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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: 144
Date published: February 22, 2018
Status: Completed

Hawaii Tsunami Messaging

Recent scientific study reveals that certain large earthquakes in the Aleutian Islands can produce much greater tsunami inundation than Hawaii typically experiences. This higher level of tsunami inundation necessitates changes to current tsunami safety instructions - but only for this Aleutian event.

Date published: February 21, 2018
Status: Completed

SAFRR Newsletters

SAFRR Newsletters summarize the recent activities in the project.

Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Active

Hurricane Matthew - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Matthew coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Harvey - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Harvey coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: January 30, 2018
Status: Active

Hurricane Irma - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Irma coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: January 30, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Sandy Response- Linking the Delmarva Peninsula's Geologic Framework to Coastal Vulnerability

The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. In order to better constrain controls on coastal vulnerability and evolution, the region’s sediment sources, transport pathways and sinks must be identified. This project defines the geologic framework of the Delmarva coastal system through geophysical...

Date published: January 29, 2018
Status: Active

Probabilistic Forecasting of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Earthquake Effects in the Coastal Zone

The nation's coastlines are vulnerable to the interrelated hazards posed by earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis.

Date published: January 29, 2018
Status: Active

Beach-dependent Shorebirds

Policy-makers, individuals from government agencies, and natural resource managers are under increasing pressure to manage changing coastal areas to meet social, economic, and natural resource demands, particularly under a regime of sea-level rise. Scientific knowledge of coastal processes and habitat-use can support decision-makers as they balance these often-conflicting human and ecological...

Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Nate - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Nate coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Active

Real-Time Storm Response

The USGS National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards group releases coastal change forecasts and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change for landfalling storms.

Date published: January 24, 2018

Operational Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecasts

The viewer shows predictions of the timing and magnitude of water levels at the shoreline and potential impacts to coastal dunes. Research is part of the  National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project.

Contacts: Joseph Long
Date published: January 23, 2018
Status: Active

Scenario-Based Assessments for Coastal Change Hazard Forecasts

The assessment methodology is based on a storm-impact scaling model that uses observations of beach morphology combined with sophisticated hydrodynamic models to predict how the coast will respond to the direct landfall of extreme storms. Research part of the National...

Filter Total Items: 96
Date published: May 26, 2017

Data from Earthquake-Induced Landslide Hazards for a M7.0 Scenario Earthquake on the Hayward Fault

The seismic-landslide probability map covers the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. The slope failures are triggered by a hypothetical earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.0 occurring on April 18, 2018, at 4:18 p.m. on the Hayward Fault in the east bay part of California’s San Francisco Bay region.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: April 18, 2017

Liquefaction potential as a result of HayWired earthquake scenario mainshock (April 18, 2018) shaking in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, San Francisco Bay area, California

These data are a geospatial representation of liquefaction potential for the HayWired earthquake scenario, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurring on the Hayward Fault on April 18, 2018, with an epicenter in the city of Oakland, CA. These data are the product of an analysis that created a detailed liquefaction probability map covering the northern Santa Clara County and western Alameda County...

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: February 23, 2017

Data Viewer—Post-Hurricane Sandy Lidar Elevations and Features

This viewer provides visualization for and accessibility to USGS lidar data obtained following Hurricane Sandy (October 2012). Access and download data and publications that include the source lidar data and the coastal dune and shoreline data needed to examine coastal change and erosion hazards.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Download Real-Time Data

Download real-time and definitive data and indices from USGS geomagnetic observatories.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Real-Time Display of Geomagnetism Plots

Real-time HEZF data from USGS geomagnetic observatories with satellite data used to fill gaps.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Real-Time Disturbance Storm Time (Dst) Display

Real-time Dst data from USGS observatories as well as other world partners.

Date published: April 18, 2016

Coastal and Marine Geology Video and Photography Portal

This portal contains U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) video and photography of the seafloor off of coastal California and Massachusetts, and aerial imagery of the coastline along segments of the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic coasts. These data were collected as part of several USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program Seafloor Mapping projects and Hurricane and Extreme Storm research.

Date published: April 12, 2016

Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Map

The Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application showcases data and analytical products from Aerial reconnaissance imagery; Environmental Contaminants; and Reproductive success of piper plovers.

Date published: March 17, 2016

Volcano Monitoring Data

Many volcanoes in the U.S. are monitored by arrays of several instruments that detect subtle movements within the earth and changes in gas and water chemistry. The Volcano Hazards Program streams this data to its Volcano Observatories and makes it available on volcano-specific websites.

Date published: March 17, 2016

Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System

Site provides access to Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) data via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards services; serving data to GeoMapApp and Virtual Ocean 2-D and 3-D earth browsing tools, for data integration, visualization and analysis; and metadata catalogs for data discovery.

Date published: March 15, 2016

High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula in 2015, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2015-001-FA

The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012. The U.S. Geological Survey conducted cruises during the summers of 2014 and 2015 to map the inner continental shelf of the Delmarva Peninsula using geophysical and sampling techniques to define the geologic framework

Filter Total Items: 407
Year Published: 2010

Temporal variations in Global Seismic Stations ambient noise power levels

Recent concerns about time-dependent response changes in broadband seismometers have motivated the need for methods to monitor sensor health at Global Seismographic Network (GSN) stations. We present two new methods for monitoring temporal changes in data quality and instrument response transfer functions that are independent of Earth seismic...

