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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: 145
Date published: March 2, 2016

Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

The AVO is a partnership among the USGS, the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. To mitigate volcanic hazards, AVO monitors and studies Alaska's hazardous volcanoes to forecast and record eruptive activity. AVO also monitors volcanic activity in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Landslides Research

Our Program researches activities to make accurate landslide hazard maps and forecasts of landslide occurrences.

Date published: March 2, 2016

USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO)

CalVO operates real-time volcano monitoring networks, disseminates forecasts and notifications of significant activity, assesses volcano hazards, researches volcano processes, and works with communities to prepare for volcanic eruptions in California and Nevada. The Observatory is located at USGS offices in Menlo Park, California.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Landslide Monitoring

Landslide sites and data for learning more about the physical processes that trigger landslides or control their movement.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)

The CVO staff conduct research on many aspects of active volcanism, respond to dangerous volcanic activity in many parts of the world, and maintain a close watch over volcanoes in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The USGS established CVO in Vancouver, Washington, after the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Date published: March 2, 2016

"The First Sue Nami"

Tsunami awareness public service announcements come from collaboration among the USGS SAFRR team, outside partners, and Pasadena's Art Center College of Design.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

HVO operates monitoring networks, assesses hazards, and issues notifications of volcanic activity and earthquakes in the State of Hawai‘i. HVO scientists conduct fundamental research on volcanic processes and work to educate the communities at risk. HVO is located in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawaii.

Date published: March 1, 2016
Status: Completed


CORE - Cadre of Relevant Experts

Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed

National Seismic Hazard Map Usability Study

How can we better communicate seismic hazards to non-scientists?

Date published: August 19, 2014

Estuarine Physical Response to Storms

The Estuarine Physical Response to Storms Project will assess the estuarine and adjacent wetland  responses of three Atlantic lagoonal estuaries to major storm events such as Hurricane Sandy. The estuarine systems include the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary, the Chincoteague Bay, and Jamaica Bay, NY. Evaluations of sediment transport, geomorphic change, circulation, wetland stability....

Date published: April 25, 2014
Status: Completed

Tsunami Scenario

A hypothetical but likely tsunami scenario affecting California's coastline, representing studies and models of damage, restoration, and social and economic impacts of a tsunami generated by a magnitude 9.1 megathrust Alaskan earthquake.

Date published: September 4, 2013

Tsunami Scenario

The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario is a hypothetical but plausible tsunami created by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake offshore of the Alaskan peninsula. The scenario report was released September 2013 and provides an analysis of the potential impacts along the California coast, intended for those who need to make mitigation, preparedness, and outreach decisions before and after tsunami impacts.

Filter Total Items: 260
Year Published: 2006

Aftershock decay, productivity, and stress rates in Hawaii: Indicators of temperature and stress from magma sources

We examined dozens of aftershock sequences in Hawaii in terms of Gutenberg-Richter and modified Omori law parameters. We studied p, the rate of aftershock decay; Ap, the aftershock productivity, defined as the observed divided by the expected number of aftershocks; and c, the time delay when aftershock rates begin to fall. We found that for...

Klein, Fred W.; Wright, Tom; Nakata, Jennifer

Year Published: 2006

AMS Radiocarbon dating of paleosols intercalated with tephra layers from Mayon Volcano, southern Luzon, Philippines: A preliminary report

This paper presents the AMS 14C dates of paleosols intercalated with tephra layers in the vicinity of Mayon Volcano, southern Luzon, Philippines. the obtained 14C dates are almost consistent with the stratigraphy of the Mayon tephra group. On the basis of calibrated 14C age of soil layer directly overlying the lowest ash layer, the oldest eruptive...

Mirabueno, Ma. Hannah T.; Okuno, Mitsuru; Nakamura, Toshio; Newhall, Christopher G.; Kobayashi, Tetsuo

Year Published: 2006

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) and its applications to study volcanoes, part 1: Principles of InSAR

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar is an ability to measure the surface deformation of remote sensing technology, in a huge area, its deformation measurement with sub-centimeter accuracy, and spatial resolution in the tens of meters or less. In this paper, the basic theory of InSAR technology is reviewed, its working principle is clarified,...

Lu, Zhong; Zhang, Jixian; Zhang, Yonghong

Year Published: 2006

USGS, NPS, educate the public on the risks, wonders of Alaska's volcanoes

No abstract available.

Adleman, Jennifer N.

