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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
Integrating Mapping and Modeling to Support the Restoration of Bird Nesting Habitat at Breton Island National Wildlife Refuge
In response to storms, reduced sediment supply, and sea-level rise, Breton Island is rapidly deteriorating, impacting the available nesting habitat of endangered seabirds. This study provides critical information regarding the physical environment of the island system. Research is part of the ...
The geologic evolution of Cat Island has been influenced by deltaic, lagoonal/estuarine, tidal, and oceanographic processes, resulting in a complex stratigraphic record.
Video observations of the coast are used to monitor a range of coastal processes, for example changes in the shoreline position, both seasonally and due to long-term effects such as sea-level rise, and instances of beach and dune erosion during extreme storm events. Research is part of the ...
A combination of geophysics, sediment sampling, and chronology techniques are used to characterize the regional geomorphologic response of coastal systems to environmental changes.
As Hurricane Sandy moved northward along the U.S. Atlantic coast in October 2012, USGS scientists worked to determine where and how the storm’s waves and surge might dramatically reshape the beaches and dunes that stand between the storm and coastal developments.
SAFRR brings together tsunami and communication experts to discuss potential changes to safety messages, based on improved scientific understanding of Hawaii's tsunami hazard.
Students at Art Center College of Design learned about tsunamis from SAFRR partners in natural science, social science, and emergency management, then designed a fun, engaging, multi-faceted awareness campaign.
Scientists perform a range of studies that document, assess, and model coastal change, risk, and vulnerability. Studies include historical shoreline change, the geologic structure and history of coastal regions, sediment supply and transport, sea-level rise, and how extreme storm events affect rates and impacts of coastal change.
We study the distribution and hazard potential of coastal and submarine events such as earthquakes and submarine landslides and associated tsunami potential, hurricane induced coastal inundation, extreme storms, sea-level rise and oil and gas spills. We also model development to help evaluate and forecast coastal hazard probability and occurrence.
Our scientists conduct research studies focused on geologic mapping, sampling and understanding of mineral and energy resources and studies of the geologic setting and processes to inform renewable energy development offshore.
It aims at providing a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or manmade disasters through Authorized Users. Each member agency has committed resources to support the provisions of the Charter and thus is helping to mitigate the effects of disasters on human life and property.
Map interface to view and download LANDFIRE data sets, receive alerts and notifications.
Volcano-alert notifications are produced by Volcano Observatory scientists based on analysis of data from monitoring networks, direct observations, and satellite sensors. They are issued for both increasing and decreasing volcanic activity and include text about the nature of the unrest or eruption and about potential or current hazards and likely outcomes.
The Volcano Notification Service (VNS) is a free service that sends you notification emails about volcanic activity happening at U.S. monitored volcanoes. You can customize the VNS to deliver notifications for certain volcanoes or a range of volcanoes, and you can also choose the notification types you want to receive.
Digital Data for Volcano Hazards in the Crater Lake Region, Oregon
Crater Lake lies in a basin, or caldera, formed by collapse of the Cascade volcano known as Mount Mazama during a violent, climactic eruption about 7,700 years ago. This event dramatically changed the character of the volcano so that many potential types of future events have no precedent there. This potentially active volcanic center is contained...Schilling, S.P.; Doelger, S.; Bacon, C.R.; Mastin, L.G.; Scott, K.E.; Nathenson, M.
Digital Data for Volcano Hazards in the Mount Jefferson Region, Oregon
Mount Jefferson has erupted repeatedly for hundreds of thousands of years, with its last eruptive episode during the last major glaciation which culminated about 15,000 years ago. Geologic evidence shows that Mount Jefferson is capable of large explosive eruptions. The largest such eruption occurred between 35,000 and 100,000 years ago. If Mount...Schilling, S.P.; Doelger, S.; Walder, J.S.; Gardner, C.A.; Conrey, R.M.; Fisher, B.J.
Digital Data for Volcano Hazards of the Mount Hood Region, Oregon
Snow-clad Mount Hood dominates the Cascade skyline from the Portland metropolitan area to the wheat fields of Wasco and Sherman Counties. The mountain contributes valuable water, scenic, and recreational resources that help sustain the agricultural and tourist segments of the economies of surrounding cities and counties. Mount Hood is also one of...Schilling, S.P.; Doelger, S.; Scott, W.E.; Pierson, T.C.; Costa, J.E.; Gardner, C.A.; Vallance, J.W.; Major, J.J.
Digital Data for Volcano Hazards of the Three Sisters Region, Oregon
Three Sisters is one of three active volcanic centers that lie close to rapidly growing communities and resort areas in Central Oregon. The major composite volcanoes of this area are clustered near the center of the region and include South Sister, Middle Sister, and Broken Top. Additionally, hundreds of mafic volcanoes are scattered throughout...Schilling, S.P.; Doelger, S.; Scott, W.E.; Iverson, R.M.