Ringler, A.T.; Gee, L.S.; Hutt, C.R.; McNamara, D.E.
Temporal variations in Global Seismic Stations ambient noise power levels; 2010; Article; Journal; Seismological Research Letters; Ringler, A.T.; Gee, L.S.; Hutt, C.R.; McNamara, D.E.

Year Published: 2010

Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2008

The Volcano Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is part of the Geologic Hazards Assessments subactivity as funded by Congressional appropriation. Investigations are carried out in the Geology and Hydrology Disciplines of the USGS and with cooperators at the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, University of...

Nathenson, Manuel
Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2008; 2010; OFR; 2010-1052; Nathenson, Manuel

Year Published: 2010

Volcano-Monitoring Instrumentation in the United States, 2008

The United States is one of the most volcanically active countries in the world. According to the global volcanism database of the Smithsonian Institution, the United States (including its Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) is home to about 170 volcanoes that are in an eruptive phase, have erupted in historical time, or have not erupted...

Guffanti, Marianne; Diefenbach, Angela K.; Ewert, John W.; Ramsey, David W.; Cervelli, Peter F.; Schilling, Steven P.
Volcano-Monitoring Instrumentation in the United States, 2008; 2010; OFR; 2009-1165; Guffanti, Marianne; Diefenbach, Angela K.; Ewert, John W.; Ramsey, David W.; Cervelli, Peter F.; Schilling, Steven P.

Year Published: 2010

OMG earthquake! can twitter improve earthquake response?

[No abstract available]

Earle, P.; Guy, M.; Buckmaster, R.; Ostrum, C.; Horvath, S.; Vaughan, A.
OMG earthquake! can twitter improve earthquake response?; 2010; Article; Journal; Seismological Research Letters; Earle, P.; Guy, M.; Buckmaster, R.; Ostrum, C.; Horvath, S.; Vaughan, A.

Year Published: 2010

Monitoring and characterizing natural hazards with satellite InSAR imagery

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) provides an all-weather imaging capability for measuring ground-surface deformation and inferring changes in land surface characteristics. InSAR enables scientists to monitor and characterize hazards posed by volcanic, seismic, and hydrogeologic processes, by landslides and wildfires, and by human...

Lu, Zhong; Zhang, Jixian; Zhang, Yonghong; Dzurisin, Daniel

Year Published: 2009

Hand-Hewn Granite Basins at Native American Saltworks, Sierra Nevada, California

This site in the northern Sierra Nevada contains about 369 circular basins carved in fresh, glaciated granodioritic bedrock, with 325 basins crowded together in an area of 2,700 m2 on the main terrace. These terrace basins have a median average diameter of 125 cm (80 percent between 100 and 160 cm) and a median depth of 75-80 cm. They show a...

Moore, James G.; Diggles, Michael F.
Hand-Hewn Granite Basins at Native American Saltworks, Sierra Nevada, California; 2009; SIR; 2009-5225; Moore, James G.; Diggles, Michael F.

Year Published: 2009

Chronology and References of Volcanic Eruptions and Selected Unrest in the United States, 1980-2008

The United States ranks as one of the top countries in the world in the number of young, active volcanoes within its borders. The United States, including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is home to approximately 170 geologically active (age <10,000 years) volcanoes. As our review of the record shows, 30 of these volcanoes have...

Diefenbach, Angela K.; Guffanti, Marianne; Ewert, John W.
Chronology and References of Volcanic Eruptions and Selected Unrest in the United States, 1980-2008; 2009; OFR; 2009-1118; Diefenbach, Angela K.; Guffanti, Marianne; Ewert, John W.

Year Published: 2009

Finding Trapped Miners by Using a Prototype Seismic Recording System Made from Music-Recording Hardware

The goal of this project was to use off-the-shelf music recording equipment to build and test a prototype seismic system to listen for people trapped in underground chambers (mines, caves, collapsed buildings). Previous workers found that an array of geophones is effective in locating trapped miners; displaying the data graphically, as well as...

Pratt, Thomas L.
Finding Trapped Miners by Using a Prototype Seismic Recording System Made from Music-Recording Hardware; 2009; OFR; 2009-1095; Pratt, Thomas L.

Year Published: 2009

Preliminary Spreadsheet of Eruption Source Parameters for Volcanoes of the World

Volcanic eruptions that spew tephra into the atmosphere pose a hazard to jet aircraft. For this reason, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has designated nine Volcanic Ash and Aviation Centers (VAACs) around the world whose purpose is to track ash clouds from eruptions and notify aircraft so that they may avoid these ash clouds....

