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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
A modeled scenario of U.S. West Coast winter storm events induced by the formation of Atmospheric Rivers (AR) and capable of causing massive and devastating flooding.
The Earthquake Hazards Program monitors and reports earthquakes, assesses earthquake impacts and hazards, and researches the causes and effects of earthquake.
Students at Art Center College of Design prototyped wildfire awareness campaigns after SAFRR exposed them to wildfire research and safety issues.
In the late summer of 2005, the remarkable flooding brought by Hurricane Katrina, which caused more than $200 billion in losses, constituted the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. However, even in typical years, flooding causes billions of dollars in damage and threatens lives and property in every State.
Explore critical pre- and post-disaster images and datasets online for immediate viewing and downloading. These images are used in disaster preparations, rescue and relief operations, damage assessments, and reconstruction efforts. We supply satellite and aerial images for analysis of disaster areas before, during, and after a disaster.
This website brings together information about current and past flooding and USGS flood-focused resources. The USGS provides practical, unbiased information about the Nation's rivers and streams that is crucial in mitigating hazards associated with floods.
The IGEMS provides the public with both an overview and more specific information on current natural hazard events. The Department of the Interior’s Office of Emergency Management provides it as an internet-accessible service.
Research projects within the USGS Geomagnetism Program are targeted for societal relevance, especially for space-weather hazard science.
The AVO is a partnership among the USGS, the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. To mitigate volcanic hazards, AVO monitors and studies Alaska's hazardous volcanoes to forecast and record eruptive activity. AVO also monitors volcanic activity in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The USGS Geomagnetism Program currently operates 14 magnetic observatories. Magnetometer data are collected at these facilities, and the data are then transmitted to Program headquarters in Golden, Colorado.
CalVO operates real-time volcano monitoring networks, disseminates forecasts and notifications of significant activity, assesses volcano hazards, researches volcano processes, and works with communities to prepare for volcanic eruptions in California and Nevada. The Observatory is located at USGS offices in Menlo Park, California.
Seafloor photograph of a spider crab, sediment, rocks, taken by the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center SeaBOSS during a deployment off the R/V Connecticut in Long Island Sound
This HiRISE image cutout shows Recurring Slope Lineae in Tivat crater on Mars in enhanced color. The narrow, dark flows descend downhill (towards the upper left). Analysis shows that the flows all end at approximately the same slope, which is similar to the angle of repose for sand.
Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been...
Long Island Sound Survey mapping team. This project is a collaboration of several agencies and institutions including Univ of Connecticut, Univ of New Haven, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, NOAA, LDEO, USGS
Flooding on a road in Olympic National Park, Washington, on November 24, 2017.
A series of images from various sources of shaded-relief topography show the progression of the Mud Creek landslide area, from 2010 through October 12, 2017.
- lidar data from 2010
- lidar data from 2016
- structure-from-motion (SfM), March 8, 2017
- SfM, May 19, 2017
- SfM, May 27, 2017
- SfM, May 31, 2017
- SfM, June 13, ...
An introduction to GIS data using ArcMap 10.1 and higher; intended for planetary geologic mappers.
Video shot from drones yields details about changing landslide on California’s Big Sur coast
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. USGS scientists have been monitoring the slide by transforming photos shot from an airplane into...
Elevated water levels during Hurricane Nate overtopped and eroded the rock barrier that was constructed to close the breach that formed in Dauphin Island during Hurricane Katrina. The predicted probability of inundation in this location was 96%.
The low-elevation west end of Dauphin Island is especially vulnerable to storms and has been impacted by multiple storm events over the last decade. Storm surge and waves from Hurricane Nate overtopped and cut through the line of dunes in front of the road, depositing sand across the road in overwash fans. The predicted probability of overwash in this location was 95%.
Elevated water levels and high waves during Hurricane Nate overtopped low spots in the line of dunes near Fort Morgan, Alabama. The fan-like sand deposits behind the dunes indicate that sand was transported landward, while the sandbar offshore indicates that sand was also transported seaward during the storm. The predicted probability of overwash for this location was 84%.
On the east end of West Ship Island, dunes were overtopped by elevated water levels during Hurricane Nate. The predicted probability of overwash for this location was 100%.
To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page at https://www.usgs.gov/harvey.
Hurricane Irma’s heavy rains and storm surge caused severe flooding in parts of the Southeast.
When a major storm is on the horizon, the USGS uses its water monitoring, coastal change, mapping, and modeling expertise to help prepare for, respond to, and recover from hurricanes and tropical storms.
Editor’s note: this news release will be updated online with more information on the streamgage records being set in Texas as it becomes available.
Rivers and streams reached record levels as a result of Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall, with about 40 U.S. Geological Survey streamgages measuring record peaks.
As Harvey’s record breaking rainfall and catastrophic flood waters recede in Texas and western Louisiana, U.S. Geological Survey teams are collecting high water marks, monitoring water levels and coastal change, retrieving storm tide sensors and collecting samples for water quality analysis.
A magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck offshore Chiapas, Mexico on September 7, 2017 at 11:49 local time (September 8 at 04:49UTC).
With hurricanes in the east and wildfires in the west, natural hazards have the potential to impact a majority of Americans every year. USGS science provides part of the foundation for emergency preparedness whenever and wherever disaster strikes.