Year Published: 2006

Infrasonic array observations at I53US of the 2006 Augustine Volcano eruptions

The recent January 2006 Augustine eruptions, from the 11th to the 28th, have produced a series of 12 infrasonic signals that were observed at the I53US array at UAF. the eruption times for the signals were provided by the Alaska Volcanic Observatory at UAF using seismic sensors and a Chaparral microphone that are installed on Augustine Island. The...

Wilson, C.R.; Olson, J.V.; Szuberla, Curt A.L.; McNutt, Steve; Tytgat, Guy; Drob, Douglas P.

Year Published: 2006

Special issue: Terrestrial fluids, earthquakes and volcanoes: The Hiroshi Wakita volume I

Terrestrial Fluids, Earthquakes and Volcanoes: The Hiroshi Wakita Volume I is a special publication to honor Professor Hiroshi Wakita for his scientific contributions. This volume consists of 17 original papers dealing with various aspects of the role of terrestrial fluids in earthquake and volcanic processes, which reflect Prof. Wakita’s wide...

Perez, Nemesio M.; King, Chi-Yu; Gurrieri, Sergio; McGee, Kenneth A.

Year Published: 2006

Special issue: The changing shapes of active volcanoes: Recent results and advances in volcano geodesy

The 18 papers herein report on new geodetic data that offer valuable insights into eruptive activity and magma transport; they present new models and modeling strategies that have the potential to greatly increase understanding of magmatic, hydrothermal, and volcano-tectonic processes; and they describe innovative techniques for collecting...

Poland, Michael P.; Newman, Andrew V.

Year Published: 2006

The changing shapes of active volcanoes: History, evolution, and future challenges for volcano geodesy

At the very heart of volcanology lies the search for the 'plumbing systems' that form the inner workings of Earth’s active volcanoes. By their very nature, however, the magmatic reservoirs and conduits that underlie these active volcanic systems are elusive; mostly they are observable only through circumstantial evidence, using indirect, and often...

Poland, Michael P.; Hamburger, Michael W.; Newman, Andrew V.

Year Published: 2006

King of the 40th parallel - Discovery in the American West

This book recounts the life and achievements of Clarence King, widely recognized as one of America’s most gifted intellectuals of the nineteenth century, and a legendary figure in the American West. King’s genius, singular accomplishments, and near-death adventures unfold in a narrative centered on his personal relationship with his lifelong...

Moore, James G.

Year Published: 2006

Abrupt transitions during sustained explosive eruptions: Examples from the 1912 eruption of Novarupta, Alaska

Plinian/ignimbrite activity stopped briefly and abruptly 16 and 45 h after commencement of the 1912 Novarupta eruption defining three episodes of explosive volcanism before finally giving way after 60 h to effusion of lava domes. We focus here on the processes leading to the termination of the second and third of these three episodes. Early...

Adams, N.K.; Houghton, Bruce F.; Hildreth, W.
Abrupt transitions during sustained explosive eruptions: Examples from the 1912 eruption of Novarupta, Alaska; 2006; Article; Journal; Bulletin of Volcanology; Adams, N. K.; Houghton, B. F.; Hildreth, W.

Year Published: 2006

Quiescent deformation of the Aniakchak Caldera, Alaska mapped by InSAR

The 10-km-wide caldera of the historically active Aniakchak volcano, Alaska, subsides ∼13 mm/yr, based on data from 19 European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-1 and ERS-2) interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) images from 1992 through 2002. The pattern of subsidence does not reflect the distribution of pyroclastic deposits from the last...

Kwoun, Oh-Ig; Lu, Zhong; Neal, Christina; Wicks, Charles W.

Year Published: 2006

Storage and interaction of compositionally heterogeneous magmas from the 1986 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska

Compositional heterogeneity (56–64 wt% SiO2 whole-rock) in samples of tephra and lava from the 1986 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska, raises questions about the physical nature of magma storage and interaction beneath this young and frequently active volcano. To determine conditions of magma storage and evolutionary histories of...

Roman, Diana C.; Cashman, Katharine V.; Gardner, Cynthia A.; Wallace, Paul J.; Donovan, John J.

Filter Total Items: 2,098
side by side of thermal images
June 4, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Thermal Images

What a difference four days makes! These thermal images of fissure 8 fountains erupting on...

Ocean entry at Kapoho Bay
June 4, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapaho Bay Ocean Entry

Video from helicopter overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on June 4, 2018, shows lava from fissure 8...

June 4, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Video Compilation of Kapoho Bay Ocean Entry

This short video compilation shows conditions at Kapoho Bay during a helicopter overflight on June 4, 2018, around 6:15 a.m. HST and again around 1:38 p.m. HST. By 6:15 a.m., ...

