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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: 170
Date published: March 1, 2018

Estuarine Processes, Hazards, and Ecosystems

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....

Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Coral Reef Seafloor Erosion and Coastal Hazards

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.

Contacts: Kimberly Yates
Date published: February 22, 2018
Status: Completed

Hawaii Tsunami Messaging

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.

Date published: February 21, 2018
Status: Completed

SAFRR Newsletters

SAFRR Newsletters summarize the recent activities in the project.

Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Active

Hurricane Matthew - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Matthew coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Harvey - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Harvey coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: January 30, 2018
Status: Active

Hurricane Irma - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Irma coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: January 30, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Sandy Response- Linking the Delmarva Peninsula's Geologic Framework to Coastal Vulnerability

The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. In order to better constrain controls on coastal vulnerability and evolution, the region’s sediment sources, transport pathways and sinks must be identified. This project defines the geologic framework of the Delmarva coastal system through geophysical...

Date published: January 29, 2018
Status: Active

Probabilistic Forecasting of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Earthquake Effects in the Coastal Zone

The nation's coastlines are vulnerable to the interrelated hazards posed by earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis.

Date published: January 29, 2018
Status: Active

Beach-dependent Shorebirds

Policy-makers, individuals from government agencies, and natural resource managers are under increasing pressure to manage changing coastal areas to meet social, economic, and natural resource demands, particularly under a regime of sea-level rise. Scientific knowledge of coastal processes and habitat-use can support decision-makers as they balance these often-conflicting human and ecological...

Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Nate - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Nate coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Active

Real-Time Storm Response

The USGS National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards group releases coastal change forecasts and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change for landfalling storms.

Filter Total Items: 99
Date published: March 7, 2016

Real-time Earthquake Information

Get real-time earthquake notifications sent to you using a number of popular mediums: Feeds, Email, Twitter, etc…

Date published: March 7, 2016

Flood Watch

Maps of flood and high flow conditions within the U.S.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Technology and Tools

Links to a variety of Coastal and Marine Geology mapping technologies, data modeling and visualization tools.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Latest Earthquakes Map and List

View recent events or search for past earthquakes. Optimized for mobile and desktop.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Research Data and Products

USGS earthquake data including real-time and historic earthquake catalogs, GIS data, hazards, and more.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Software for Landslide Assessments and Modeling

USGS software for landslide assessments and modeling that include SLAMMER, TRIGRS, PTCOUNT and more.

Date published: March 4, 2016

International Charter

It aims at providing a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or manmade disasters through Authorized Users. Each member agency has committed resources to support the provisions of the Charter and thus is helping to mitigate the effects of disasters on human life and property.

Date published: March 4, 2016

DOI Emergency Management

DOI has a department-wide policy relating to emergency management that can be referenced in the Department's Manual in Series: 41-EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ‎(Parts 900-910)‎.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Station Information and Operations

Zoom in on an area to view all seismic network operation stations on the interactive map.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Seismogram Displays

This interactive map displays seismographic activity. Click on a red seismogram icon or select a region from list list.

Date published: March 4, 2016

IRIS Data Management Center

Contains archived data from the Global Seismic Network.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Wildfires: GEOMAC

Maps of current fire locations and perimeters in the conterminous 48 States and Alaska.

Filter Total Items: 1,759
Year Published: 2016

Special section introduction on MicroMars to MegaMars

The study of Earth's surface and atmosphere evolved from local investigations to the incorporation of remote sensing on a global scale. The study of Mars has followed the opposite progression, beginning with telescopic observations, followed by flyby and orbital missions, landers, and finally rover missions in the last ∼20 years. This varied fleet...

Bridges, Nathan T.; Dundas, Colin M.; Edgar, Lauren

Year Published: 2016

The geomorphology of Ceres

Analysis of Dawn spacecraft Framing Camera image data allows evaluation of the topography and geomorphology of features on the surface of Ceres. The dwarf planet is dominated by numerous craters, but other features are also common. Linear structures include both those associated with impact craters and those that do not appear to have any...

