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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.Read Our Science Strategy
What is Gas Hydrate?
Gas hydrate is an ice-like crystalline form of water and low molecular weight gas (e.g., methane, ethane, carbon dioxide). On Earth, gas hydrates occur naturally in some marine sediments and within and beneath permafrost. Gas hydrates have also been inferred on other planets or their moons.
At the molecular level, gas hydrate...
Scientists evaluated and improved the accuracy of pre-landfall forecasts of storm-induced coastal erosion hazards for Northeast beaches using data from post-Sandy lidar sruveys, beach morphology, and storm hydrodamics.
This project integrated a wetland assessment with existing coastal-change hazard assessments for the adjacent dunes and beaches of Assateague Island, Maryland, to create a more comprehensive coastal vulnerability assessment.
We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.
The USGS Gas Hydrates Project focuses on the study of natural gas hydrates in deepwater marine systems and permafrost areas. The primary goals are:
- Evaluate methane hydrates as a potential energy source
- Investigate the interaction between methane hydrate destabilization and climate change at short and long time scales, particularly in the Arctic
- Study the spatial ...
Tidal wetlands are an important geomorphic and ecological feature of the coastal zone. Our projects deal with the physical forcings that affect wetland stability over event-to-annual timescales, including wave attack, sediment supply, and sea-level rise.
Extreme tides and coastal storms transfer high water levels to estuaries through natural and managed entrances. The size of the transfer depends on the duration of the event and the geomorphology of the estuary. We use observational data and modeling scenarios to understand and spatially map this transfer at our study sites.
Changes to the geomorphic structure of estuaries impact hydrodynamics, ecosystem function, and navigation. We are implementing new methods of observing and modeling these changes using innovative field and computational approaches.
Estuarine processes, hazards, and ecosystems describes several interdisciplinary projects that aim to quantify and understand estuarine processes through observations and numerical modeling. Both the spatial and temporal scales of these mechanisms are important, and therefore require modern instrumentation and state-of-the-art hydrodynamic models. These projects are led from the U.S....
Synchronized field work focused on geochemistry, geology, and metabolic processes overlaid on a habitat map of an entire reef to produce a synoptic overview of reef processes that contribute to carbonate precipitation and dissolution.
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.
Multibeam and multichannel sparker seismic-reflection data between Cross Sound and Dixon Entrance, offshore southeastern Alaska, collected from 2016-05-17 to 2016-06-12 during field activity 2016-625-FA
Multibeam bathymetry and multichannel sparker seismic relfection data collected along the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault between Icy Point and Dixon Entrance, offshore southeastern Alaska from 2016-05-17 to 2016-06-12.
Multichannel minisparker and chirp seismic-reflection data of field activity 2015-651-FA; Chatham Strait and Cross Sound, southeastern Alaska from 2015-08-03 to 2015-08-21
High-resolution multichannel minisparker and chirp seismic-reflection data were collected in August of 2015 to explore marine geologic hazards of inland waterways of southeastern Alaska. Sub-bottom profiles were acquired in the inland waters between Glacier Bay and Juneau, including Cross Sound and Chatham Strait.
Interpretive data release for Oregon Outer Continental Shelf Seafloor Mapping: Selected Lease Blocks Relevant to Renewable Energy
This data release includes the results of analysis of video data conducted by Oregon State University and the geo-habitat interpretation of multibeam echo sounder (MBES) data conducted by the USGS.
National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS compilation of updated vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the north coast of Alaska, U.S. Canadian border to Icy Cape
This data release is an update to the original North Coast of Alaska data and includes revised rate-of-change calculations based on two additional shoreline positions data and improved rate metrics.
Interactive access to coastal change science and data for our Nation’s coasts. Information and products are organized within three coastal change hazard themes: 1) extreme storms, 2) shoreline change, and 3) sea-level rise. Each data item represents an individual research product, with some items grouped together as aggregates to show the breadth of the topic and make it easy to explore.
Data Release for USGS Field Activity 2014-607-FA--Oregon OCS Seafloor Mapping: Selected Lease Blocks Relevant to Renewable Energy
Data collected during 12-hour day operations in 2014, out of Charleston Harbor near Coos Bay, Oregon. The cruise plan consisted of 23 days on site split between sonar mapping and video ground truth surveying.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future SLR scenarios, as well as long-term shoreline change and cliff retreat. Several versions of CoSMoS have been implemented for areas of the California coast.
Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2011
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 by the USGS and with cooperators at the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute,...Nathenson, Manuel
National assessment of hurricane-induced coastal erosion hazards: Southeast Atlantic Coast
Beaches serve as a natural barrier between the ocean and inland communities, ecosystems, and natural resources. However, these dynamic environments move and change in response to winds, waves, and currents. During extreme storms, changes to beaches can be large, and the results are sometimes catastrophic. Lives may be lost, communities destroyed,...Stockdon, Hilary F.; Doran, Kara S.; Thompson, David M.; Sopkin, Kristin L.; Plant, Nathaniel G.
U.S. Geological Survey natural hazards science strategy: promoting the safety, security, and economic well-being of the Nation
The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in natural hazards is to develop and apply hazard science to help protect the safety, security, and economic well-being of the Nation. The costs and consequences of natural hazards can be enormous, and each year more people and infrastructure are at risk. USGS scientific research—founded on...Holmes, Robert R.; Jones, Lucile M.; Eidenshink, Jeffery C.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Kirby, Stephen H.; Love, Jeffrey J.; Neal, Christina A.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Plunkett, Michael L.; Weaver, Craig S.; Wein, Anne; Perry, Suzanne C.
