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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: 259
Date published: January 1, 2005
Status: Completed

Mud Damages Hawaiian Coral Reefs

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's research from 2000-2004, on how mud damages hawaiian coral reefs.

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Tsunami Hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's study of tsunami hazards in the Santa Barbara Channel from 1993-2003.

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Big Sur Coastal Landslides

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center study on Big Sur coastal landslides.

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Oceanography Beyond the Golden Gate

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's oceanographic studies offshore of San Francisco Bay, from 1989-2003.

Date published: January 1, 2001
Status: Completed

Giant Hawaiian Underwater Landslides

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's studies of giant underwater landslides in 1986 and 1988.

Date published: January 1, 2001
Status: Completed

Mapping Shipping Hazards in San Francisco Bay

Information about the 1997-1998 study by USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, to map the floor of San Francisco Bay in order to reveal the bay's shipping hazards.

Contacts: Peter Dartnell
Date published: January 1, 2001
Status: Completed

Mapping Crater Lake, Oregon

Information about the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center's Crater Lake mapping project in the summer of 2000.

Contacts: Peter Dartnell
Filter Total Items: 4,164
Year Published: 2017

Magnetic monitoring in Saguaro National Park

On a sandy, arid plain, near the Rincon Moun­tain Visitor Center of Saguaro National Park, tucked in among brittlebush, creosote, and other hardy desert plants, is an unusual type of observatory—a small unmanned station that is used for monitor­ing the Earth’s variable magnetic field. Named for the nearby city of Tucson, Arizona, the observatory...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol; Gamez Valdez, Yesenia C.; Swann, Don
Love, J.J., Finn, C.A., Gamez Valdez, Y.C., Swann, Don, 2017, Magnetic monitoring in Saguaro National Park: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3035, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173035.

Year Published: 2017

Finite‐fault Bayesian inversion of teleseismic body waves

Inverting geophysical data has provided fundamental information about the behavior of earthquake rupture. However, inferring kinematic source model parameters for finite‐fault ruptures is an intrinsically underdetermined problem (the problem of nonuniqueness), because we are restricted to finite noisy observations. Although many studies use least‐...

Clayton, Brandon; Hartzell, Stephen; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Minson, Sarah E.
Brandon S. Clayton, Stephen H. Hartzell, Morgan P. Moschetti, Sarah E. Minson

Year Published: 2017

Geodetic slip model of the 3 September 2016 Mw 5.8 Pawnee, Oklahoma, earthquake: Evidence for fault‐zone collapse

The 3 September 2016 Mw 5.8 Pawnee earthquake in northern Oklahoma is the largest earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma. The coseismic deformation was measured with both Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar and Global Positioning System (GPS), with measureable signals of order 1 cm and 1 mm, respectively. We derive a...

Pollitz, Fred; Wicks, Charles W.; Schoenball, Martin; Ellsworth, William L.; Murray, Mark
Pollitz, F.F., Wicks, C., Schoenball, M., Ellsworth, W., and Murray, M., Geodetic slip model of the M5.8 3 September, 2016 Pawnee, Oklahoma, earthquake: Evidence for fault zone collapse, Seismol. Res. Lett., 88, DOI: 10.1785/0220170002, 2017.

Year Published: 2017

The morphology of transverse aeolian ridges on Mars

A preliminary survey of publicly released high resolution digital terrain models (DTMs) produced by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter identified transverse aeolian ridges (TARs) in 154 DTMs in latitudes from 50°S to 40°N. Consistent with previous surveys, the TARs identified in HiRISE...

Geissler, Paul; Wilgus, Justin T.
Paul E. Geissler and Justin T. Wilgus, 2017, The morphology of transverse aeolian ridges on Mars, Aeolian Research, v. 26, p. 63-71, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aeolia.2016.08.008.

Year Published: 2017

Advanced National Seismic System—Current status, development opportunities, and priorities for 2017–2027

SummaryEarthquakes pose a threat to the safety of over 143 million people living in the United States. Earthquake impacts can be significantly reduced if communities understand their risk and take proactive steps to mitigate that risk. The Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) is a cooperative effort to collect and analyze seismic and geodetic...