June 3, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Overflight June 3


This video was taken on the June 3 7AM HST helicopter overflight, hovering offshore and looking up the flowfront. Nearly all of the front was active and advancing; advance rates were estimated at an average of 250 feet/hour (76 m/hr), and as of 7AM the flow was 500 yards (457 m) from the ocean.

June 3, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - June 3, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on June 3, 2018. On camera: Jessica Ball, USGS Volcanologist

Animated GIF showing change in crater over several days
June 3, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Halema‘uma‘u Crater Slumping Animation

This animated GIF shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Italian Space Agency's Cosmo-SkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the ...

Lava flow advancing, ocean in foreground
June 3, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Advancing Flow

Photo from 7AM helicopter overflight, hovering offshore and looking up the flowfront. Nearly all of the front was active and advancing; advance rates were estimated at an average of 250 feet/hour (76 m/hr), and as of 7AM the flow was 500 yards (457 m) from the ocean.

Lava flow advancing
June 3, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Advancing Lava Flow

Overflight photo at 7AM HST from offshore looking up the flowfront. Nearly all of the front was active and advancing/spreading.

Plume rising from a crater
June 3, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Summit Plume

Summit plume at 8:40AM HST on June 3. A slight mist in the air softens the look of the plume, which is...

June 2, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - June 2, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on June 2, 2018, 9:00 AM HST. On camera: Jessica Ball, USGS Volcanologist

Filter Total Items: 338
Date published: July 6, 2017

Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake in Montana

The USGS has up-to-date details on the July 6, 2017 event.

Date published: July 3, 2017

Guiding Rovers for Safe Mars Exploration

Billions of dollars and a decade worth of research are on the line in the instant that a spacecraft touches down on Mars. When deciding where to land on the planet’s rocky surface, it is essential to analyze potential landing sites and their surface characteristics.

Date published: June 22, 2017

USGS Collaborates with FEMA on National Earthquake Loss Estimate

Earthquakes are estimated to cost the nation $6.1 billion annually in building stock losses according to an updated report published today by FEMA.

Date published: June 21, 2017

USGS publishes a new blueprint that can help make subduction zone areas more resilient

Subduction zone events pose significant threats to lives, property, economic vitality, cultural and natural resources and quality of life. The tremendous magnitudes of these events are unique to subduction zones, and they can have cascading consequences that reverberate around the globe.

Date published: June 19, 2017

Preparing for the Storm: Predicting Where Our Coasts Are at Risk

Living in the Outer Banks means living with the power of the sea. Jutting out from North Carolina’s coast into the Atlantic Ocean, this series of sandy barrier islands is particularly vulnerable to damage from major storms. In April 2016, another nor’easter was set to strike, but this time, Dare County officials were approached by their local weather forecaster with a new kind of prediction.

Date published: June 15, 2017

New Land Created by Slide on Big Sur Coast is Eroding

USGS analysis of air photos collected June 13 shows that new land created by a May 20 landslide on California’s Big Sur coast is eroding. 

Date published: June 9, 2017

The Fire Island Wilderness Breach: Help or Hindrance?

When Hurricane Sandy struck the south shore of Long Island, New York, on October 29, 2012, it caused substantial erosion of the beach and dunes. Storm waves cut through Fire Island National Seashore’s wilderness area, forming a breach. The resulting channel allowed water to flow between the Atlantic Ocean and Great South Bay. 

Date published: June 5, 2017

New USGS Science Plan Designed to Help Plan for Drought Effects on People, Communities, and Ecosystems

The U. S. Geological Survey is poised to bring a dynamic array of science and tools to help decision-makers manage and offset effects of increased drought across the United States, according to a drought plan report released today.

Date published: June 1, 2017

As Hurricane Season Opens, USGS Is Ready

Scientists work in the field before, during and after landfall to improve forecasting and recovery.



Date published: June 1, 2017

USGS maps, measures huge landslide on California's Big Sur coast

USGS scientists analyzing before-and-after air photos have calculated the size of the May 20 landslide on California’s Big Sur coast, about 140 miles south of San Francisco. 

Date published: May 27, 2017

USGS helping to monitor and assess huge Big Sur landslide

USGS is collecting and analyzing air photos to help monitor a huge landslide that occurred May 20 on California’s Big Sur coast.

Date published: May 25, 2017

Updated USGS Earthquake Monitoring Strategy Released

The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program recently released a new strategic plan for earthquake monitoring entitled the “Advanced National Seismic System – Current Status, Development Opportunities, Priorities, 2017-2027.”