Operational Group Sandy technical progress report
Hurricane Sandy made US landfall near Atlantic City, NJ on 29 October 2012, causing 72 direct deaths, displacing thousands of individuals from damaged or destroyed dwellings, and leaving over 8.5 million homes without power across the northeast and mid-Atlantic. To coordinate federal rebuilding activities in the affected region, the President...
A mantle-driven surge in magma supply to Kīlauea Volcano during 2003--2007
The eruptive activity of a volcano is fundamentally controlled by the rate of magma supply. At Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i, the rate of magma rising from a source within Earth’s mantle, through the Hawaiian hotspot, was thought to have been relatively steady in recent decades. Here we show that the magma supply to Kīlauea at least doubled during 2003...Poland, Michael P.; Miklius, Asta; Sutton, A. Jeff; Thornber, Carl R.
Relative azimuth inversion by way of damped maximum correlation estimates
Horizontal seismic data are utilized in a large number of Earth studies. Such work depends on the published orientations of the sensitive axes of seismic sensors relative to true North. These orientations can be estimated using a number of different techniques: SensOrLoc (Sensitivity, Orientation and Location), comparison to synthetics (Ekstrom...Ringler, A.T.; Edwards, J.D.; Hutt, C.R.; Shelly, F.
Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2009
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 USGS and with cooperators at the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute,...Nathenson, Manuel
Report on the 2010 Chilean earthquake and tsunami response
In July 2010, in an effort to reduce future catastrophic natural disaster losses for California, the American Red Cross coordinated and sent a delegation of 20 multidisciplinary experts on earthquake response and recovery to Chile. The primary goal was to understand how the Chilean society and relevant organizations responded to the magnitude 8.8...
Geoinformatics in the public service: building a cyberinfrastructure across the geological surveys
Advanced information technology infrastructure is increasingly being employed in the Earth sciences to provide researchers with efficient access to massive central databases and to integrate diversely formatted information from a variety of sources. These geoinformatics initiatives enable manipulation, modeling and visualization of data in a...Keller, G. Randy; Baru, Chaitanya; Allison, M. Lee; Gundersen, Linda C.; Richard, Stephen M.
Segregating gas from melt: an experimental study of the Ostwald ripening of vapor bubbles in magmas
Diffusive coarsening (Ostwald ripening) of H2O and H2O-CO2 bubbles in rhyolite and basaltic andesite melts was studied with elevated temperature–pressure experiments to investigate the rates and time spans over which vapor bubbles may enlarge and attain sufficient buoyancy to segregate in magmatic systems. Bubble growth and segregation are also...Lautze, Nicole C.; Sisson, Thomas W.; Mangan, Margaret T.; Grove, Timothy L.
Whole-edifice ice volume change A.D. 1970 to 2007/2008 at Mount Rainier, Washington, based on LiDAR surveying
Net changes in thickness and volume of glacial ice and perennial snow at Mount Rainier, Washington State, have been mapped over the entire edifice by differencing between a highresolution LiDAR (light detection and ranging) topographic survey of September-October 2007/2008 and the 10 m lateral resolution U.S. Geological Survey digital elevation...Sisson, T.W.; Robinson, J.E.; Swinney, D.D.
Encounters of aircraft with volcanic ash clouds; A compilation of known incidents, 1953-2009
Information about reported encounters of aircraft with volcanic ash clouds from 1953 through 2009 has been compiled to document the nature and scope of risks to aviation from volcanic activity. The information, gleaned from a variety of published and other sources, is presented in database and spreadsheet formats; the compilation will be updated...Guffanti, Marianne; Casadevall, Thomas J.; Budding, Karin
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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...
False-alarm tsunami alerts across the U.S. East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean prompt calls to USGS
USGS research geologist Curt Storlazzi led a workshop on “Understanding Flooding on Reef-lined Island Coastlines” (UFORIC) in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, from 5–7 February.
Imagine dragging your outstretched fingers through wet beach sand, leaving long grooves behind. Scientists recently discovered enormous grooves buried under the seafloor near Costa Rica. The detailed three-dimensional data they used to uncover these corrugations can help them better understand large subduction zone earthquakes and related tsunamis worldwide.
The USGS Gas Hydrates Project has published two new Fact Sheets. One describes the goals and scope of the Project and the other describes "Gas Hydrates in Nature," including where they form, how they are studied, and why researchers focus on gas hydrates for energy resource and environmental studies.
USGS 360-degree videos of king tides show how rising seas will transform California beaches in the future
Acting deputy director of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center Nadine Golden attended a workshop on restoring a sand-mining operation on California’s Monterey Bay.
One week ago, on January 23rd at 12:31 a.m. local time, Alaskans were rocked by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake, with an epicenter in the Gulf of Alaska, about 350 miles southwest of Anchorage, and about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.
On January 17, 4th and 5th graders from De Laveaga Elementary School visited the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.
Days after fatal debris flows devastated Southern California’s Montecito community, a team of U.S. Geological Survey geologists joined county, state, and federal partners to survey and evaluate the aftermath.
CMGP Lidar Coordinator participating in National Elevation Assessments and Coordination session at 2018 ASPRS Annual Conference
Xan Fredericks, Lidar Coordinator for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program, will moderate and participate in the National Elevation Assessments and Coordination session at the 2018 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Annual Conference.