more.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Software for Landslide Assessments and Modeling

USGS software for landslide assessments and modeling that include SLAMMER, TRIGRS, PTCOUNT and more.

Filter Total Items: 4,146
Year Published: 2018

Quaternary sediment thickness and bedrock topography of the glaciated United States east of the Rocky Mountains

Beginning roughly 2.6 million years ago, global climate entered a cooling phase known as the Pleistocene Epoch. As snow in northern latitudes compacted into ice several kilometers thick, it flowed as glaciers southward across the North American continent. These glaciers extended across the northern United States, dramatically altering the...

Soller, David R.; Garrity, Christopher P.
Soller, D.R., and Garrity, C.P., 2018, Quaternary sediment thickness and bedrock topography of the glaciated United States east of the Rocky Mountains: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3392, 2 sheets, scale 1:5,000,000. https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3392.

Year Published: 2018

Geoelectric hazard maps for the Mid-Atlantic United States: 100 year extreme values and the 1989 magnetic storm

Maps of extreme value geoelectric field amplitude are constructed for the Mid‐Atlantic United States, a region with high population density and critically important power grid infrastructure. Geoelectric field time series for the years 1983–2014 are estimated by convolving Earth surface impedances obtained from 61 magnetotelluric survey sites...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Lucas, Greg M.; Kelbert, Anna; Bedrosian, Paul A.
Love, J. J., Lucas, G. M., Kelbert, A. & Bedrosian, P. A., 2018. Geoelectric hazard maps for the Mid-Atlantic United States: 100 year extreme values and the 1989 magnetic storm, Geophys. Res. Lett., 45(1), 5-15, doi:10.1002/2017GL076042.

Year Published: 2018

Revised recommended methods for analyzing crater size-frequency distributions

Impact crater populations crucially help us to understand solar system dynamics, planetary surface histories, and surface modification processes. A single previous effort to standardize how crater data are displayed in graphs, tables, and archives, was in a 1978 NASA report by the Crater Analysis Techniques Working Group, published in 1979 in...

Robbins, Stuart J.; Riggs, Jamie D.; Weaver, Brian P.; Bierhaus, Edward B.; Chapman, Clark R.; Kirchoff, Michelle R.; Singer, Kelsi N.; Gaddis, Lisa
Robbins, S.J., J.D. Riggs, B.P. Weaver, E.B. Bierhaus, C.R. Chapman, M.R. Kirchoff, K.N. Singer and L.R. Gaddis, 2018, Revised Recommended Methods for Analyzing Crater Size-Frequency Distributions, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 53, Nr 4, 891-931.

Year Published: 2018

Extreme-event geoelectric hazard maps: Chapter 9

Maps of geoelectric amplitude covering about half the continental United States are presented that will be exceeded, on average, once per century in response to an extreme-intensity geomagnetic disturbance. These maps are constructed using an empirical parameterization of induction: convolving latitude-dependent statistical maps of extreme-value...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Bedrosian, Paul A.

Year Published: 2018

Detecting geothermal anomalies and evaluating LST geothermal component by combining thermal remote sensing time series and land surface model data

This paper explores for the first time the possibilities to use two land surface temperature (LST) time series of different origins (geostationary Meteosat Second Generation satellite data and Noah land surface modelling, LSM), to detect geothermal anomalies and extract the geothermal component of LST, the LSTgt. We hypothesize that in geothermal...

Romaguera, Mireia; Vaughan, R. Greg; Ettema, J.; Izquierdo-Verdiguier, E.; Hecker, C. A.; van der Meer, F.D.

Year Published: 2018

The electric storm of November 1882

In November 1882, an intense magnetic storm related to a large sunspot group caused widespread interference to telegraph and telephone systems and provided spectacular and unusual auroral displays. The (ring current) storm time disturbance index for this storm reached maximum −Dst ≈ 386 nT, comparable to Halloween storm of 29–31...

Love, Jeffrey J.
Love, J. J. (2018). The electric storm of November 1882. Space Weather, 16, 37–46. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017SW001795.

