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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: 259
Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

Mooney Gap, Coweeta Experimental Forest, North Carolina

Recent Conditions

Instruments were installed in the fall of 2013 and are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including

Contacts: Jonathan Godt, The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, The Coweeta Experimental Forest, Colorado School of Mines
Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

Bent Creek Experimental Forest, North Carolina

Recent Conditions

Instruments and are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including

Contacts: Jonathan Godt, The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, The United States Forest Service, Colorado School of Mines
Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

Chalk Cliffs, Colorado

Recent Conditions

The instrumentation was installed in the summer of 2008 and includes a series of three monitoring stations located along the main channel. Data from one of these stations (Station 1) is transmitted from the site and displayed here.

Contacts: Jason Kean, Jeffrey Coe, Joel Smith, University of Colorado, East Carolina University
Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

U.S. Highway 50, California - Current Landslide Status

Status as of April 3, 2018

General

This slide moves in response to elevated ground-water pore pressures caused by infiltration from rainfall or melting snow. It typically moves during a wet winter and spring and is dormant during dry times. Continued downslope movement of this slide will likely occur in future wet seasons.

Displayed...

Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

U.S. Highway 50, California - Yearly Information

Yearly summaries of past precipitation, movement, and ground water pressures (for the water year beginning October 1). These can be viewed by opening each year's summary graph.

Date published: June 7, 2018
Status: Active

2013 Springs Fire, Ventura County, California

Recent Conditions

A rain gage was installed in November 2015 and is used to monitor

Data is updated every 60 minutes.

Contacts: Dennis Staley, Jason Kean, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association
Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

U.S. Highway 50, California - Report

Mark E. Reid, and Richard G. LaHusen, 1998, Real-time Monitoring of Active Landslides Along Highway 50, El Dorado County: adapted from: California Geology, v.51, n.3, p.17-20

Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

U.S. Highway 50, California

Real-time Data

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Eldorado National Forest, has installed monitoring instruments on the Cleveland Corral landslide that has the potential to affect Highway 50. Data from these instruments are used to detect changes in local conditions including

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Contacts: Mark Reid
Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

2009 Station Fire, Dunsmore Canyon, Glendale, California

Recent Conditions

Instruments are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including:

Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

2009 Station Fire, Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, California

Recent Conditions

Instruments are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including:

Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

Geologic Mapping of the Massachusetts Seafloor

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is conducting geologic mapping of the sea floor to characterize the surface and shallow subsurface geologic framework within the Massachusetts coastal zone. The long-term goal of this mapping effort is to produce high-resolution geologic maps and a Geographic Information System (GIS) that...

Date published: June 4, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Landscape- Structured Decision Making

An effort to better understand the effects that sea-level rise (SLR) is likely to have on the coastal zone has brought together a network of Department of Interior collaborators and academic partners through the DOI North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative  (NALCC) and ...

Filter Total Items: 4,167
Year Published: 2017

Effects of lava heating on volatile-rich slopes on Io

The upper crust of Io may be very rich in volatile sulfur and SO2. The surface is also highly volcanically active, and slopes may be warmed by radiant heat from the lava. This is particularly the case in paterae, which commonly host volcanic eruptions and long-lived lava lakes. Paterae slopes are highly variable, but some are greater than 70°. I...

Dundas, Colin M.
Dundas, C. M. Effects of lava heating on volatile-rich slopes on Io. J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 122, 546-559, doi:10.1002/2016JE005177.

Year Published: 2017

Granular flows at recurring slope lineae on Mars indicate a limited role for liquid water

Recent liquid water flow on Mars has been proposed based on geomorphological features, such as gullies. Recurring slope lineae — seasonal flows that are darker than their surroundings — are candidate locations for seeping liquid water on Mars today, but their formation mechanism remains unclear. Topographical analysis shows that the terminal...

Dundas, Colin M.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Milazzo, Moses; Byrne, Shane; McElwaine, Jim; Urso, Anna
Dundas, C. M., et al. (2017). Granular flows at Recurring Slope Lineae on Mars indicate a limited role for liquid water. Nature Geosci., 10, 903-907, doi:10.1038/s41561-017-0012-5.

Year Published: 2017

Geologic overview of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission at the Kimberley, Gale crater, Mars

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover completed a detailed investigation at the Kimberley waypoint within Gale crater from sols 571-634 using its full science instrument payload. From orbital images examined early in the Curiosity mission, the Kimberley region had been identified as a high-priority science target based on its clear...

Rice, Melissa; Gupta, Sanjeev; Treiman, Allan H.; Stack, Kathryn M.; Calef, Fred J.; Edgar, Lauren; Grotzinger, John P.; Lanza, Nina L.; Le Deit, Laetitia; Lasue, Jeremie; Siebach, Kirsten L.; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Josh

Year Published: 2017

Amplification of earthquake ground motions in Washington, DC, and implications for hazard assessments in central and eastern North America

The extent of damage in Washington, DC, from the 2011 Mw 5.8 Mineral, VA, earthquake was surprising for an epicenter 130 km away; U.S. Geological Survey “Did-You-Feel-It” reports suggest that Atlantic Coastal Plain and other unconsolidated sediments amplified ground motions in the city. We measure this amplification relative to...

