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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
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
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.
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
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.
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...
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
USGS teams install storm-tide sensors in Florida before Hurricane Hermine makes landfall
September is National Preparedness Month, a time to highlight the resources available to help you and your loved ones stay as safe as possible.
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.
New informational products about the health hazards of volcanic air pollution known as “vog,” are available through a new interagency partnership.
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.
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.
During what months is hurricane season typically recognized along the Atlantic Coast?
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.
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.