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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.

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Filter Total Items: 206
Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

2009 Station Fire, Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, California

Recent Conditions

Instruments are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including

Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

Geologic Mapping of the Massachusetts Seafloor

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is conducting geologic mapping of the sea floor to characterize the surface and shallow subsurface geologic framework within the Massachusetts coastal zone. The long-term goal of this mapping effort is to produce high-resolution geologic maps and a Geographic Information System (GIS) that...

Date published: June 4, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Landscape- Structured Decision Making

An effort to better understand the effects that sea-level rise (SLR) is likely to have on the coastal zone has brought together a network of Department of Interior collaborators and academic partners through the DOI North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative  (NALCC) and ...

Date published: June 4, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Landscape Response to Sea-Level Rise Assessment for the Northeastern United States

As part of the USGS Sea-Level Rise Hazards and Decision-Support project, this assessment seeks to predict the response to sea-level rise across the coastal landscape under a range of future scenarios by evaluating the likelihood of inundation as well as dynamic coastal change. The research is being conducted in conjunction with resource managers and decision makers from federal and state...

Contacts: Erika Lentz, Ph.D., Nathaniel Plant, Radley M. Horton
Date published: June 4, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS)

The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions of storm-induced coastal flooding, erosion, and cliff failures over large geographic scales. CoSMoS was developed for hindcast studies, operational applications and future climate scenarios to provide emergency responders and coastal planners with critical storm-hazards information that can be used to increase public safety...

Date published: May 30, 2018
Status: Active

Real-Time Monitoring for Potential Landslides

The history of real-time monitoring for potential landslides from water and debris flows. Monitoring hillslopes with the goal of eventually establishing an early warning system for debris flows.

Date published: May 30, 2018
Status: Active

Current Monitoring Stations

Click on the map to view monitoring site locations. Click on the marker for a link to each site.

Date published: May 11, 2018
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project

Explore the fascinating undersea world of coral reefs. Learn how we map, monitor, and model coral reefs so we can better understand, protect, and preserve our Nation's reefs.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Marine Geomorphology, Evolution, and Habitats

Seafloor resource managers and modelers need seafloor maps that can be combined in GIS, modeling, and statistical analysis environments and related successfully to biologic and oceanographic data. The Marine Geomorphology, Evolution, and Habitats Project encompasses mapping activities and the development of new mapping systems and methodologies. The emphasis is on the role of geologic...

Contacts: Guy Cochrane
Date published: April 30, 2018
Status: Active

Mapping Florida's Coastal Waters

The FCMaP approach divides Florida into 6 regions that are geologically and physiographically distinct in terms of coastal characteristic.

Date published: April 10, 2018
Status: Active

What to Expect in a Big Urban Earthquake

When a big earthquake hits a populated area, expect these effects.

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: 3,121
Year Published: 2017

Geologic overview of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission at the Kimberley, Gale crater, Mars

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover completed a detailed investigation at the Kimberley waypoint within Gale crater from sols 571-634 using its full science instrument payload. From orbital images examined early in the Curiosity mission, the Kimberley region had been identified as a high-priority science target based on its clear...

Rice, Melissa; Gupta, Sanjeev; Treiman, Allan H.; Stack, Kathryn M.; Calef, Fred J.; Edgar, Lauren; Grotzinger, John P.; Lanza, Nina L.; Le Deit, Laetitia; Lasue, Jeremie; Siebach, Kirsten L.; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Josh

Year Published: 2017

Amplification of earthquake ground motions in Washington, DC, and implications for hazard assessments in central and eastern North America

The extent of damage in Washington, DC, from the 2011 Mw 5.8 Mineral, VA, earthquake was surprising for an epicenter 130 km away; U.S. Geological Survey “Did-You-Feel-It” reports suggest that Atlantic Coastal Plain and other unconsolidated sediments amplified ground motions in the city. We measure this amplification relative to...