Buczkowski, D.L.; Schmidt, B.E.; Williams, D.A.; Mest, S.C.; Scully, J.E.C.; Ermakov, A.; Preusker, F.; Schenk, P.; Otto, K. A.; Hiesinger, H.; O'Brien, D.; Marchi, S.; Sizemore, H.G.; Hughson, K.; Chilton, H.; Bland, M.; Byrne, S.; Schorghofer, N.; Platz, T.; Jaumann, R.; Roatsch, T.; Sykes, M. V.; Nathues, A.; De Sanctis, M.C.; Raymond, C.A.; Russell, C.T.

Year Published: 2016

Comparison of the mineral composition of the sediment found in two Mars dunefields: Ogygis Undae and Gale crater – three distinct endmembers identified

The composition of two dune fields, Ogygis Undae and the NE–SW trending dune field in Gale crater (the “Bagnold Dune Field” and “Western Dune Field”), were analyzed using thermal emission spectra from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS). The Gale crater...

Charles, Heather; Titus, Timothy N.; Hayward, Rosalyn; Edwards, Christopher; Ahrens, Caitlin

Year Published: 2016

Low-altitude aerial imagery and related field observations associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016

Low-altitude (approximately 120 meters above ground level) digital images were obtained from cameras mounted in a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flown from the lawn adjacent to the Coast Guard Beach parking lot on 1 March, 2016. The UAV was a Skywalker X8 operated by Raptor Maps, Inc., contractors to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)....

Sherwood, Christopher R.
Sherwood, C., 2016, Low-altitude aerial imagery and related field observations associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016: U.S. Geological Survey data release, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7CN721H.

Year Published: 2016

Pleistocene Lake Bonneville as an analog for extraterrestrial lakes and oceans: Chapter 21

Geomorphic confirmation for a putative ancient Mars ocean relies on analog comparisons of coastal-like features such as shoreline feature attributes and temporal scales of process formation. Pleistocene Lake Bonneville is one of the few large, geologically young, terrestrial lake systems that exemplify well-preserved shoreline characteristics that...

Chan, M.A.; Jewell, P.; Parker, T.J.; Ormo, J.; Okubo, Chris; Komatsu, G.
M.A. Chan, P.W. Jewell, T.J. Parker, J. Ormo, C.H. Okubo and G. Komatsu [2016]. Pleistocene Lake Bonneville as an Analog for Extraterrestrial Lakes and Oceans. Developments in Earth Surface Processes, Vol. 20., P. 570-597. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63590-7.00021-4

Year Published: 2016

The water content of recurring slope lineae on Mars

Observations of recurring slope lineae (RSL) from the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment have been interpreted as present-day, seasonally variable liquid water flows; however, orbital spectroscopy has not confirmed the presence of liquid H2O, only hydrated salts. Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) temperature data and a numerical...

Edwards, Christopher S.; Piqueux, Sylvain

Year Published: 2016

Geomorphological control on variably saturated hillslope hydrology and slope instability

In steep topography, the processes governing variably saturated subsurface hydrologic response and the interparticle stresses leading to shallow landslide initiation are physically linked. However, these processes are usually analyzed separately. Here, we take a combined approach, simultaneously analyzing the influence of topography on both...

Giuseppe, Formetta; Simoni, Silvia; Godt, Jonathan W.; Lu, Ning; Rigon, Riccardo
Attribution: Natural Hazards
Formetta, G., Simoni, S., Godt, J.W., Lu, N., and Rigon, R., 2016, Geomophological control on variably saturated hillslope hydrology and slope instability: Water Resources Research, v. 52, no. 6, p. 4590-4607

Year Published: 2016

Coastal bathymetry data collected in June 2014 from Fire Island, New York—The wilderness breach and shoreface

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, collected bathymetric data along the upper shoreface and within the wilderness breach at Fire Island, New York, in June 2014. The U.S. Geological Survey is involved in a post-Hurricane Sandy effort to map and monitor the...

Nelson, Timothy R.; Miselis, Jennifer L.; Hapke, Cheryl J.; Wilson, Kathleen E.; Henderson, Rachel E.; Brenner, Owen T.; Reynolds, Billy J.; Hansen, Mark E.
Nelson, T.R., Miselis, J.L., Hapke, C.J., Wilson, K.E., Henderson, R.E., Brenner, O.T., Reynolds, B.J., and Hansen, M.E., 2016, Coastal bathymetry data collected in June 2014 from Fire Island, New York—The wilderness breach and shoreface: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1007, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1007.