Year Published: 2018

The size, distribution, and mobility of landslides caused by the 2015 Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake, Nepal

Coseismic landslides pose immediate and prolonged hazards to mountainous communities, and provide a rare opportunity to study the effect of large earthquakes on erosion and sediment budgets. By mapping landslides using high-resolution satellite imagery, we find that the 25 April 2015 Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake and aftershock sequence produced at...

Roback, Kevin; Clark, Marin K.; West, A. Joshua; Zekkos, Dimitrios; Li, Gen; Gallen, Sean F.; Chamlagain, Deepak; Godt, Jonathan W.
Roback, K., Clark, M. K., West, A. J., Zekkos, D., Li, G., Gallen, S. F., Chamlagain, D., and Godt, J. W., 2018, The size, distribution, and mobility of landslides caused by the 2015 Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake, Nepal: Geomorphology, v. 301, p. 121-138.

Year Published: 2018

Viscous relaxation as a prerequisite for tectonic resurfacing on Ganymede: Insights from numerical models of lithospheric extension

Ganymede’s bright terrain formed during a near-global resurfacing event (or events) that produced both heavily tectonized and relatively smooth terrains. The mechanism(s) by which resurfacing occurred on Ganymede (e.g., cryovolcanic or tectonic), and the relationship between the older, dark and the younger, bright terrain are fundamental to...

Bland, Michael T.; McKinnon, William B.

Year Published: 2018

6th international conference on Mars polar science and exploration: Conference summary and five top questions

We provide a historical context of the International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration and summarize the proceedings from the 6th iteration of this meeting. In particular, we identify five key Mars polar science questions based primarily on presentations and discussions at the conference and discuss the overlap between some of those...

Smith, Isaac B.; Diniega, Serina; Beaty, David W.; Thorsteinsson, Thorsteinn; Becerra, Patricio; Bramson, Ali; Clifford, Stephen M.; Hvidberg, Christine S.; Portyankina, Ganna; Piqueux, Sylvain; Spiga, Aymeric; Titus, Timothy N.
Isaac B. Smith, Serina Diniega, David W. Beaty, Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson, Patricio Becerra, Ali M. Bramson, Stephen M. Clifford, Christine S. Hvidberg, Ganna Portyankina, Sylvain Piqueux, Aymeric Spiga, Timothy N. Titus, 6th international conference on Mars polar science and exploration: Conference summary and five top questions, In Icarus, 2017, , ISSN 0019-1035, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2017.06.027.

Year Published: 2018

Post-wildfire landscape change and erosional processes from repeat terrestrial lidar in a steep headwater catchment, Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona, USA

Flooding and erosion after wildfires present increasing hazard as climate warms, semi-arid lands become drier, population increases, and the urban interface encroaches farther into wildlands. We quantify post-wildfire erosion in a steep, initially unchannelized, 7.5 ha headwater catchment following the 2011 Horseshoe 2 Fire in the Chiricahua...

DeLong, Stephen B.; Youberg, Ann M.; DeLong, Whitney M.; Murphy, Brendan P.
DeLong, Stephen B., Youberg, Ann M., DeLong, Whitney M., Murphy, Brendan P., Post-wildfire landscape change and erosional processes from repeat terrestrial lidar in a steep headwater catchment, Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona, USA, Geomorphology (2017), doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.09.028

Year Published: 2018

The effects of snow and salt on ice table stability in University Valley, Antarctica

The Antarctic Dry Valleys represent a unique environment where it is possible to study dry permafrost overlaying an ice-rich permafrost. In this paper, two opposing mechanisms for ice table stability in University Valley are addressed: i) diffusive recharge via thin seasonal snow deposits and ii) desiccation via salt deposits in the upper soil...

Williams, Kaj; Heldmann, Jennifer L.; McKay, Christopher P.; Mellon, Michael T.
Williams, K., Heldmann, J., Mckay, C., & Mellon, M. (2017). The effects of snow and salt on ice table stability in University Valley, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 1-12. doi:10.1017/S0954102017000402

Year Published: 2018

Conversion of wet glass to melt at lower seismogenic zone conditions: Implications for pseudotachylyte creep

Coseismic frictional melting and the production of quenched glass called pseudotachylyte is a recurring process during earthquakes. To investigate how glassy materials affect the postseismic strength and stability of faults, obsidian gouges were sheared under dry and wet conditions from 200°C to 300°C at ~150 MPa effective normal stress. Dry...