Pratt, Thomas L.; Horton, J. Wright; Munoz, Jessica; Hough, Susan E.; Chapman, Martin C.; Olgun, C. Guney
Pratt, T. L., Horton, J. W., Jr., Muñoz, J., Hough, S. E., Chapman, M. C., & Olgun, C. G. (2017). Amplification of earthquake ground motions in Washington, DC, and implications for hazard assessments in central and eastern North America. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 12,150–12,160. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075517

Year Published: 2017

An open repository of earthquake-triggered ground-failure inventories

Earthquake-triggered ground failure, such as landsliding and liquefaction, can contribute significantly to losses, but our current ability to accurately include them in earthquake-hazard analyses is limited. The development of robust and widely applicable models requires access to numerous inventories of ground failures triggered by earthquakes...

Schmitt, Robert G.; Tanyas, Hakan; Nowicki Jessee, M. Anna; Zhu, Jing; Biegel, Katherine M.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Jibson, Randall W.; Thompson, Eric M.; van Westen, Cees J.; Sato, Hiroshi P.; Wald, David J.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Gorum, Tolga; Xu, Chong; Rathje, Ellen M.; Knudsen, Keith L.
Schmitt, R.G., Tanyas, Hakan, Nowicki Jessee, M.A., Zhu, Jing, Biegel, K.M., Allstadt, K.E., Jibson, R.W., Thompson, E.M., van Westen, C.J., Sato, H.P., Wald, D.J., Godt, J.W., Gorum, Tolga, Xu, Chong, Rathje, E.M., Knudsen, K.L., 2017, An open repository of earthquake-triggered ground-failure inventories: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1064, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1064.

Year Published: 2017

P- and S-wave velocity models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone for 3D earthquake ground motion simulations—Update for Open-File Report 2007–1348

In support of earthquake hazards studies and ground motion simulations in the Pacific Northwest, threedimensional (3D) P- and S-wave velocity (VP and VS , respectively) models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone were previously developed for the region encompassed from about 40.2°N. to 50°N. latitude, and from about 122°W. to 129°W....

Stephenson, William J.; Reitman, Nadine G.; Angster, Stephen J.
Stephenson, W.J., Reitman, N.G., and Angster, S.J., 2017, P- and S-wave velocity models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone for 3D earthquake ground motion simulations, version 1.6—Update for Open-File Report 2007–1348: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1152, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171152. [Supersedes USGS Open-File Report 2007–1348.]

Year Published: 2017

U.S. Geological Survey National Strong-Motion Project strategic plan, 2017–22

The mission of the National Strong-Motion Project is to provide measurements of how the ground and built environment behave during earthquake shaking to the earthquake engineering community, the scientific community, emergency managers, public agencies, industry, media, and other users for the following purposes: Improving engineering evaluations...

Aagaard, Brad T.; Celebi, Mehmet; Gee, Lind; Graves, Robert; Jaiswal, Kishor; Kalkan, Erol; Knudsen, Keith L.; Luco, Nicolas; Smith, James; Steidl, Jamison; Stephens, Christopher D.
Aagaard, Brad, Celebi, Mehmet, Gee, Lind, Graves, Robert, Jaiswal, Kishor, Kalkan, Erol, Knudsen, Keith, Luco, Nico, Smith, James, Steidl, Jamison, and Stephens, Christopher, 2017, U.S. Geological Survey National Strong-Motion Project strategic plan, 2017–22: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1156, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171156.

Year Published: 2017

Aftershocks, earthquake effects, and the location of the large 14 December 1872 earthquake near Entiat, central Washington

Reported aftershock durations, earthquake effects, and other observations from the large 14 December 1872 earthquake in central Washington are consistent with an epicenter near Entiat, Washington. Aftershocks were reported for more than 3 months only near Entiat. Modal intensity data described in this article are consistent with an Entiat area...

Brocher, Thomas M.; Hopper, Margaret G.; Algermissen, S.T. Ted; Perkins, David M.; Brockman, Stanley R.; Arnold, Edouard P.
Brocher, T. M., M. G. Hopper, S. T. Algermissen, D. M. Perkins, S. R. Brockman, and E. P. Arnold (2018). Aftershocks, earthquake effects, and location of the large 14 December 1872 earthquake near Entiat, central Washington, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., v. 108, no. 1, p. 66-83, 2018, doi: 10.1785/0120170224.

Year Published: 2017

A prototype operational earthquake loss model for California based on UCERF3-ETAS – A first look at valuation

We present a prototype operational loss model based on UCERF3-ETAS, which is the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast with an Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) component. As such, UCERF3-ETAS represents the first earthquake forecast to relax fault segmentation assumptions and to include multi-fault ruptures, elastic-rebound...