Year Published: 2016

Stratigraphy of the north polar layered deposits of Mars from high-resolution topography

The stratigraphy of the layered deposits of the polar regions of Mars is theorized to contain a record of recent climate change linked to insolation changes driven by variations in the planet's orbital and rotational parameters. In order to confidently link stratigraphic signals to insolation periodicities, a description of the stratigraphy is...

Becerra, Patricio; Byrne, Shane; Sori, Michael M.; Sutton, Sarah; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.
Becerra, P., S. Byrne, M. M. Sori, S. Sutton, and K. E. Herkenhoff (2016), Stratigraphy of the North Polar Layered Deposits of Mars from High-Resolution Topography, J. Geophys. Res. Planets 121, doi:10.1002/2015JE004992.

Year Published: 2016

Complex explosive volcanic activity on the Moon within Oppenheimer crater, Icarus

Oppenheimer Crater is a floor-fractured crater located within the South Pole-Aitken basin on the Moon, and exhibits more than a dozen localized pyroclastic deposits associated with the fractures. Localized pyroclastic volcanism on the Moon is thought to form as a result of intermittently explosive Vulcanian eruptions under low effusion rates, in...

Bennett, Kristen A; Horgan, Briony H N; Gaddis, Lisa R.; Greenhagen, Benjamin T; Allen, Carlton C.; Hayne, Paul O; Bell, James F III; Paige, David A.
K.A. Bennett et al., Complex explosive volcanic activity on the Moon within Oppenheimer crater, Icarus (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2016.02.007.

Year Published: 2016

ChemCam activities and discoveries during the nominal mission of the Mars Science Laboratory in Gale crater, Mars

At Gale crater, Mars, ChemCam acquired its first laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) target on Sol 13 of the landed portion of the mission (a Sol is a Mars day). Up to Sol 800, more than 188000 LIBS spectra were acquired on more than 5800 points distributed over about 650 individual targets. We present a comprehensive review of ChemCam...

Maurice, Sylvestre; Clegg, Samuel M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Gasnault, O.; Rapin, W.; Forni, O.; Cousin, Agnes; Sautter, V.; Mangold, Nicolas; Le Deit, L.; Nachon, Marion; Anderson, Ryan; Lanza, Nina; Fabre, Cecile; Payre, Valerie; Lasue, Jeremie; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; LeVeille, Richard A.; Barraclough, Bruce; Beck, Pierre; Bender, Steven C.; Berger, Gilles; Bridges, John C.; Bridges, Nathan; Dromert, Gilles; Dyar, M. Darby; Francis, Raymond; Frydenvang, Jens; Gondet, B.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Langevin, Yves; Madsen Morten B.; Melikechi, N.; Lacour, J.-L.; Le Mouelic, Stephane; Lewin, Eric; Newsom, Horton E.; Ollila, Ann M.; Pinet, Patrick; Schroder, S.; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Tokar, Robert L.; Toplis, M.J.; d'Uston, Claude; Vaniman, David; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

Year Published: 2016

The missing large impact craters on Ceres

Asteroids provide fundamental clues to the formation and evolution of planetesimals. Collisional models based on the depletion of the primordial main belt of asteroids predict 10–15 craters >400 km should have formed on Ceres, the largest object between Mars and Jupiter, over the last 4.55 Gyr. Likewise, an extrapolation...

Marchi, S.; Ermakov, A.; Raymond, C.A.; Fu, R.R.; O'Brien, D.P.; Bland, Michael T.; Ammannito, E.; De Sanctis, M.C.; Bowling, Tim; Schenk, P.; Scully, J.E.C.; Buczkowski, D.L.; Williams, D.A.; Hiesinger, H.; Russell, C.T.
Marchi, S., Ermakov, A., Raymond, C.A., Fu, R.R., O'Brien, D.P., Bland, M.T., Ammannito, E., De Sanctis, C.M., Bowlling, T., Schenk, P., Scully, J.E.C., Buczkowski, D.L., Williams, D.A., Hiesinger, H., and Russell, C.T., 2016, The missing large impact craters on Ceres: Nature Communications

