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.

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Filter Total Items: 259
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

Monitoring Stations

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

Date published: May 2, 2018
Status: Active

Environmental Compliance

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is the cornerstone of our Nation's environmental laws and was enacted to ensure that information on the environmental impacts of any Federal, or federally funded, action is available to public officials and citizens before decisions are made and before actions are taken

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.

Date published: April 10, 2018
Status: Active

The HayWired Scenario: An Urban Earthquake in a Connected World

An interactive, graphics-rich summary of the hazards in the HayWired Scenario.

Date published: April 9, 2018
Status: Active

Global Ocean Mineral Resources

Addressing issues concerning mineral resources that occur within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Pacific coastal States, Pacific islands of U.S. affiliation, and areas beyond national jurisdictions.

Date published: April 5, 2018

Kilauea Advisory Messages Usability Study

Improving Advisories for volcanic activity.

Filter Total Items: 4,164
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.

Year Published: 2017

CO2 cycle

This chapter discusses the use of models, observations, and laboratory experiments to understand the cycling of CO2 between the atmosphere and seasonal Martian polar caps. This cycle is primarily controlled by the polar heat budget, and thus the emphasis here is on its components, including solar and infrared radiation, the effect of clouds (water...

Titus, Timothy N.; Byrne, Shane; Colaprete, Anthony; Forget, Francois; Michaels, Timothy I.; Prettyman, Thomas H.

Year Published: 2017

Community tools for cartographic and photogrammetric processing of Mars Express HRSC images

The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the Mars Express orbiter (Neukum et al. 2004) is a multi-line pushbroom scanner that can obtain stereo and color coverage of targets in a single overpass, with pixel scales as small as 10 m at periapsis. Since commencing operations in 2004 it has imaged ~ 77 % of Mars at 20 m/pixel or better. The...

Wu, B.; Di, K.; Oberst, J.; Karachevtseva, I.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Howington-Kraus, Elpitha; Edmundson, Kenneth L.; Redding, Bonnie L.; Galuszka, Donna M.; Hare, Trent M.; Gwinner, K.
Kirk, R.L., Howington-Kraus, E., Edmundson, K., Redding, B., Galuszka, D., Hare, T., and Gwinner, K.: Community tools for cartographic and photogrammetric processing of Mars express HiRISE images, International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, v. XLII-3/W1, p. 69-76, https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-archives-XLII-3-W1-69-2017, 2017.

Year Published: 2017

Correcting spacecraft jitter in HiRISE images

Mechanical oscillations or vibrations on spacecraft, also called pointing jitter, cause geometric distortions and/or smear in high resolution digital images acquired from orbit. Geometric distortion is especially a problem with pushbroom type sensors, such as the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument on board the Mars...

Wu, B.; Di, K.; Oberst, J.; Karachevtseva, I.; Sutton, S. S.; Boyd, A.K.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Cook, Debbie; Backer, Jean; Fennema, A.; Heyd, R.; McEwen, A.S.; Mirchandani, S.D.
Sutton, S.S., Boyd, A.K., Kirk, R.L., Cook, D., Backer, J.W., Fennema, A., Heyd, R., McEwen, A.S., and Mirchandani, S.D., 2017, Correcting spacecraft jitter in HiRISE images: International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, v. XLII-3/W1, p. 141-148, https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-archives-XLII-3-W1-141-2017.

Year Published: 2017

Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: Testing and certification platform

Earthquake early warning systems provide warnings to end users of incoming moderate to strong ground shaking from earthquakes. An earthquake early warning system, ShakeAlert, is providing alerts to beta end users in the western United States, specifically California, Oregon, and Washington. An essential aspect of the earthquake early warning...

Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Kohler, Monica D.; Given, Douglas D.; Guiwits, Stephen; Andrews, Jennifer; Meier, Men-Andrin; Ahmad, Mohammad; Henson, Ivan; Hartog, J. Renate; Smith, Deborah
Cochran, E. S., Kohler, M. D., Given, D. D., Guiwits, S., Andrews, J., Meier, M.-A., Ahmad, M., Henson, I., Hartog, R., Smith, D. E. (2018). Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: Testing and Certification Platform, Seismological Research Letters, 89 (1), 108–117, doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0220170138.

Year Published: 2017

Earthquake early Warning ShakeAlert system: West coast wide production prototype

Earthquake early warning (EEW) is an application of seismological science that can give people, as well as mechanical and electrical systems, up to tens of seconds to take protective actions before peak earthquake shaking arrives at a location. Since 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey has been working in collaboration with several partners to...