Mastin, Larry G.; Guffanti, Marianne; Ewert, John W.; Spiegel, Jessica
Preliminary Spreadsheet of Eruption Source Parameters for Volcanoes of the World; 2009; OFR; 2009-1133; Mastin, Larry G.; Guffanti, Marianne; Ewert, John W.; Spiegel, Jessica

Year Published: 2009

Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2007

The Volcano Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is part of the Geologic Hazards Assessments subactivity as funded by Congressional appropriation. Investigations are carried out in the Geology and Hydrology Disciplines of the USGS and with cooperators at the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, University of...

Nathenson, Manuel
Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2007; 2009; OFR; 2009-1071; Nathenson, Manuel

Year Published: 2009

Multiple dendrochronological responses to the eruption of Cinder Cone, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Two dendrochronological properties – ring width and ring chemistry – were investigated in trees near Cinder Cone in Lassen Volcanic National Park, northeastern California, for the purpose of re-evaluating the date of its eruption. Cinder Cone is thought to have erupted in AD 1666 based on ring-width evidence, but interpreting ring-width changes...

Sheppard, P.R.; Ort, M.H.; Anderson, K.C.; Clynne, M.A.; May, E.M.
Multiple dendrochronological responses to the eruption of Cinder Cone, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California; 2009; Article; Journal; Dendrochronologia; Sheppard, P. R.; Ort, M. H.; Anderson, K. C.; Clynne, M. A.; May, E. M.

Year Published: 2008

A Volcano Rekindled: The Renewed Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

Mount St. Helens began a dome-building eruption in September 2004 after nearly two decades of quiescence. Dome growth was initially robust, became more sluggish with time, and ceased completely in late January 2008. The volcano has been quiet again since January 2008. Professional Paper 1750 describes the first 1 1/2 years of this eruptive...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.
A Volcano Rekindled: The Renewed Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750; Edited by Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.

Filter Total Items: 2,082
Aerial of Kapoho Bay
June 10, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Delta at Kapoho Bay

A closer aerial view of the lava delta forming at the Kapoho Bay ocean entry, where fissure 8 lava continued enter the ocean as of this morning. Laze (lava haze), an acidic white plume laced with tiny particles of volcanic glass, is produced by the ocean entry and creates an ongoing hazard that should be avoided.

Aerial of ocean entry plume
June 10, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Bay Ocean Entry Plume

The fissure 8 lava flow reaches the ocean at Kapoho Bay, where a lava delta has formed and continues to grow as lava enters the sea. The largest white laze ...

Aerial of lava overflows
June 10, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Overflows from Fissure 8

Overflows of the upper fissure 8 lava channel this morning sent small flows of lava down the levee walls. These overflows did not extend far from the channel, so they posed no immediate threat to nearby areas. Channel overflows, like the ones shown here, add layers of lava to the channel levees, increasing their height and thickness.

Topographic photo of summit
June 10, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Topography of Halema`uma`u

A photogrammetry survey of Kīlauea's summit by the U.S. Department of Interior Unmanned Aircraft Systems' (UAS) Kīlauea response team show the topography of Halema‘uma‘u as of June 8. Cracks through the former overlook parking lot (bottom of image) wrap around the east margin of Halema‘uma‘u; the once-popular overlook viewing area (closed since 2008 due to volcanic hazards associated with the...

June 10, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Summit Explosion (June 10, 2018)

Another explosion occurred at Halema‘uma‘u at 12:51 a.m. HST today, releasing energy equivalent to a magnitude-5.3 earthquake. Following the explosion, summit activity consisted mostly of...

Aerial of lava flow
June 10, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 from a Distance

Distant view of Kīlauea Volcano's fissure 8 lava channel from HVO's early morning overflight on June 10, looking to the southeast. Bryson's cinder quarry is the brown patch just to the north of the channel.

Aerial of lava channel
June 10, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Lava Channel

A closer view of the fissure 8 lava channel with the cinderquarry more clearly visible in the foreground (bottom of photo). During this morning's overflight, HVO geologists observed no new breakouts of lava near this quarry.

Aerial view of fissure 8 eruption
June 10, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Eruption

Fissure 8 continues to erupt vigorously, with ...

Scientist setting up an instrument
June 9, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — GPS Measurements at Summit

USGS-HVO geophysicists installed additional continuous GPS stations around Halema‘uma‘u this morning. These stations will allow scientists to better monitor and measure the ongoing subsidence of Halema‘uma‘u and the adjacent ...

A lava channel formed from a fissure eruption
June 9, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Lava Channel

Fissure 8 and lava channel in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano during this afternoon's overflight, with no apparent slowing in the eruption rate. The lava channel remained incandescent all the way around Kapoho Crater before entering the ocean.

Aerial view of ocean entry
June 9, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Ocean Entry

An aerial view of the Kapoho ocean entry, as of 6:30 a.m. HST today, shows the extent of the lava delta, now about 200 acres in size, that has formed over the past six days (lava first entered the ocean on the night of June 3). Across the front of the delta, plumes of laze—created by molten lava interacting with seawater—appeared diminished this morning, but was probably due to a change in...

Fissure 8 lava fountain
June 9, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Lava Fountain

As of 6:30 a.m. HST today, fissure 8 continued to feed a vigorous...

Filter Total Items: 338
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

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