Pratt, Thomas L.; Horton, J. Wright; Munoz, Jessica; Hough, Susan E.; Chapman, Martin C.; Olgun, C. Guney
Pratt, T. L., Horton, J. W., Jr., Muñoz, J., Hough, S. E., Chapman, M. C., & Olgun, C. G. (2017). Amplification of earthquake ground motions in Washington, DC, and implications for hazard assessments in central and eastern North America. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 12,150–12,160. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075517

Year Published: 2017

An open repository of earthquake-triggered ground-failure inventories

Earthquake-triggered ground failure, such as landsliding and liquefaction, can contribute significantly to losses, but our current ability to accurately include them in earthquake-hazard analyses is limited. The development of robust and widely applicable models requires access to numerous inventories of ground failures triggered by earthquakes...

Schmitt, Robert G.; Tanyas, Hakan; Nowicki Jessee, M. Anna; Zhu, Jing; Biegel, Katherine M.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Jibson, Randall W.; Thompson, Eric M.; van Westen, Cees J.; Sato, Hiroshi P.; Wald, David J.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Gorum, Tolga; Xu, Chong; Rathje, Ellen M.; Knudsen, Keith L.
Schmitt, R.G., Tanyas, Hakan, Nowicki Jessee, M.A., Zhu, Jing, Biegel, K.M., Allstadt, K.E., Jibson, R.W., Thompson, E.M., van Westen, C.J., Sato, H.P., Wald, D.J., Godt, J.W., Gorum, Tolga, Xu, Chong, Rathje, E.M., Knudsen, K.L., 2017, An open repository of earthquake-triggered ground-failure inventories: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1064, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1064.

Year Published: 2017

P- and S-wave velocity models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone for 3D earthquake ground motion simulations—Update for Open-File Report 2007–1348

In support of earthquake hazards studies and ground motion simulations in the Pacific Northwest, threedimensional (3D) P- and S-wave velocity (VP and VS , respectively) models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone were previously developed for the region encompassed from about 40.2°N. to 50°N. latitude, and from about 122°W. to 129°W....

Stephenson, William J.; Reitman, Nadine G.; Angster, Stephen J.
Stephenson, W.J., Reitman, N.G., and Angster, S.J., 2017, P- and S-wave velocity models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone for 3D earthquake ground motion simulations, version 1.6—Update for Open-File Report 2007–1348: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1152, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171152. [Supersedes USGS Open-File Report 2007–1348.]

Year Published: 2017

U.S. Geological Survey National Strong-Motion Project strategic plan, 2017–22

The mission of the National Strong-Motion Project is to provide measurements of how the ground and built environment behave during earthquake shaking to the earthquake engineering community, the scientific community, emergency managers, public agencies, industry, media, and other users for the following purposes: Improving engineering evaluations...

Aagaard, Brad T.; Celebi, Mehmet; Gee, Lind; Graves, Robert; Jaiswal, Kishor; Kalkan, Erol; Knudsen, Keith L.; Luco, Nicolas; Smith, James; Steidl, Jamison; Stephens, Christopher D.
Aagaard, Brad, Celebi, Mehmet, Gee, Lind, Graves, Robert, Jaiswal, Kishor, Kalkan, Erol, Knudsen, Keith, Luco, Nico, Smith, James, Steidl, Jamison, and Stephens, Christopher, 2017, U.S. Geological Survey National Strong-Motion Project strategic plan, 2017–22: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1156, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171156.

Year Published: 2017

Aftershocks, earthquake effects, and the location of the large 14 December 1872 earthquake near Entiat, central Washington

Reported aftershock durations, earthquake effects, and other observations from the large 14 December 1872 earthquake in central Washington are consistent with an epicenter near Entiat, Washington. Aftershocks were reported for more than 3 months only near Entiat. Modal intensity data described in this article are consistent with an Entiat area...

Brocher, Thomas M.; Hopper, Margaret G.; Algermissen, S.T. Ted; Perkins, David M.; Brockman, Stanley R.; Arnold, Edouard P.
Brocher, T. M., M. G. Hopper, S. T. Algermissen, D. M. Perkins, S. R. Brockman, and E. P. Arnold (2018). Aftershocks, earthquake effects, and location of the large 14 December 1872 earthquake near Entiat, central Washington, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., v. 108, no. 1, p. 66-83, 2018, doi: 10.1785/0120170224.

