Near Realtime Maps of Possible Earthquake-Triggered Landslides
USGS scientists have been developing a system to quickly identify areas where landslides may have been triggered by a significant earthquake.Read Story
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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
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....
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.
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.
Hurricane Matthew coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Hurricane Harvey coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Hurricane Irma coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
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...
The nation's coastlines are vulnerable to the interrelated hazards posed by earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis.
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...
Hurricane Nate coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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...
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...
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).
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.
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.
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.
Documentary features USGS researchers
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...
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?
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.
Coral reef expert Caroline Rogers was the only USGS employee in the Virgin Islands when the Category 5 storm hit.
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.
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.