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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
The instrumentation was installed in the summer of 2008 and includes a series of three monitoring stations located along the main channel. Data from one of these stations (Station 1) is transmitted from the site and displayed here.
- Rainfall ...
Status as of April 3, 2018
This slide moves in response to elevated ground-water pore pressures caused by infiltration from rainfall or melting snow. It typically moves during a wet winter and spring and is dormant during dry times. Continued downslope movement of this slide will likely occur in future wet seasons.
Yearly summaries of past precipitation, movement, and ground water pressures (for the water year beginning October 1). These can be viewed by opening each year's summary graph.
Mark E. Reid, and Richard G. LaHusen, 1998, Real-time Monitoring of Active Landslides Along Highway 50, El Dorado County: adapted from: California Geology, v.51, n.3, p.17-20
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Eldorado National Forest, has installed monitoring instruments on the Cleveland Corral landslide that has the potential to affect Highway 50. Data from these instruments are used to detect changes in local conditions including
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is conducting geologic mapping of the sea floor to characterize the surface and shallow subsurface geologic framework within the Massachusetts coastal zone. The long-term goal of this mapping effort is to produce high-resolution geologic maps and a Geographic Information System (GIS) that...
An effort to better understand the effects that sea-level rise (SLR) is likely to have on the coastal zone has brought together a network of Department of Interior collaborators and academic partners through the DOI North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NALCC) and ...
Effects of lava heating on volatile-rich slopes on Io
The upper crust of Io may be very rich in volatile sulfur and SO2. The surface is also highly volcanically active, and slopes may be warmed by radiant heat from the lava. This is particularly the case in paterae, which commonly host volcanic eruptions and long-lived lava lakes. Paterae slopes are highly variable, but some are greater than 70°. I...Dundas, Colin M.
Granular flows at recurring slope lineae on Mars indicate a limited role for liquid water
Recent liquid water flow on Mars has been proposed based on geomorphological features, such as gullies. Recurring slope lineae — seasonal flows that are darker than their surroundings — are candidate locations for seeping liquid water on Mars today, but their formation mechanism remains unclear. Topographical analysis shows that the terminal...Dundas, Colin M.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Milazzo, Moses; Byrne, Shane; McElwaine, Jim; Urso, Anna
Geologic overview of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission at the Kimberley, Gale crater, Mars
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover completed a detailed investigation at the Kimberley waypoint within Gale crater from sols 571-634 using its full science instrument payload. From orbital images examined early in the Curiosity mission, the Kimberley region had been identified as a high-priority science target based on its clear...Rice, Melissa; Gupta, Sanjeev; Treiman, Allan H.; Stack, Kathryn M.; Calef, Fred J.; Edgar, Lauren; Grotzinger, John P.; Lanza, Nina L.; Le Deit, Laetitia; Lasue, Jeremie; Siebach, Kirsten L.; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Josh
Amplification of earthquake ground motions in Washington, DC, and implications for hazard assessments in central and eastern North America
The extent of damage in Washington, DC, from the 2011 Mw 5.8 Mineral, VA, earthquake was surprising for an epicenter 130 km away; U.S. Geological Survey “Did-You-Feel-It” reports suggest that Atlantic Coastal Plain and other unconsolidated sediments amplified ground motions in the city. We measure this amplification relative to...Pratt, Thomas L.; Horton, J. Wright; Munoz, Jessica; Hough, Susan E.; Chapman, Martin C.; Olgun, C. Guney
An open repository of earthquake-triggered ground-failure inventories
Earthquake-triggered ground failure, such as landsliding and liquefaction, can contribute significantly to losses, but our current ability to accurately include them in earthquake-hazard analyses is limited. The development of robust and widely applicable models requires access to numerous inventories of ground failures triggered by earthquakes...Schmitt, Robert G.; Tanyas, Hakan; Nowicki Jessee, M. Anna; Zhu, Jing; Biegel, Katherine M.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Jibson, Randall W.; Thompson, Eric M.; van Westen, Cees J.; Sato, Hiroshi P.; Wald, David J.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Gorum, Tolga; Xu, Chong; Rathje, Ellen M.; Knudsen, Keith L.
P- and S-wave velocity models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone for 3D earthquake ground motion simulations—Update for Open-File Report 2007–1348
In support of earthquake hazards studies and ground motion simulations in the Pacific Northwest, threedimensional (3D) P- and S-wave velocity (VP and VS , respectively) models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone were previously developed for the region encompassed from about 40.2°N. to 50°N. latitude, and from about 122°W. to 129°W....Stephenson, William J.; Reitman, Nadine G.; Angster, Stephen J.
