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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: January 17, 2018
Status: Active

National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards

Research to identify areas that are most vulnerable to coastal change hazards including beach and dune erosion, long-term shoreline change, and sea-level rise.

Date published: January 17, 2018
Status: Completed

ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario

A modeled probable earthquake scenario based on the most comprehensive scientific research analysis done to understand the impacts and implications of a hypothetical but realistic 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault. Pairing robust science with state-of-the-art modeling and visualization tools makes ShakeOut an accessible and effective message, in scenario form, to enhance community...

Date published: January 16, 2018
Status: Completed

Prototype Tsunami Awareness Campaign

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. Prototype Tsunami Awareness Campaign

Date published: January 10, 2018
Status: Active

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 ...

Date published: January 10, 2018
Status: Active

Geologic Evolution of Cat Island, Mississippi

The geologic evolution of Cat Island has been influenced by deltaic, lagoonal/estuarine, tidal, and oceanographic processes, resulting in a complex stratigraphic record.

Date published: December 13, 2017
Status: Active

Madeira Beach Video Remote Sensing

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 ...

Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Geologic and Morphologic Evolution of Coastal Margins

A combination of geophysics, sediment sampling, and chronology techniques are used to characterize the regional geomorphologic response of coastal systems to environmental changes.

Date published: November 7, 2017
Status: Active

USGS Flood Inundation Mapper Usability Study

Making user-friendly interfaces.

Date published: December 5, 2016

National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards - Hurricane Sandy

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.

Date published: September 2, 2016

Hawaii Tsunami Messaging

SAFRR brings together tsunami and communication experts to discuss potential changes to safety messages, based on improved scientific understanding of Hawaii's tsunami hazard.

Date published: September 1, 2016

Tsunami Awareness Campaign

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.

Date published: June 9, 2016
Status: Completed

The First Sue Nami

Collaboration among SAFRR, Art Center College of Design, and other partners produced this tsunami awareness video, targeted for the 18-34 year old audience.

Filter Total Items: 97
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.

Date published: March 4, 2016

International Charter

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.

Date published: March 4, 2016

DOI Emergency Management

DOI has a department-wide policy relating to emergency management that can be referenced in the Department's Manual in Series: 41-EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ‎(Parts 900-910)‎.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Station Information and Operations

Zoom in on an area to view all seismic network operation stations on the interactive map.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Seismogram Displays

This interactive map displays seismographic activity. Click on a red seismogram icon or select a region from list list.

Date published: March 4, 2016

IRIS Data Management Center

Contains archived data from the Global Seismic Network.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Wildfires: GEOMAC

Maps of current fire locations and perimeters in the conterminous 48 States and Alaska.

Date published: March 4, 2016

LANDFIRE Data Distribution

Map interface to view and download LANDFIRE data sets, receive alerts and notifications.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Current Alerts for U.S. Volcanoes

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.

Filter Total Items: 260
Year Published: 2008

Seismicity and infrasound associated with explosions at Mount St. Helens, 2004-2005: Chapter 6 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

Six explosions occurred during 2004-5 in association with renewed eruptive activity at Mount St. Helens, Washington. Of four explosions in October 2004, none had precursory seismicity and two had explosion-related seismic tremor that marked the end of the explosion. However, seismicity levels dropped following each of the October explosions,...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Moran, Seth C.; McChesney, Patrick J.; Lockhart, Andrew B.
Seismicity and infrasound associated with explosions at Mount St. Helens, 2004-2005: Chapter 6 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-6; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Moran, Seth C.; McChesney, Patrick J.; Lockhart, Andrew B.

Year Published: 2008

Identification and evolution of the juvenile component in 2004-2005 Mount St. Helens ash: Chapter 29 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

Petrologic studies of volcanic ash are commonly used to identify juvenile volcanic material and observe changes in the composition and style of volcanic eruptions. During the 2004-5 eruption of Mount St. Helens, recognition of the juvenile component in ash produced by early phreatic explosions was complicated by the presence of a substantial...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Rowe, Michael C.; Thornber, Carl R.; Kent, Adam J.R.
Identification and evolution of the juvenile component in 2004-2005 Mount St. Helens ash: Chapter 29 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-29; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Rowe, Michael C.; Thornber, Carl R.; Kent, Adam J.R.