Filter Total Items: 2,249
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Eruption Lava Flow Timelapse

A new video shows a timelapse of the lava flows erupted in Kīlauea's Lower East Rift Zone between May

...
Webcam photo that shows a plume late at night.
June 26, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Webcam Plume

At 10:41 p.m. HST on June 26, after approximately 25 hours of elevated seismicity, a collapse explosion occurred at the summit producing an 

...
A panoramic photo of Halema`uma`u Crater
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Halema`uma`u Panoramic

This panorama of Kīlauea's summit caldera was made about 10 a.m. HST from the Keanakāko‘i overlook on the south side of the caldera. Halema‘uma‘u is

...
Looking down a lava channel at the sunrise
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Sunrise Over Lava Channel

Early morning view of the open lava channel during helicopter overflight of the lower East Rift Zone.

Geologist looks at fissure 8 through a camera
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Documenting Fissure 8 Activity

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geology field crews maintain watch over the eruptive activity in the lower East Rift Zone and at Kīlauea's summit. Here, a geologist documents the behavior of lava as it exits the Fissure 8 cone. Lava enters the upper channel traveling as fast as 30 km/hour (18 mi/hour).

Looking down a long roadway toward and active fissure
June 25, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 From Luana Street

View of the fissure 8 cone and fountain from the end of Luana Street in Leilani Estates. Photo taken at 12:20 p.m.

June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ever-Growing Halema`uma`u Crater

A UAS (Unoccupied Aircraft Systems) mission on June 24, 2018, filmed details of the dramatic changes occurring within Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea's summit since explosive eruptionsof 

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Aerial view of lava channel
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ocean Entry

Lava is entering the sea on the southern side of the entry area primarily through the open channel, but also along a 1 km (0.6 mi) wide area. The entry areas are marked by billowing laze plumes. The interaction of lava with the ocean creates "laze", a corrosive seawater 

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Lava flowing across the landscape
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Flows from Fissure 8

View to the southwest, looking "up" the lava channel. Lava flows from Fissure 8 (not pictured) through the open channel about 13 km (8 mi) to the ocean. Lava remains incandescent (glowing orange) along the entire length of the channel with sections of cooled lava (black) on the surface. The dark areas in the lower portion of the image are parts of the early lava flow from

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Lava fountain with lava flow
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Fountain

At fissure 8, fountains provide a vigorous supply of lava that exits the cinder cone and drops over a spillway to enter a well-established 

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Geologist pointing into the distance along a road with a straight roadway beside him.
June 24, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Roadway Crack Observations

USGS field crews track activity in and around Leilani Estates in Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. Observations are also collected on a daily basis from cracks in the area of Highway 130, shown here (no changes in temperature, crack width, or gas emissions have been noted recently).

Filter Total Items: 343
Date published: November 29, 2017

USGS geologist chairs discussion of issues facing Department of Defense installations in the Pacific and Arctic

At the request of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), USGS geologist Curt Storlazzi chaired a session at a conference on issues affecting DoD installations.

Date published: November 28, 2017

Updated assessment of erosion rates on Alaska’s Arctic coast

The USGS updated its shoreline-change rates for Alaska’s north coast between the U.S.-Canadian Border and Icy Cape as part of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards.

Date published: November 28, 2017

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Reveals a Cryptic Methane-Fueled Ecosystem in Flooded Caves

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.

Date published: November 27, 2017

Polluted groundwater threatens coral reefs

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.

Date published: November 15, 2017

LA Times story about Big Sur landslide features quotes, imagery from USGS

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...

Date published: November 12, 2017

Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Iran/Iraq Border

The USGS has up-to-date details on the November 12, 2017 event.

Date published: November 8, 2017

Eyes on the Coast—Video Cameras Help Forecast Coastal Change

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?

Date published: November 6, 2017

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.

Date published: October 25, 2017

Biologist starting over after Hurricane Irma damages home, office, research site

Coral reef expert Caroline Rogers was the only USGS employee in the Virgin Islands when the Category 5 storm hit.

Date published: October 20, 2017

Exploring Gas Hydrates as a Future Energy Source

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.

Date published: October 19, 2017

U.S. and Canadian Scientists Explore Major Undersea Earthquake Fault

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.