Kohler, Monica D.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Given, Douglas D.; Guiwits, Stephen; Neuhauser, Doug; Hensen, Ivan; Hartog, J. Renate; Bodin, Paul; Kress, Victor; Thompson, Stephen; Felizardo, Claude; Brody, Jeff; Bhadha, Rayo; Schwarz, Stan
Monica D. Kohler, Elizabeth S. Cochran, Doug Given, Steve Guiwits, Doug Neuhauser, Ivan Henson, Renate Hartog, Paul Bodin, Victor Kress, Stephen Thompson, Claude Felizardo, Jeff Brody, Rayo Bhadha, Stan Schwarz; Earthquake Early Warning ShakeAlert System: West Coast Wide Production Prototype. Seismological Research Letters ; 89 (1): 99–107. doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0220170140

Year Published: 2017

Effects of thermal variability on broadband seismometers: Controlled experiments, observations, and implications

Isolating seismic instruments from temperature fluctuations is routine practice within the seismological community. However, the necessary degree of thermal stability required in broadband installations to avoid generating noise or compromising the fidelity in the seismic records is largely unknown and likely application dependent. To quantify the...

Doody, Claire; Ringler, Adam; Anthony, Robert E.; Wilson, David; Holland, Austin; Hutt, Charles R.; Sandoval, Leo
Doody, C. D., A. T. Ringler, R. E. Anthony, D. C. Wilson, A. A. Holland, C. R. Hutt, and L. D. Sandoval (2017). Effects of thermal variability on broadband seismometers: Controlled experiments, observations, and implications, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 108 (1), 493-502.

Year Published: 2017

Quake warnings, seismic culture

Since 1990, nearly one million people have died from the impacts of earthquakes. Reducing those impacts requires building a local seismic culture in which residents are aware of earthquake risks and value efforts to mitigate harm. Such efforts include earthquake early warning (EEW) systems that provide seconds to minutes notice of pending shaking...

Allen, Richard M.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Huggins, Tom; Miles, Scott; Otegui, Diego
Allen, R. M., Cochran, E.S., Huggins, T., Miles, S., and Otegui, D. (2017). Quake warnings, seismic culture, Science, 358(6367), p. 1111, doi: 10.1126/science.aar4640.

Year Published: 2017

Spatial data analytics on heterogeneous multi- and many-core parallel architectures using python

Parallel vector spatial analysis concerns the application of parallel computational methods to facilitate vector-based spatial analysis. The history of parallel computation in spatial analysis is reviewed, and this work is placed into the broader context of high-performance computing (HPC) and parallelization research. The rise of cyber...

Laura, Jason R.; Rey, Sergio J.
Laura, Jason, and Rey, Sergio J., 2016, Spatial Data Analytics on Heterogeneous Multi- and Many-Core Parallel Architectures Using Python, in Shekhar, S., et al., eds.: Encyclopedia of GIS, Springer, 10 p., doi:10.1007/978-3-319-23519-6_1569-1.

Year Published: 2017

Toward a unified near-field intensity map of the 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, Earthquake

We develop a unified near-field shaking intensity map for the 25 April 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, earthquake by synthesizing intensities derived from macroseismic effects that were determined by independent groups using a variety of approaches. Independent assessments by different groups are generally consistent, with minor differences that...

Adhikari, Sujan Raj; Baysal, Gopi; Dixit, Amod; Martin, Stacey; Landes, Mattieu; Bossu, Remy; Hough, Susan E.
Sujan Raj Adhikari, Gopi Baysal, Amod Dixit, Stacey S. Martin, Mattieu Landes, Remy Bossu, and Susan E. Hough (2017) Toward a Unified Near-Field Intensity Map of the 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, Earthquake. Earthquake Spectra: December 2017, Vol. 33, No. S1, pp. S21-S34.

Year Published: 2017

Estimating rupture distances without a rupture

Most ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) require distances that are defined relative to a rupture model, such as the distance to the surface projection of the rupture (RJB) or the closest distance to the rupture plane (RRUP). There are a number of situations in which GMPEs are used where it is either necessary or advantageous to derive...