Year Published: 2017

A prototype operational earthquake loss model for California based on UCERF3-ETAS – A first look at valuation

We present a prototype operational loss model based on UCERF3-ETAS, which is the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast with an Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) component. As such, UCERF3-ETAS represents the first earthquake forecast to relax fault segmentation assumptions and to include multi-fault ruptures, elastic-rebound...

Field, Edward; Porter, Keith; Milner, Kevn
Field, E. H., K. Porter, and K. Milner (2017). A Prototype Operational Earthquake Loss Model for California Based on UCERF3-ETAS – A First Look at Valuation, Earthquake Spectra, Volume 33, No. 4, pages 1–21, DOI: 10.1193/011817EQS017M

Year Published: 2017

Analysis of the variability in ground-motion synthesis and inversion

In almost all past inversions of large-earthquake ground motions for rupture behavior, the goal of the inversion is to find the “best fitting” rupture model that predicts ground motions which optimize some function of the difference between predicted and observed ground motions. This type of inversion was pioneered in the linear-inverse sense by...

Spudich, Paul A.; Cirella, Antonella; Scognamiglio, Laura; Tinti, Elisa
Spudich, P., Cirella, A., Scognamiglio, L., and Tinti, E., 2017, Analysis of the variability in ground-motion synthesis and inversion: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1151, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171151.

Year Published: 2017

Considerations in comparing the U.S. Geological Survey one‐year induced‐seismicity hazard models with “Did You Feel It?” and instrumental data

The recent steep increase in seismicity rates in Oklahoma, southern Kansas, and other parts of the central United States led the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to develop, for the first time, a probabilistic seismic hazard forecast for one year (2016) that incorporates induced seismicity. In this study, we explore a process to ground‐truth the...

White, Isabel; Liu, Taojun; Luco, Nicolas; Liel, Abbie
White IJO, Liu T, Luco N, & Liel AB (2017), "Considerations in Comparing the U.S. Geological Survey One-Year Induced-Seismicity Hazard Models with "Did You Feel It?" and Instrumental Data," Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 89(1), pp. 127-137.

Year Published: 2017

Evidence for the interior evolution of Ceres from geologic analysis of fractures

Ceres is the largest asteroid belt object, and the Dawn spacecraft observed Ceres since 2015. Dawn observed two morphologically distinct linear features on Ceres's surface: secondary crater chains and pit chains. Pit chains provide unique insights into Ceres's interior evolution. We interpret pit chains called the Samhain Catenae as the surface...

Scully, Jennifer E. C.; Buczkowski, Debra; Schmedemann, Nico; Raymond, Carol A.; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Scott King; Bland, Michael T.; Ermakov, Anton; O'Brien, D.P.; Marchi, S.; Longobardo, A.; Russell, C.T.; Fu, R.R.; Neveu, M.
Scully, J. E. C., Buczkowski, D. L., Schmedemann, N., Raymond, C. A., Castillo-Rogez, J. C., King, S. D., … Neveu, M. (2017). Evidence for the interior evolution of Ceres from geologic analysis of fractures. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 9564–9572. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075086

Year Published: 2017

Basalt–trachybasalt samples in Gale Crater, Mars

The ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, observed numerous igneous float rocks and conglomerate clasts, reported previously. A new statistical analysis of single‐laser‐shot spectra of igneous targets observed by ChemCam shows a strong peak at ~55 wt% SiO2 and 6 wt% total alkalis, with a minor...

Edwards, Peter H.; Bridges, John C.; Wiens, Roger C.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Dyar, M. Darby; Fisk, Martin; Thompson, Lucy; Gasda, Patrick J.; Filiberto, Justin; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Blaney, Diana L.; Hutchinson, Ian

Year Published: 2017

A wideband magnetoresistive sensor for monitoring dynamic fault slip in laboratory fault friction experiments

A non-contact, wideband method of sensing dynamic fault slip in laboratory geophysical experiments employs an inexpensive magnetoresistive sensor, a small neodymium rare earth magnet, and user built application-specific wideband signal conditioning. The magnetoresistive sensor generates a voltage proportional to the changing angles of magnetic...