U.S. Geological Survey, 2017, Advanced National Seismic System—Current status, development opportunities, and priorities for 2017–2027 (ver.1.1, July 2017): U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1429, 32 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1429.

Year Published: 2017

3.5 square meters: Constructive responses to natural disasters

Natural disasters and their consequences dominate the news almost on a daily basis. Quick-impact preventive and aid measures are essential for the victims to survive. This volume presents a selection of projects which demonstrate impressively how both cutting-edge technology and locally available materials and resources can be used for this...

Vinitsky, Maya
3.5 SQUARE METERS Constructive Responses to Natural Disasters Editor Maya Vinitsky Hirmer Publishers 2017 ISBN: 978-3-7774-2886-4

Year Published: 2017

Geomorphological evidence for ground ice on dwarf planet Ceres

Five decades of observations of Ceres suggest that the dwarf planet has a composition similar to carbonaceous meteorites and may have an ice-rich outer shell protected by a silicate layer. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has detected ubiquitous clays, carbonates and other products of aqueous alteration across the surface of Ceres, but surprisingly it has...

Schmidt, Britney E.; Hughson, Kynan H.G.; Chilton, Heather T.; Scully, Jennifer E. C.; Platz, Thomas; Nathues, Andreas; Sizemore, Hanna; Bland, Michael T.; Byrne, Shane; Marchi, Simone; O'Brien, David; Schorghofer, Norbert; Hiesinger, Harald; Jaumann, Ralf; Hendrick Pasckert, Jan; Lawrence, Justin D.; Buzckowski, Debra; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Sykes, Mark V.; Schenk, Paul M.; DeSanctis, Maria-Cristina; Mitri, Giuseppe; Formisano, Michelangelo; Li, Jian-Yang; Reddy, Vishnu; Le Corre, Lucille; Russell, Christopher T.; Raymond, Carol A.

Year Published: 2017

Crater density differences: Exploring regional resurfacing, secondary crater populations, and crater saturation equilibrium on the moon

The global population of lunar craters >20 km in diameter was analyzed by Head et al., (2010) to correlate crater distribution with resurfacing events and multiple impactor populations. The work presented here extends the global crater distribution analysis to smaller craters (5–20 km diameters, n = 22,746). Smaller...

Povilaitis, R Z; Robinson, M S; van der Bogert, C H; Hiesinger, Harald; Meyer, H M; Ostrach, Lillian
Povilaitis, R.Z., Robinson, M.S., van der Bogert, C.H., Hiesinger, H., Meyer, H.M., Ostrach, L.R.. Crater density differences: Exploring regional resurfacing, secondary crater populations, and crater saturation equilibrium on the Moon. Planetary and Space Science, in press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2017.05.006.

Year Published: 2017

Bedrock and structural geologic maps of eastern Candor Sulci, western Ceti Mensa, and southeastern Ceti Mensa, Candor Chasma, Valles Marineris region of Mars

This map product contains a set of three 1:18,000-scale maps showing the geology and structure of study areas in the western Candor Chasma region of Valles Marineris, Mars. These maps are part of an informal series of large-scale maps and map-based topical studies aimed at refining current understanding of the geologic history of western Candor...

Okubo, Chris H.; Gaither, Tenielle A.
Okubo, C.H., and Gaither, T.A., 2017, Bedrock and structural geologic maps of eastern Candor Sulci, western Ceti Mensa, and southeastern Ceti Mensa, Candor Chasma, Valles Marineris region of Mars: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3359, pamphlet 12 p., scale 1:18,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3359.

Year Published: 2017

Poroelastic properties of the Arbuckle Group in Oklahoma derived from well fluid level response to the 3 September 2016 Mw 5.8 Pawnee and 7 November 2016 Mw 5.0 Cushing earthquakes

The Arbuckle Group (Arbuckle) is a basal sedimentary unit that is the primary target for saltwater disposal in Oklahoma. Thus, the reservoir characteristics of the Arbuckle, including how the poroelastic properties change laterally and over time are of significant interest. We report observations of fluid level changes in two monitoring wells in...