Year Published: 2008

Instrumentation in remote and dangerous settings; examples using data from GPS “spider” deployments during the 2004-2005 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington: Chapter 16 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

Self-contained, single-frequency GPS instruments fitted on lightweight stations suitable for helicopter-sling payloads became a critical part of volcano monitoring during the September 2004 unrest and subsequent eruption of Mount St. Helens. Known as “spiders” because of their spindly frames, the stations were slung into the crater 29 times...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; LaHusen, Richard G.; Swinford, Kelly J.; Logan, Matthew; Lisowski, Michael
Instrumentation in remote and dangerous settings; examples using data from GPS “spider” deployments during the 2004-2005 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington: Chapter 16 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-16; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); LaHusen, Richard G.; Swinford, Kelly J.; Logan, Matthew; Lisowski, Michael

Year Published: 2008

Analysis of GPS-measured deformation associated with the 2004-2006 dome-building eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington: Chapter 15 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

Detecting far-field deformation at Mount St. Helens since the crater-forming landslide and blast in 1980 has been difficult despite frequent volcanic activity and improved monitoring techniques. Between 1982 and 1991, the systematic extension of line lengths in a regional GPS trilateration network is consistent with recharge of a deep magma...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Lisowski, Michael; Dzurisin, Daniel; Denlinger, Roger P.; Iwatsubo, Eugene Y.
Analysis of GPS-measured deformation associated with the 2004-2006 dome-building eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington: Chapter 15 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-15; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Lisowski, Michael; Dzurisin, Daniel; Denlinger, Roger P.; Iwatsubo, Eugene Y.

Year Published: 2008

The Pleistocene eruptive history of Mount St. Helens, Washington, from 300,000 to 12,800 years before present: Chapter 28 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

We report the results of recent geologic mapping and radiometric dating that add considerable detail to our understanding of the eruptive history of Mount St. Helens before its latest, or Spirit Lake, stage. New data and reevaluation of earlier work indicate at least two eruptive periods during the earliest, or Ape Canyon, stage, possibly...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Clynne, Michael A.; Calvert, Andrew T.; Wolfe, Edward W.; Evarts, Russell C.; Fleck, Robert J.; Lanphere, Marvin A.
The Pleistocene eruptive history of Mount St. Helens, Washington, from 300,000 to 12,800 years before present: Chapter 28 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-28; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Clynne, Michael A.; Calvert, Andrew T.; Wolfe, Edward W.; Evarts, Russell C.; Fleck, Robert J.; Lanphere, Marvin A.

Year Published: 2008

Broadband characteristics of earthquakes recorded during a dome-building eruption at Mount St. Helens, Washington, between October 2004 and May 2005: Chapter 5 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

From October 2004 to May 2005, the Center for Earthquake Research and Information of the University of Memphis operated two to six broadband seismometers within 5 to 20 km of Mount St. Helens to help monitor recent seismic and volcanic activity. Approximately 57,000 earthquakes identified during the 7-month deployment had a normal magnitude...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Horton, Stephen P.; Norris, Robert D.; Moran, Seth C.
Broadband characteristics of earthquakes recorded during a dome-building eruption at Mount St. Helens, Washington, between October 2004 and May 2005: Chapter 5 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-5; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Horton, Stephen P.; Norris, Robert D.; Moran, Seth C.

Year Published: 2008

Emission rates of CO2, SO2, and H2S, scrubbing, and preeruption excess volatiles at Mount St. Helens, 2004-2005: Chapter 26 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

Airborne surveillance of gas emissions began at Mount St. Helens on September 27, 2004. Reconnaissance measurements--SO2 column abundances and CO2 , SO2 , and H2 S concentrations--showed neither a gas plume downwind of the volcano nor gas sources within the crater. Subsequent measurements taken during the period of unrest before the eruption...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Gerlach, Terrence M.; McGee, Kenneth A.; Doukas, Michael P.
Emission rates of CO2, SO2, and H2S, scrubbing, and preeruption excess volatiles at Mount St. Helens, 2004-2005: Chapter 26 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-26; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Gerlach, Terrence M.; McGee, Kenneth A.; Doukas, Michael P.

Year Published: 2008

Seismicity associated with renewed dome building at Mount St. Helens, 2004-2005: Chapter 2 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

The reawakening of Mount St. Helens after 17 years and 11 months of slumber was heralded by a swarm of shallow (depth <2 km) volcano-tectonic earthquakes on September 23, 2004. After an initial decline on September 25, seismicity rapidly intensified; by September 29, Md >2 earthquakes were occurring at a rate of ~1 per minute. A gradual...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Morgan, Seth C.; Malone, Stephen D.; Qamar, Anthony I.; Thelen, Weston A.; Wright, Amy K.; Caplan-Auerbach, Jacqueline
Seismicity associated with renewed dome building at Mount St. Helens, 2004-2005: Chapter 2 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-2; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Morgan, Seth C.; Malone, Stephen D.; Qamar, Anthony I.; Thelen, Weston A.; Wright, Amy K.; Caplan-Auerbach, Jacqueline

Year Published: 2008

Overview of the 2004 to 2006, and continuing, eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington: Chapter 1 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

Rapid onset of unrest at Mount St. Helens on September 23, 2004, initiated an uninterrupted lava-dome-building eruption that continues to the time of writing this overview (spring 2006) for a volume of papers focused on this eruption. About three weeks of intense seismic unrest and localized surface uplift, punctuated by four brief explosions,...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.; Scott, William E.; Sherrod, David R.; Gardner, Cynthia A.
Overview of the 2004 to 2006, and continuing, eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington: Chapter 1 in A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750-1; A volcano rekindled: the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006 (Professional Paper 1750); Scott, William E.; Sherrod, David R.; Gardner, Cynthia A.

