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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: 50
Scientist collects samples from a temporary wooden platform in a New Jersey salt marsh
Date Published: August 19, 2014

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....

Tsunami Scenario
Date Published: September 4, 2013

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: 59
Year Published: 1989

A Direct Method for Calculating Instrument Noise Levels in Side-by-Side Seismometer Evaluations

INTRODUCTION The subject of determining the inherent system noise levels present in modem broadband closed loop seismic sensors has been an evolving topic ever since closed loop systems became available. Closed loop systems are unique in that the system noise can not be determined via a blocked mass test as in older conventional open loop...

Holcomb, L. Gary
A Direct Method for Calculating Instrument Noise Levels in Side-by-Side Seismometer Evaluations; 1989; OFR; 89-214; Holcomb, L. Gary

Year Published: 1989

IRIS/USGS Plans for Upgrading the Global Seismograph Network

PREFACE This report has been prepared to provide information to organizations that may be asked to participate in a program to upgrade the global seismographic network. In most cases, the organizations that will be offered new instrumentation by the U.S. Geological Survey currently operate stations in the World-Wide Standardized Seismograph...

Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.
IRIS/USGS Plans for Upgrading the Global Seismograph Network; 1989; OFR; 89-471; Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.

Year Published: 1985

Description and Preliminary Testing of the CDSN Seismic Sensor Systems

INTRODUCTION The China Digital Seismograph Network (CDSN) is being designed and installed to provide the People's Republic of China with the facilities needed to create a national digital database for earthquake research. The CDSN, which is being developed jointly by the PRC State Seismological Bureau and the U.S. Geological Survey,...

Peterson, Jon; Tilgner, Edwin E.
Description and Preliminary Testing of the CDSN Seismic Sensor Systems; 1985; OFR; 85-288; Peterson, Jon; Tilgner, Edwin E.

Year Published: 1983

A New Event Detector Designed for the Seismic Research Observatories

A new short-period event detector has been implemented on the Seismic Research Observatories. For each signal detected, a printed output gives estimates of the time of onset of the signal, direction of the first break, quality of onset, period and maximum amplitude of the signal, and an estimate of the variability of the background noise. On the...

Murdock, James N.; Hutt, Charles R.
A New Event Detector Designed for the Seismic Research Observatories; 1983; OFR; 83-785; Murdock, James N.; Hutt, Charles R.

Year Published: 1982

A Note on Transients in the SRO and ASRO Long-Period Data

Data users have occasionally observed pulse-like transients in the long-period waveforms recorded at the Seismic Research Observatories (SRO) and at the Modified High-Gain Long-Period (ASRO) stations. In a recent paper, Dziewonski et al (1981) reported transients associated with earthquake signals record at some SRO stations, and the authors...

Peterson, Jon
A Note on Transients in the SRO and ASRO Long-Period Data; 1982; OFR; 82-702; Peterson, Jon

Year Published: 1982

Design Concepts for a Global Telemetered Seismograph Network

INTRODUCTION This study represents a first step in developing an integrated, real-tlme global seismic data acquisition system -- a Global Telemetered Seismograph Network (GTSN). The principal objective of the GTSN will be to acquire reliable, high-quality, real-time seismic data for rapid location and analysis of seismic events. A...

Peterson, Jon; Orsini, Nicholas A.
Design Concepts for a Global Telemetered Seismograph Network; 1982; OFR; 82-703; Peterson, Jon; Orsini, Nicholas A.

Year Published: 1982

Preliminary Study of Methods for Upgrading USGS Antarctic Seismological Capability

Purpose The purpose of this study is to evaluate potential methods for obtaining higher quality seismic data from Antarctica. Currently, USGS-sponsored WWSSN stations are located at Scott Base, Sanae Base, and at South Pole Station. Scott and Sanae Stations are located near the coast; data obtained from coastal installations are normally...

Holcomb, L. Gary
Preliminary Study of Methods for Upgrading USGS Antarctic Seismological Capability; 1982; OFR; 82-292; Holcomb, L. Gary

Year Published: 1982

Test and Calibration of the Digital World-Wide Standardized Seismograph

BACKGROUND During the past decade there has been steady progress in the modernization of the global seismograph network operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The World-Wide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN) has been augmented by new stations with advanced instrumentation, including the Seismic Research Observatories (SRO) and...

Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.
Test and Calibration of the Digital World-Wide Standardized Seismograph; 1982; OFR; 82-1087; Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.

Year Published: 1981

Preliminary Design Study for a National Digital Seismograph Network

Introduction Recently, the National Research Council published a report by the Panel on National, Regional, and Local Seismograph Networks of the Committee on Seismology in which the principal recommendation was for the establishment of a national digital seismograph network (NDSN). The Panel Report (Bolt, 1980) addresses both the need and the...

Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.
Preliminary Design Study for a National Digital Seismograph Network; 1981; OFR; 81-1046; Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.

Year Published: 1980

Preliminary Observations of Noise Spectra at the SRO and ASRO Stations

Introduction The seismic noise spectra presented in this report were derived from SRO and ASRO station data for the purpose of evaluating the performance of the seismic instruments. They are also useful for constructing a spectral estimate of earth noise at a quiet site based on noise samples obtained from a network of globally distributed...