U.S. Geological Survey National Strong-Motion Project strategic plan, 2017–22
The mission of the National Strong-Motion Project is to provide measurements of how the ground and built environment behave during earthquake shaking to the earthquake engineering community, the scientific community, emergency managers, public agencies, industry, media, and other users for the following purposes: Improving engineering evaluations...Aagaard, Brad T.; Celebi, Mehmet; Gee, Lind; Graves, Robert; Jaiswal, Kishor; Kalkan, Erol; Knudsen, Keith L.; Luco, Nicolas; Smith, James; Steidl, Jamison; Stephens, Christopher D.
Aftershocks, earthquake effects, and the location of the large 14 December 1872 earthquake near Entiat, central Washington
Reported aftershock durations, earthquake effects, and other observations from the large 14 December 1872 earthquake in central Washington are consistent with an epicenter near Entiat, Washington. Aftershocks were reported for more than 3 months only near Entiat. Modal intensity data described in this article are consistent with an Entiat area...Brocher, Thomas M.; Hopper, Margaret G.; Algermissen, S.T. Ted; Perkins, David M.; Brockman, Stanley R.; Arnold, Edouard P.
A prototype operational earthquake loss model for California based on UCERF3-ETAS – A first look at valuation
We present a prototype operational loss model based on UCERF3-ETAS, which is the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast with an Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) component. As such, UCERF3-ETAS represents the first earthquake forecast to relax fault segmentation assumptions and to include multi-fault ruptures, elastic-rebound...Field, Edward H.; Porter, Keith; Milner, Kevn
Analysis of the variability in ground-motion synthesis and inversion
In almost all past inversions of large-earthquake ground motions for rupture behavior, the goal of the inversion is to find the “best fitting” rupture model that predicts ground motions which optimize some function of the difference between predicted and observed ground motions. This type of inversion was pioneered in the linear-inverse sense by...Spudich, Paul A.; Cirella, Antonella; Scognamiglio, Laura; Tinti, Elisa
Considerations in comparing the U.S. Geological Survey one‐year induced‐seismicity hazard models with “Did You Feel It?” and instrumental data
The recent steep increase in seismicity rates in Oklahoma, southern Kansas, and other parts of the central United States led the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to develop, for the first time, a probabilistic seismic hazard forecast for one year (2016) that incorporates induced seismicity. In this study, we explore a process to ground‐truth the...White, Isabel; Liu, Taojun; Luco, Nicolas; Liel, Abbie
Evidence for the interior evolution of Ceres from geologic analysis of fractures
Ceres is the largest asteroid belt object, and the Dawn spacecraft observed Ceres since 2015. Dawn observed two morphologically distinct linear features on Ceres's surface: secondary crater chains and pit chains. Pit chains provide unique insights into Ceres's interior evolution. We interpret pit chains called the Samhain Catenae as the surface...Scully, Jennifer E. C.; Buczkowski, Debra; Schmedemann, Nico; Raymond, Carol A.; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Scott King; Bland, Michael T.; Ermakov, Anton; O'Brien, D.P.; Marchi, S.; Longobardo, A.; Russell, C.T.; Fu, R.R.; Neveu, M.
The USGS is developing methods to improve data collection during floods to gain new insight into the rise and fall of flood waters. In the past, the only data left behind after a flood was how high the water got, or the peak of the flood. This video presents the methodology that hydrologists are using to set up a Continuous Slope-area Reach in remote areas that are...
This animated GIF shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana CosmoSkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the...
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick acquires video of fissure 8 and the lava channel from Pohoiki Road/Highway 132. The video is used to document fountain behavior and lava flow characteristics, and how they change with time.
Lava flows around islands in the lava channel. The direction of flow is from the upper right to lower left. Field crews can make a rough calculation of velocity by timing large blocks as they pass between two landmarks that are a known distance apart.
In the underground rivers and flooded caves of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where Mayan lore described a fantastical underworld, scientists have found a cryptic world in its own right.
Coral reefs already stressed by ocean acidification are particularly vulnerable to polluted groundwater, according to a recent study by USGS geologist Nancy Prouty and colleagues.
Documentary features USGS researchers
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...
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?
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.
Coral reef expert Caroline Rogers was the only USGS employee in the Virgin Islands when the Category 5 storm hit.
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.
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.