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Photo of shoreline with very little sandy beach. Heavy equipment is  piling up large boulders (rip rap) along the eroded shore
2017 (approx.)
Installing large boulders as rip rap to armor the shore against further erosion at Goleta Beach in Southern California. The tide is very low (negative).
house perched at the top of cliff edge above beach.
2017 (approx.)
Exposed bedrock on the beach during very low (negative) tide at Isla Vista, California
photo of bare rocks exposed below cliffs at low tide along a shoreline.
2017 (approx.)
Exposed bedrock on the beach, below the University of California, Santa Barbara.
long stretch of beach, with row of houses teetering on the edge of the cliff above beach. Bare rocks exposed & no sand on beach
2017 (approx.)
Bedrock exposed at low tide along the beach at Isla Vista, California
February 23, 2017
How does a scanning electron microscope (SEM) work? What does USGS study with the SEM? Earthquakes Volcanoes Mineral and energy resources Soil and aquifer processes By Leslie Hayden, USGS Geologist, Diane Moore, USGS Geologist, Kathryn Watts, USGS Research Geologist, Marjorie Schulz, USGS Research Hydrologist, and Laura Stern, USGS Research Geophysicist
Aerial photo of snow-covered mountaIns with umbrella-shaped volcanic ash plume rising in the background
February 19, 2017
February 19 Bogoslof eruption plume as seen from Unalaska Island, 53 miles ESE of Bogoslof volcano. Photo taken from helicopter during fieldwork by AVO geologists at 5:22PM, approximately 14 minutes after the start of the eruption.
2017 (approx.)
This time-lapse video shows lateral erosion of a salt marsh in the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, part of an embayment near the city of Pascagoula, Mississippi, on the US Gulf coast. Wave action over the course of 6.5 months led to about 1.5 meters of erosion. Researchers from the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center are studying the influence of wave attack and...
person standing up riding a personal watercraft across small ocean swells, with buildings and a long pier in the background
2017 (approx.)
A sonar-equipped personal watercraft mapping the bathymetry underwater near Santa Cruz, Calif.
two young men standing on a pier with a large tripod, looking down at camera, and holding equipment.
2017 (approx.)
USGS scientists setting up a lidar scanner on the pier to map the beach near Capitola, California.
2017 (approx.)
Residents and visitors both revel in Kauai’s lush landscape, and beneath its seascape. However, it’s underwater where things don’t look so healthy. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey put together a detailed picture of the physical environment of the coral reefs at Makua Beach. Understanding just what these reefs are exposed to and for how long, may help explain why some corals here have...
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May 18, 2017

Members of the news media are invited to attend the next Earthquake Country Alliance - Bay Area Regional Workshop to be held at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park on May 23. ECA workshops are educational and informational opportunities to learn more about the latest in earthquake science, preparedness, and mitigation, as well as to arrange interviews with subject matter experts.

Image shows several insets against the backdrop of Mount St. Helens erupting
May 18, 2017

Today, in 1980, Mount St. Helens unleashed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. Two years later, USGS founded the Cascades Volcano Observatory to monitor Mount St. Helens and all the Cascades Volcanoes.

Side-by-side comparison of the northwest wall of Kīlauea Caldera on a clear day (left) and a day with thick vog (right).
May 18, 2017

Just like smog and fog, this EarthWord is not what you want to see while driving...

Image shows billowing clouds of steam and smoke emanating from the ground
May 17, 2017

This EarthWord is straight up steampunk...

Image shows damage from a lahar, including a submerged bridge
May 16, 2017

Which sounds more dangerous, lava or mud? The answer may surprise you...

USGS map displaying potential to experience damage from a natural or human-induced earthquake in 2017
May 15, 2017

It’s not just something you run into on a golf course-it’s this week’s EarthWord!

2014 South Napa Earthquake in California
May 15, 2017

Early on the morning of August 24, 2014, Loren Turner was awoken by clattering window blinds, a moving bed, and the sound of water splashing out of his backyard pool. He experienced what is now named the “South Napa Earthquake.” 

Three-dimensional view of the west Ceti Mensa area looking toward the southeast.
May 12, 2017

A new set of high-resolution geologic maps reveal complex geologic processes that suggest a dynamic, wet environment once existed on early Mars, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Measuring Streamflow
May 11, 2017

Gary Moore spent the last three days of 2015 stacking hefty bags of sand in front of a fellow church member’s brick home. With only 1,000 feet between the house and the swelling Mississippi and Meramec Rivers, Moore and other volunteers worked quickly, in frigid temperatures, to assemble a 10-foot high, 1,000-foot-long sandbag wall to ward off floodwaters.

Image: Old Faithful Erupting
May 10, 2017

Despite two centuries of scientific study, basic questions persist about geysers—why do they exist? What determines their behavior?

Image shows a research vessel with snow-covered mountains in the background
May 8, 2017

U.S., Norwegian, and German scientists report back on the surprising results of an Arctic Ocean research expedition. 

Large snow-covered, cone shaped mountain in background, looming over urban area in foreground
May 1, 2017

May is Volcano Preparedness Month in Washington, providing residents an opportunity to become more familiar with volcano hazards in their communities and learn about steps they can take to reduce potential impacts.