Peterson, Jon
Preliminary Observations of Noise Spectra at the SRO and ASRO Stations; 1980; OFR; 80-992; Peterson, Jon

Year Published: 1980

Test and Calibration of the Seismic Research Observatory

Introduction The Seismic Research Observatory (SRO) network is generating an important new data base for seismological research. The SRO systems have extended both the range and resolution of seismic measurements beyond the limits of conventional seismographs and the data are recorded in digital format making it convenient to automate...

Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.; Holcomb, L. Gary
Test and Calibration of the Seismic Research Observatory; 1980; OFR; 80-187; Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.; Holcomb, L. Gary

Filter Total Items: 1,256
Sandy beach with white foamy water on right, low grassy dunes on left. Multistory building in distance. Dark-gray cloudy sky.
June 6, 2017
Photograph taken during Tropical Storm Colin, June 6, 2016, on Sunset Beach in the town of St. Pete Beach, Florida.
2017 (approx.)
SEABed Observation and Sampling System (SeaBOSS) operations were conducted north of Nantucket, MA as part of an agreement with Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management to map the geology of Massachusetts waters . The overall goal of the USGS–CZM mapping cooperative is to characterize the sea floor and shallow substrate inside the 3-mile limit of State waters, using high-resolution geophysical...
2017 (approx.)
SeaBOSS operations were conducted north of Nantucket, MA as part of an agreement with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management to map the geology of MA waters. The geologic and bathymetric maps help us understand the processes that have shaped the coast and how it has evolved over time, and thereby help evaluate the vulnerability of coastal environments to storms, sea-level rise, and...
Big Sur Landslide fly around animation
May 27, 2017
Big Sur Landslide fly around from May 27, 2017, a preliminary computer animation. The slide created roughly 13 acres of new California land.
May 25, 2017
Title: Underwater Secrets of the Hayward Fault Zone: Integrated 3D imaging to understand earthquake hazards Underwater imaging provides a unique opportunity to study urban fault hazards. How do we link surface structures to depths where earthquakes occur? How does "acoustic trenching" help us understand earthquake history?
May 22, 2017
Image of the Week: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Fire Landsat 8's Operational Land Imager captures the scene as many acres burn in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Series Description: "Image of the Week" is a series of videos produced by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center featuring remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's landscapes. Each week a new...
Superimposed on beach photo: dense grid of blue dots across sandy beach and over ocean. Ditto 3 lines that cross the shore.
May 13, 2017
Frame from video of Cowells Beach in Santa Cruz, California, showing “pixel instruments” measured continuously during the video and used to estimate different coastal processes. The blue dots represent an array of pixels used by a computer program called cBathy to estimate seafloor depths (bathymetry). The red, orange, and yellow lines are cross-shore arrays of pixels used for measuring wave...
Two adjacent poles holding video cameras near top, one control box near bottom, one man holding small tool near control box.
May 12, 2017
USGS ocean engineer Gerry Hatcher (left) and USGS postdoctoral oceanographer Shawn Harrison make adjustments to a computer controlling two video cameras on the roof of the Dream Inn, a 10-story hotel overlooking Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz, California. One camera looks eastward over Santa Cruz Main Beach and boardwalk, and the other southward over Cowells Beach. Since May 2017, the cameras have...
Distant view of the shore from a flat rooftop that is visible at bottom of image.
May 6, 2017
Time-averaged image, or “timex,” created by averaging the intensity of light recorded at each spot, or “pixel,” during a 10-minute video taken at Santa Cruz, California, on May 6, 2017. Blurred white zones show where waves are breaking. Line between wet and dry sand shows the maximum height on the beach reached by the waves (“runup”). Researchers at the USGS are using these and other video images...
Distant view of the shore from a flat rooftop that is visible at bottom of image.
May 6, 2017
Snapshot, or first frame of from a 10-minute video shot on May 6, 2017, in Santa Cruz, California. Researchers at the USGS are using these and other video images to improve understanding and computer modeling of beach processes, especially those that change the coast. Half-hourly images are posted online during daylight hours. See also, the time-averaged image from this beach video .
Image in mostly black and white tones, showing distant view of beach stretching from bottom left to upper right.
May 6, 2017
“Variance” image produced from video shot at Cowells Beach in Santa Cruz, California, on May 6, 2017. The more the light intensity changes at a given spot, or “pixel,” during the video, the brighter the value assigned to that pixel. Motion tends to produce changes in light intensity. Note bright areas along and beyond the shore where waves were breaking. Researchers are using these and other...
A cabin along Alaska's Arctic coast was recently washed into the ocean because the bluff it was sitting on eroded away.
2017 (approx.)
From the Sound Waves Newletter article, "Erosion Doubles Along Part of Alaska's Arctic Coast — Cultural and Historical Sites Lost" at http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2009/05/research2.html
Filter Total Items: 251
illustration
July 6, 2017

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

Full-Circle Vista from Naukluft Plateau on Mars
July 3, 2017

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.

Image shows a road split due to earthquake damage
June 22, 2017

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

Turnagain Arm Railway
June 21, 2017

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.

Nor'easter
June 19, 2017

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.

4D Photogrammetry of Mud Creek Landslide
June 15, 2017

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. 

Satellite View of the Wilderness Breach
June 9, 2017

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. 

Image: Vegetation Drought
June 5, 2017

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.

Hurricane Irene, satellite view, NASA
June 1, 2017

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

 

 

Cutout view of Mud Creek landslide area
June 1, 2017

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. 

Mud Creek topographic point cloud Oblique Perspective
May 27, 2017

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

Graphic of a seismometer reading
May 25, 2017

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.”