Instrumentation Recommendations for Volcano Monitoring at U.S. Volcanoes Under the National Volcano Early Warning System
As magma moves toward the surface, it interacts with anything in its path: hydrothermal systems, cooling magma bodies from previous eruptions, and (or) the surrounding 'country rock'. Magma also undergoes significant changes in its physical properties as pressure and temperature conditions change along its path. These interactions and changes lead...Moran, Seth C.; Freymueller, Jeff T.; LaHusen, Richard G.; McGee, Kenneth A.; Poland, Michael P.; Power, John A.; Schmidt, David A.; Schneider, David J.; Stephens, George; Werner, Cynthia A.; White, Randall A.
Mount Rainier: living safely with a volcano in your backyard
Majestic Mount Rainier soars almost 3 miles (14,410 feet) above sea level and looms over the expanding suburbs of Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Each year almost two million visitors come to Mount Rainier National Park to admire the volcano and its glaciers, alpine meadows, and forested ridges. However, the volcano's beauty is deceptive - U.S....Driedger, Carolyn L.; Scott, William E.
A Versatile Time-Lapse Camera System Developed by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory for Use at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
Volcanoes can be difficult to study up close. Because it may be days, weeks, or even years between important events, direct observation is often impractical. In addition, volcanoes are often inaccessible due to their remote location and (or) harsh environmental conditions. An eruption adds another level of complexity to what already may be a...Orr, Tim R.; Hoblitt, Richard P.
Evolution of Deformation Studies on Active Hawaiian Volcanoes
Everything responds to pressure, even rocks. Deformation studies involve measuring and interpreting the changes in elevations and horizontal positions of the land surface or sea floor. These studies are variously referred to as geodetic changes or ground-surface deformations and are sometimes indexed under the general heading of geodesy....Decker, Robert W.; Okamura, Arnold; Miklius, Asta; Poland, Michael
A New Perspective on Mount St. Helens - Dramatic Landform Change and Associated Hazards at the Most Active Volcano in the Cascade Range
Mount St. Helens has erupted more frequently than any other volcano in the Cascade Range during the past 4,000 years. The volcano has exhibited a variety of eruption styles?explosive eruptions of pumice and ash, slow but continuous extrusions of viscous lava, and eruptions of fluid lava. Evidence of the volcano?s older eruptions is recorded in the...Ramsey, David W.; Driedger, Carolyn L.; Schilling, Steve P.
Eruptions in the Cascade Range During the Past 4,000 Years
Volcanoes have been erupting in the Cascade Range for over 500,000 years. During the past 4,000 years eruptions have occurred at an average rate of about 2 per century. This chart shows 13 volcanoes on a map of Washington, Oregon, and northern California and time lines for each showing the ages of their eruptions.Myers, Bobbie; Driedger, Carolyn
Geologic Hazards at Volcanoes
Most volcano hazards are associated with eruptions. However, some hazards, such as lahars and debris avalanches, can occur even when a volcano is not erupting.Myers, Bobbie; Driedger, Carolyn
Catalog of Mount St. Helens 2004 - 2005 Tephra Samples with Major- and Trace-Element Geochemistry
This open-file report presents a catalog of information about 135 ash samples along with geochemical analyses of bulk ash, glass and individual mineral grains from tephra deposited as a result of volcanic activity at Mount St. Helens, Washington, from October 1, 2004 until August 15, 2005. This data, in conjunction with that in a companion report...Rowe, Michael C.; Thornber, Carl R.; Gooding, Daniel J.; Pallister, John S.
This is a video compilation from a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on June 6, 2018, around 6:30 AM. The video shows the fissure 8 lava fountain feeding a channelized lava flow that travels northeast around the Kapoho cone, and then flows toward the south to enter the ocean at Kapoho Bay and Vacationland. The ocean entry has completely filled Kapoho Bay with lava...
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Status of Kīlauea Volcano, 9:30am HST, June 6, 2018, Jessica Ball, USGS Volcanologist
The International Charter for Space and Major Disasters (https://disasterscharter.org/) is a means for space agencies around the world to help with disaster monitoring by providing satellite data to responders and scientists on the ground. The charter was invoked for recent eruptive activity at Kīlauea, and numerous space agencies are providing...
This view, looking south at Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone, was captured during HVO's 6:00 a.m. HST helicopter overflight today. It shows continued fountaining of fissure 8 and the lava flow channel fed by it. ...
This fish-eye view of the lava delta filling the former Kapoho Bay shows that while the delta margin nearest the ocean has cooled somewhat, the lava flow front is still very hot and producing laze (lava haze). Laze is a local hazard composed of acidic gases and volcanic glass fragments and should be avoided.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) conducted a mission on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone to collect video of flowing lava in the upper lava channel of fissure 8. Scientists use the video to assess lava flow velocities, which are measured by tracking surface features in the stationary video view. Using UAS for this type of investigation has many advantages because the aircraft can hover...
Views from HVO's helicopter overflight at 1PM HST, show the remains of the Kapoho Beach Lots subdivision and the fissure 8 flow front. The northern flow margin in this area was unchanged from HVO's morning flight and appeared to have stopped advancing at the time of the flight.
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...
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.
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.