Kilgore, Brian D.
Kilgore BD. A Wideband Magnetoresistive Sensor for Monitoring Dynamic Fault Slip in Laboratory Fault Friction Experiments. Sensors. 2017; 17(12):2790.

Filter Total Items: 2,293
Lava flowing around islands of older lava in a lava channel
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Flowing Around Channel Islands

Lava flows around islands in the lava channel. The direction of flow is from the upper right to lower left. Field crews can make a rough calculation of velocity by timing large blocks as they pass between two landmarks that are a known distance apart.

Lava channel
June 29, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Braided Lava Channel

One portion of the braided section of the fissure 8 lava channel.

June 29, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Aerial

The USGS Unoccupied Aircraft Systems (UAS) team conducted a flight on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone to collect video in the upper lava channel of 

Aerial map showing areas of deformation in Kilauea Volcano caldera
June 29, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Cracks and Deformation Map

High-resolution satellite data are useful for mapping cracks and 

Ocean entry of lava forming laze plumes
June 29, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Laze Plumes

During the June 29 overflight, USGS scientists observed multiple active spots along the Kapoho ocean entry producing laze plumes.

Fissure with lava channels and plumes rising into the sky
June 29, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8

Fissure 8 and the proximal lava flow channel on the morning of June 29. Low fountaining within the cone is still producing a vigorous supply of lava to the channel.

Camera system mounted to the ceiling
June 28, 2018

Samples Repository ceiling mounted camera system

The Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Samples Repository provides space and services for processing and sampling of materials and collections. Sample photography uses a Nikon1 D90 SLR camera mounted to the ceiling directly above the layout table in the sample preparation area. This camera is connected to a designated computer workstation and can be

Core splitter mounted on the layout table
June 28, 2018

Core Splitter

The Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Samples Repository provides space and services for processing and sampling of materials and collections.

Cores can be split in-house using a custom-made sediment core splitter, which utilizes two Bosch1 oscillating tools with flush cut blade attachments mounted to a sliding carriage that moves over a

Night view of fissure 8
June 28, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Night View

Night view of the lava channel toward fissure 8 under a nearly full moon. This image was taken from an observation point near the right-hand bend in the channel

Ocean entry
June 28, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ocean Entry

View of the ocean entry (lower left) from this morning's overflight. Lava was entering the ocean across a broad area primarily on the north part of the lava delta. Upslope along the northern margin of the flow field, lava is still oozing from several points in the area of Kapoho Beach Lots. Fissure 8 

Filter Total Items: 354
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

Date published: December 12, 2017

Geophyiscal survey of Lake Powell, UT-AZ

Develop a new bathymetry map of Lake Powell, UT-AZ, and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers. Bathymetric data, acoustic backscatter imagery, and limited CHIRP sub-bottom data were collected by the USGS Utah Water Science Center (UTWSC) and Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) within Lake Powell, October - November, 2017...

Date published: December 11, 2017

USGS provides information about Alaska coastal change to Scientific American

USGS scientists at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center spoke by phone with Scientific American writer Andrea Thompson on November 15.

Date published: December 11, 2017

First observation of gold particles in hot hydrothermal fluids

For the first time, scientists have found gold particles in boiling fluids from a hydrothermal vent.

Date published: December 9, 2017

Open House at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, USGS scientists treated visitors to displays about their research at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.

Date published: December 8, 2017

Physical processes dominate channel evolution in Olympic National Park rivers—A reply

A team of federal scientists addressed comments from researchers who disagree with their conclusions that river channel evolution is driven primarily by physical factors rather than an overabundance of elk after wolf eradication.

Date published: November 30, 2017

Magnitude 4.1 Earthquake near Dover, Delaware

The USGS has up-to-date details on the November 30, 2017 event.

Date published: November 30, 2017

Revisiting the Oso Landslide

"Gravity Never Sleeps":  The USGS collaborates with community partners for a series of briefings on Capitol Hill to discuss national landslide hazards.  

Date published: November 29, 2017

USGS geologist chairs discussion of issues facing Department of Defense installations in the Pacific and Arctic

At the request of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), USGS geologist Curt Storlazzi chaired a session at a conference on issues affecting DoD installations.