Kroll, Kayla A.; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Murray, Kyle E.
Kroll, K.A., Cochran, E.S., and Murray, K.E. (2017). Poroelastic properties of the Arbuckle Group in Oklahoma derived from well fluid level response to the 3 September 2016 Mw 5.8 Pawnee and 7 November 2016 Mw 5.0 Cushing earthquakes, Seismological Research Letters, 88(4), doi:10.1785/0220160228.

Year Published: 2017

Evidence for distributed clockwise rotation of the crust in the northwestern United States from fault geometries and focal mechanisms

Paleomagnetic and GPS data indicate that Washington and Oregon have rotated clockwise for the past 16 Myr. Late Cenozoic and Quaternary fault geometries, seismicity lineaments, and focal mechanisms provide evidence that this rotation is accommodated by north directed thrusting and right-lateral strike-slip faulting in Washington, and SW to W...

Brocher, Thomas M.; Wells, Ray E.; Lamb, Andrew P.; Weaver, Craig S.
Brocher, T. M., R. E. Wells, A. P. Lamb, and C. S. Weaver (2017), Evidence for distributed clockwise rotation of the crust in the northwestern United States from fault geometries and focal mechanisms, Tectonics, 36, doi:10.1002/ 2016TC004223.

Year Published: 2017

Using strain rates to forecast seismic hazards

One essential component in forecasting seismic hazards is observing the gradual accumulation of tectonic strain accumulation along faults before this strain is suddenly released as earthquakes. Typically, seismic hazard models are based on geologic estimates of slip rates along faults and historical records of seismic activity, neither of which...

Evans, Eileen
Evans, E. L. (2017), Using strain rates to forecast seismic hazards, Eos, 98, https://doi.org/10.1029/2017EO067343. Published on 14 March 2017.

Filter Total Items: 2,457
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

...
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

...
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

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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

...
Filter Total Items: 377
Date published: September 1, 2016

USGS Installs Storm-Tide Sensors in Preparation for Hermine’s Arrival

USGS teams install storm-tide sensors in Florida before Hurricane Hermine makes landfall

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Date published: September 1, 2016

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, a time to highlight the resources available to help you and your loved ones stay as safe as possible. 

Date published: August 25, 2016

Preventing Human-Caused Earthquakes

New research from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Colorado shows actions taken by drillers and regulators can lessen risk in the case of earthquakes likely caused by the injection of industrial wastewater deep underground.

Date published: August 23, 2016

Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake in central Italy

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy on 24 Aug 2016 at  03:36 a.m. local time (01:36 a.m. UTC)

Date published: August 22, 2016

EarthWord–Tephra

Look! In the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane! Wait, run, it’s this week’s EarthWord!

Date published: August 18, 2016

Living with Vog on an Active Volcano: New Resources

New informational products about the health hazards of volcanic air pollution known as “vog,” are available through a new interagency partnership.

Date published: August 16, 2016

Media Advisory: Living with Vog on an Active Volcano – New Resources

Reporters are invited to attend a telephone press conference on Thursday, August 18, 2016, 2:00 p.m. HST, about new informational resources regarding vog and related health concerns in Hawaii. 

Date published: August 11, 2016

Scientists Deploy Seismographs in Napa Valley

Media Advisory: Photo Opportunity

Date published: August 11, 2016

Discover Jemez Postwildfire Debris-Flow Hazards With the Click of a Mouse

A new interactive map and companion report from the U.S. Geological Survey allows residents living in and around New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains to see where they’re located in relation to postwildfire debris-flow hazards.

Date published: August 9, 2016

Hazard a Guess? The riskiest science quiz you will ever take!

During what months is hurricane season typically recognized along the Atlantic Coast?

Date published: August 4, 2016

GeoGirls Dig Geology at Mount St. Helens

MEDIA ADVISORY

Twenty middle-school girls from Washington and Oregon are participating in the second annual “GeoGirls” outdoor volcano science program at Mount St. Helens, jointly organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount St. Helens Institute.

Date published: August 2, 2016

30 Years Saving Lives from Volcanoes

There are approximately 1,550 potentially active volcanoes around the world. VDAP works to reduce loss of life and property, limit economic impact and prevent volcanic crises from becoming disasters.