Thompson, Eric M.; Worden, Charles
Thompson, E. M., and C. B Worden (2017). Estimating Rupture Distances without a Rupture. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170174

Year Published: 2017

PRISM software—Processing and review interface for strong-motion data

Rapidly available and accurate ground-motion acceleration time series (seismic recordings) and derived data products are essential to quickly providing scientific and engineering analysis and advice after an earthquake. To meet this need, the U.S. Geological Survey National Strong Motion Project has developed a software package called PRISM (...

Jones, Jeanne M.; Kalkan, Erol; Stephens, Christopher D.; Ng, Peter
Jones, J.M., Kalkan, Erol, Stephens, C.D., and Ng, Peter, 2017, PRISM software—Processing and review interface for strong-motion data: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 12, chap. A2, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm12A2.

Filter Total Items: 2,457
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 

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Lava flowing into residential area
June 28, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fresh Lava at Kapoho Beach Lots

Near the coast, the northern margin of the lava flow field is still oozing fresh lava at several points in the area of Kapoho Beach Lots. Smoke marks locations where lava is burning vegetation.

View of fissure 8 with overflows
June 27, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Overflows

Overflows from the perched lava channel are seen as incandescent (glowing) fingers moving down the sides of the channel (left side of photo). Fissure 8 

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lava plumes from ocean entries
June 27, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Coastline Ocean Entries

Lava continues to enter the sea along the southern Kapoho coastline. Lava enters the ocean primarily through an open channel, but also along a 1-km (0.6 mi) wide area. Also visible in the image (center right) is an area at the northern margin of the flow field that is oozing fresh lava at several points in the area of Kapoho Beach Lots.

Aerial view looking down on a lava flow overflow from a channel
June 27, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Channel Overflow

A small overflow from the lava channel (left side of image) captured by an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Small overflows on both sides of the channel occurred shortly after midnight in the uppermost part of channel. None of these overflows extended past the existing flow field.

Lava channel
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Channel Branches Off

Southward facing view of the point at which the fissure 8 lava channel bifurcates.

Lava entering the ocean causing laze plumes
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Laze Plumes

Lava from fissure 8 is entering the sea this morning on the southern portion of the flow front primarily through the open channel, but also along this 1 km (0.6 mi) wide area with multiple laze plumes from smaller oozing lobes.

Filter Total Items: 377
Date published: October 10, 2017

USGS Tracks Evolution of a Fire Island Hurricane-Made Breach

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.

Date published: October 6, 2017

Hurricane Nate Will Affect Most Gulf Beaches, USGS Projects

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2 pm Saturday, October 7. For the latest graphic showing USGS predictions of the sandy coastal areas likely to be affected by Hurricane Nate, click here.

More information about USGS science in response to Hurricane Nate is at www.usgs.gov/nate

Date published: September 26, 2017

Hurricane Maria expected to alter North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland Beaches

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Maria, visit the USGS Hurricane Maria page at https://www.usgs.gov/maria.

Date published: September 22, 2017

USGS Continues Response to Four Hurricanes

As thousands of people remain displaced by or are recovering from one of the four hurricanes that have affected the United States the past month, the U.S. Geological Survey is in the field providing science that will help with recovery from these historic hurricanes and with preparing for the next storm.

Date published: September 22, 2017

USGS Tidal Network Monitoring Elevated Water Levels Off Hampton Roads

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Jose, visit the USGS Hurricane Jose page at https://www.usgs.gov/jose.

Date published: September 19, 2017

Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake in Mexico

The USGS has up-to-date details on the September 19, 2017 event.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: September 19, 2017

More than a dozen USGS Storm-Tide Sensors Deployed for Hurricane Jose

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Jose, visit the USGS Hurricane Jose page at https://www.usgs.gov/jose.

Date published: September 19, 2017

Florida Streamgages Measure Record Peaks Following Hurricane Irma

Editor’s note: this news release will be updated online with more information on the streamgage records being set in Florida as it becomes available

Date published: September 18, 2017

USGS field crews in Puerto Rico are preparing for Hurricane Maria

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Maria, visit the USGS Hurricane Maria page at https://www.usgs.gov/maria.

Date published: September 18, 2017

USGS Teams Up with Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to Research Teton Fault

Just after Labor Day, U.S. Geological Survey field crews began digging a trench within the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski area, on the lower reaches of Buffalo Bowl. 

Date published: September 15, 2017

Landsat Images Before and After Harvey Illustrate Flooding in Texas

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page at https://www.usgs.gov/harvey.

Date published: September 13, 2017

USGS Measures the Impacts of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma’s heavy rains and storm surge caused severe flooding in parts of the Southeast.

Filter Total Items: 155