Year Published: 2008

Radiocarbon Dates from Volcanic Deposits of the Chaos Crags and Cinder Cone Eruptive Sequences and Other Deposits, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Vicinity, California

This contribution reports radiocarbon ages obtained from charcoal, wood and other samples collected between 1979 and 2001 in Lassen Volcanic National Park and vicinity and a few samples from other nearby localities. Most of the samples are from the Chaos Crags and Cinder Cone eruptive sequences. Brief summaries are given of the Chaos Crags and...

Clynne, Michael A.; Christiansen, Robert L.; Trimble, Deborah A.; McGeehin, John P.
Radiocarbon Dates from Volcanic Deposits of the Chaos Crags and Cinder Cone Eruptive Sequences and Other Deposits, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Vicinity, California; 2008; OFR; 2002-290; Clynne, Michael A.; Christiansen, Robert L.; Trimble, Deborah A.; McGeehin, John P.

Year Published: 2007

Electrical activity during the 2006 Mount St. Augustine volcanic eruptions

By using a combination of radio frequency time-of-arrival and interferometer measurements, we observed a sequence of lightning and electrical activity during one of Mount St. Augustine's eruptions. The observations indicate that the electrical activity had two modes or phases. First, there was an explosive phase in which the ejecta from the...

Thomas, Ronald J.; Krehbiel, Paul R.; Rison, William; Edens, H. E.; Aulich, G. D.; McNutt, S.R.; Tytgat, Guy; Clark, E.

Year Published: 2007

Volcanic ash plume identification using polarization lidar: Augustine eruption, Alaska

During mid January to early February 2006, a series of explosive eruptions occurred at the Augustine volcanic island off the southern coast of Alaska. By early February a plume of volcanic ash was transported northward into the interior of Alaska. Satellite imagery and Puff volcanic ash transport model predictions confirm that the aerosol plume...

Sassen, Kenneth; Zhu, Jiang; Webley, Peter W.; Dean, K.; Cobb, Patrick

Filter Total Items: 2,098
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...

Aerial of summit showing cracking and slumping
June 9, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Halema`uma`u Cracking and Slumping

Cracking and slumping of the Halema‘uma‘u crater walls are clearly evident in this aerial view captured during HVO's overflight of Kīlauea's summit this morning. Steam plumes have been rising from within the crater, as well as from cracks adjacent to the crater.

June 9, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ocean Entry and Laze

Video of the lava ocean entry during today's late afternoon overflight of the lower East Rift Zone. The main steam ...

Aerial photo of cracking
June 9, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Halema‘uma‘u Cracking

Another aerial view showing prominent cracking around Halema‘uma‘u from the ongoing subsidence at Kīlauea's summit. The steaming cracks in the background have been observed for several days.

Plume coming from a crater
June 8, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Summit Pluming

Dramatic changes at Halema‘uma‘u could be seen through gases rising from the crater during HVO's overflight of the summit this morning at 10 a.m. HST. The view here looks to the southwest, with the former overlook parking lot barely visible to the left of the gas plume.

Plumes from ocean entry
June 8, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Bay and Vacationland

HVO's early morning helicopter overflight of Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone showed that lava continues to flow into the ocean in the vicinity of Kapoho Bay and Vacationland.

Outgassing rising from the summit
June 8, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Summit Outgassing

Outgassing from Halema‘uma‘u produced twin pillars that rose in the still morning air and merged into a towering cap above the summit of Kīlauea just after sunrise.

ocean entry pluming
June 8, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Bay Laze

The Kapoho ocean entry (as of 6:30 a.m. HST), where the interaction of fissure 8 lavaand seawater produces a white ...

Filter Total Items: 338
Date published: November 15, 2017

LA Times story about Big Sur landslide features quotes, imagery from USGS

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...

Date published: November 12, 2017

Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Iran/Iraq Border

The USGS has up-to-date details on the November 12, 2017 event.

Date published: November 8, 2017

Eyes on the Coast—Video Cameras Help Forecast Coastal Change

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?

Date published: November 6, 2017

Video shot from drones yields details about changing landslide on California’s Big Sur coast

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.

Date published: October 25, 2017

Biologist starting over after Hurricane Irma damages home, office, research site

Coral reef expert Caroline Rogers was the only USGS employee in the Virgin Islands when the Category 5 storm hit.

Date published: October 20, 2017

Exploring Gas Hydrates as a Future Energy Source

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.

Date published: October 19, 2017

U.S. and Canadian Scientists Explore Major Undersea Earthquake Fault

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.

Date published: October 18, 2017

Are You Ready to ShakeOut on October 19?

Do you know what to do the moment the ground starts shaking? Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

Date published: October 18, 2017

EarthWord–Gas Hydrate

No, this EarthWord isn’t how natural gas quenches its thirst-it just sounds like it...

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.