Field, Edward H.; Porter, Keith; Milner, Kevn
Field, E. H., K. Porter, and K. Milner (2017). A Prototype Operational Earthquake Loss Model for California Based on UCERF3-ETAS – A First Look at Valuation, Earthquake Spectra, Volume 33, No. 4, pages 1–21, DOI: 10.1193/011817EQS017M

Year Published: 2017

Analysis of the variability in ground-motion synthesis and inversion

In almost all past inversions of large-earthquake ground motions for rupture behavior, the goal of the inversion is to find the “best fitting” rupture model that predicts ground motions which optimize some function of the difference between predicted and observed ground motions. This type of inversion was pioneered in the linear-inverse sense by...

Spudich, Paul A.; Cirella, Antonella; Scognamiglio, Laura; Tinti, Elisa
Spudich, P., Cirella, A., Scognamiglio, L., and Tinti, E., 2017, Analysis of the variability in ground-motion synthesis and inversion: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1151, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171151.

Year Published: 2017

Considerations in comparing the U.S. Geological Survey one‐year induced‐seismicity hazard models with “Did You Feel It?” and instrumental data

The recent steep increase in seismicity rates in Oklahoma, southern Kansas, and other parts of the central United States led the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to develop, for the first time, a probabilistic seismic hazard forecast for one year (2016) that incorporates induced seismicity. In this study, we explore a process to ground‐truth the...

White, Isabel; Liu, Taojun; Luco, Nicolas; Liel, Abbie
White IJO, Liu T, Luco N, & Liel AB (2017), "Considerations in Comparing the U.S. Geological Survey One-Year Induced-Seismicity Hazard Models with "Did You Feel It?" and Instrumental Data," Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 89(1), pp. 127-137.

Year Published: 2017

Evidence for the interior evolution of Ceres from geologic analysis of fractures

Ceres is the largest asteroid belt object, and the Dawn spacecraft observed Ceres since 2015. Dawn observed two morphologically distinct linear features on Ceres's surface: secondary crater chains and pit chains. Pit chains provide unique insights into Ceres's interior evolution. We interpret pit chains called the Samhain Catenae as the surface...

Scully, Jennifer E. C.; Buczkowski, Debra; Schmedemann, Nico; Raymond, Carol A.; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Scott King; Bland, Michael T.; Ermakov, Anton; O'Brien, D.P.; Marchi, S.; Longobardo, A.; Russell, C.T.; Fu, R.R.; Neveu, M.
Scully, J. E. C., Buczkowski, D. L., Schmedemann, N., Raymond, C. A., Castillo-Rogez, J. C., King, S. D., … Neveu, M. (2017). Evidence for the interior evolution of Ceres from geologic analysis of fractures. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 9564–9572. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075086

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June 30, 2018

Understanding Floods | Long-term Streamflow Data Collection

The USGS is developing methods to improve data collection during floods to gain new insight into the rise and fall of flood waters. In the past, the only data left behind after a flood was how high the water got, or the peak of the flood. This video presents the methodology that hydrologists are using to set up a Continuous Slope-area Reach in remote areas that are

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Lava entering Kapoho Bay area
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Kapoho Coast

At the Kapoho coast, lava enters the ocean along the northern margin of the flow field. 

View of the summit with dust rising from a small rockfall
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Summit Rockfalls

View of Kīlauea Volcano's summit. The brown visible dust coming from Halema‘uma‘u is from rockfalls.

Animation showing changes in summit size on a map
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Animation of Summit Drop

This animated GIF shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana CosmoSkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the 

...
Lava channels coming from a distant fissure
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Channels from Fissure 8

Lava from fissure 8 is fed into a channel that travels about 13 km (8 mi) to the sea. A 

...
A geologist stands in a field with a video camera recording a fissure eruption in the distance.
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Video Data of Fissure 8

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick acquires video of fissure 8 and the lava channel from Pohoiki Road/Highway 132. The video is used to document fountain behavior and lava flow characteristics, and how they change with time.

Ocean entries from lava flows
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ocean Entry at Kapoho

Lava was entering the ocean over a broad area this morning. This image shows an active entry area along the northern flow front at Kapoho. View to the south.

Lava flowing around islands of older lava in a lava channel
June 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Lava Flowing Around Channel Islands

Lava flows around islands in the lava channel. The direction of flow is from the upper right to lower left. Field crews can make a rough calculation of velocity by timing large blocks as they pass between two landmarks that are a known distance apart.

Ocean entry of lava forming laze plumes
June 29, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Laze Plumes

During the June 29 overflight, USGS scientists observed multiple active spots along the Kapoho ocean entry producing laze plumes.

Fissure with lava channels and plumes rising into the sky
June 29, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8

Fissure 8 and the proximal lava flow channel on the morning of June 29. Low fountaining within the cone is still producing a vigorous supply of lava to the channel.

Lava channel
June 29, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Braided Lava Channel

One portion of the braided section of the fissure 8 lava channel.

Filter Total Items: 378
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.

Date published: October 18, 2017

Are You Ready to ShakeOut on October 19?

Do you know what to do the moment the ground starts shaking? Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

Filter Total Items: 155