Proctor, Brooks; Lockner, David A.; Lowenstern, Jacob B.; Beeler, Nicholas M.
Proctor, B.P., Lockner, D.A., Lowenstern, J.B., and Beeler, N.M., 2017, Conversion of wet glass to melt at lower seismogenic zone conditions; implicatins for pseudotachylyte creep: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 44, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075344.

Filter Total Items: 2,354
Close up of a lava overflow
July 2, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Overfows

Close up image of overflows from the fissure 8 lava channel. Photograph taken during the morning overflight.

Drone shot looking at brightly colored red and orange lava flows
July 2, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Drone Over Lava Channel

USGS Mavic Pro drone image of the fissure 8 lava channel looking toward the vent. Overflows can be seen as incandescent spots beyond the channel margins. Drone flights and resultant imagery help scientists

...
Aerial view of an ocean entry with laze plumes
July 2, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ocean Entry

The ocean entry being fed by a crusted over channel has fewer tiny ooze-out channels than yesterday spilling into the water. One larger ooze-out channel making dominant entry plume at the northern end of the broad ocean entry.

Annotated photo looking at fissure 8 lava channels and identifying lava flows in residential areas and the ocean entry
July 2, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Channel (Annotated)

Annotated drone image of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone fissure 8 lava channel. Image captured near Kapoho Crater looking east toward the ocean entry. Incandescent flow margin is more easily identified in the dark - specifically here in the area of Kapoho Beach Lots.

Aerial of lava channels
July 2, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Open Lava Channels

Fountains from Fissure 8 spatter cone continue to supply lava to the open channel with intermittent small, short-

...
July 1, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Whirlwind Above Fissure 8

In the Leilani Estates subdivision, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory field crews monitoring 

...
July 1, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Collapse/Explosion Event at Halema‘uma‘u

On June 30, 2018, at 02:51 PM HST, a collapse/explosion event occurred at Kīlauea's summit. An ash-poor 

...
June 30, 2018

Understanding Floods | Long-term Streamflow Data Collection (AD)

The USGS is developing methods to improve data collection during floods to gain new insight into the rise and fall of flood waters. In the past, the only data left behind after a flood was how high the water got, or the peak of the flood. This video presents the methodology that hydrologists are using to set up a Continuous Slope-area Reach in remote areas that are

...
June 30, 2018

Understanding Floods | Long-term Streamflow Data Collection

The USGS is developing methods to improve data collection during floods to gain new insight into the rise and fall of flood waters. In the past, the only data left behind after a flood was how high the water got, or the peak of the flood. This video presents the methodology that hydrologists are using to set up a Continuous Slope-area Reach in remote areas that are

...
Lava entering Kapoho Bay area
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Coast

At the Kapoho coast, lava enters the ocean along the northern margin of the flow field. 

View of the summit with dust rising from a small rockfall
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Summit Rockfalls

View of Kīlauea Volcano's summit. The brown visible dust coming from Halema‘uma‘u is from rockfalls.

Animation showing changes in summit size on a map
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Animation of Summit Drop

This animated GIF shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana CosmoSkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the 

...
Filter Total Items: 365
Date published: January 26, 2018

USGS Geologists Join Efforts in Montecito to Assess Debris-Flow Aftermath

Days after fatal debris flows devastated Southern California’s Montecito community,  a team of U.S. Geological Survey geologists joined county, state, and federal partners to survey and  evaluate the aftermath.

 

Date published: January 25, 2018

CMGP Lidar Coordinator participating in National Elevation Assessments and Coordination session at 2018 ASPRS Annual Conference

Xan Fredericks, Lidar Coordinator for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program, will moderate and participate in the National Elevation Assessments and Coordination session at the 2018 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Annual Conference.

Date published: January 24, 2018

TV interview with NBC Philadelphia about flooding threats to U.S. East Coast

USGS geologist Patrick Barnard gave a live interview to Philadelphia's NBC10 meteorologist Tammie Souza on January 23 during a national weather conference in Lake Tahoe, California.

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