Mission Areas

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.

Read Our Science Strategy
Filter Total Items: 163
Date published: May 30, 2018
Status: Active

Landslide Preparedness

Landslide and debris flow warning signs, what to do before, during, and after. 

Date published: May 30, 2018
Status: Active

Current Monitoring Stations

Click on the map to view monitoring site locations. Click on the marker for a link to each site.

Date published: May 11, 2018
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project

Explore the fascinating undersea world of coral reefs. Learn how we map, monitor, and model coral reefs so we can better understand, protect, and preserve our Nation's reefs.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Marine Geomorphology, Evolution, and Habitats

Seafloor resource managers and modelers need seafloor maps that can be combined in GIS, modeling, and statistical analysis environments and related successfully to biologic and oceanographic data. The Marine Geomorphology, Evolution, and Habitats Project encompasses mapping activities and the development of new mapping systems and methodologies. The emphasis is on the role of geologic...

Contacts: Guy Cochrane
Date published: April 30, 2018
Status: Active

Mapping Florida's Coastal Waters

The FCMaP approach divides Florida into 6 regions that are geologically and physiographically distinct in terms of coastal characteristic.

Date published: April 10, 2018
Status: Active

What to Expect in a Big Urban Earthquake

When a big earthquake hits a populated area, expect these effects.

Date published: April 10, 2018
Status: Active

The HayWired Scenario: An Urban Earthquake in a Connected World

An interactive, graphics-rich summary of the hazards in the HayWired Scenario.

Date published: April 9, 2018
Status: Active

Global Ocean Mineral Resources

Addressing issues concerning mineral resources that occur within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Pacific coastal States, Pacific islands of U.S. affiliation, and areas beyond national jurisdictions.

Date published: April 5, 2018

Kilauea Advisory Messages Usability Study

Improving Advisories for volcanic activity.

Date published: March 30, 2018
Status: Completed

Tropical Storm Colin - Forecast of Coastal Change

Forecast of coastal change for Tropical Storm Colin.

Date published: March 30, 2018
Status: Active

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP) is an initiative between Federal and Florida State agencies and institutions to coordinate and facilitate the collection and accessibility of Florida coastal seafloor data in order to fill priority areas and gaps.

Contacts: Cheryl Hapke, Ph.D., Philip Kramer, Ph.D.
Filter Total Items: 98
Date published: January 19, 2018

Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer

Total water level (TWL) at the shoreline is the combination of tides, surge, and wave runup. A forecast of TWL is an estimate of the elevation where the ocean will meet the coast and can provide guidance on potential coastal erosion and flooding hazards.

Date published: January 19, 2018

Oblique Aerial Photography Viewer

Obique photos offer a unique perspective of the coast. Features such as beach erosion or accretion, dune erosion and overwash can all be clearly characterized in this imagery. It also documents coastal infrastructure, as well as the damage that infrastructure may incur as the result of an impacting hurricane. 

Date published: December 29, 2017

Multibeam and multichannel sparker seismic-reflection data between Cross Sound and Dixon Entrance, offshore southeastern Alaska, collected from 2016-05-17 to 2016-06-12 during field activity 2016-625-FA

Multibeam bathymetry and multichannel sparker seismic relfection data collected along the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault between Icy Point and Dixon Entrance, offshore southeastern Alaska from 2016-05-17 to 2016-06-12.

Date published: December 8, 2017

iCoast

Help scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey annotate aerial photographs with keyword tags to identify changes to the coast after extreme storms.

Date published: October 19, 2017

Multichannel minisparker and chirp seismic-reflection data of field activity 2015-651-FA; Chatham Strait and Cross Sound, southeastern Alaska from 2015-08-03 to 2015-08-21

High-resolution multichannel minisparker and chirp seismic-reflection data were collected in August of 2015 to explore marine geologic hazards of inland waterways of southeastern Alaska. Sub-bottom profiles were acquired in the inland waters between Glacier Bay and Juneau, including Cross Sound and Chatham Strait.

Date published: October 15, 2017

Magnetic Disturbance Events

View reports on magnetic disturbance events.

Date published: September 20, 2017

Hurricane Jose 2017 Event Support Map

Track hurricane data and USGS resources.

Date published: September 19, 2017

Interpretive data release for Oregon Outer Continental Shelf Seafloor Mapping: Selected Lease Blocks Relevant to Renewable Energy

This data release includes the results of analysis of video data conducted by Oregon State University and the geo-habitat interpretation of multibeam echo sounder (MBES) data conducted by the USGS.

Date published: September 18, 2017

Hurricane Maria 2017 Event Support Map

Track hurricane data and USGS resources.

Date published: September 18, 2017

National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS compilation of updated vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the north coast of Alaska, U.S. Canadian border to Icy Cape

This data release is an update to the original North Coast of Alaska data and includes revised rate-of-change calculations based on two additional shoreline positions data and improved rate metrics. 

Date published: September 6, 2017

Hurricane Harvey 2017 Event Support Map

Track hurricane data and USGS resources.

Date published: August 24, 2017

Coastal Change Hazards Portal

Interactive access to coastal change science and data for our Nation’s coasts. Information and products are organized within three coastal change hazard themes: 1) extreme storms, 2) shoreline change, and 3) sea-level rise. Each data item represents an individual research product, with some items grouped together as aggregates to show the breadth of the topic and make it easy to explore.

Filter Total Items: 407
Year Published: 2013

Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2011

The Volcano Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is part of the Geologic Hazards Assessments subactivity, as funded by Congressional appropriation. Investigations are carried out by the USGS and with cooperators at the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute,...

Nathenson, Manuel
Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2011; 2013; OFR; 2013-1164; Nathenson, Manuel

Year Published: 2013

National assessment of hurricane-induced coastal erosion hazards: Southeast Atlantic Coast

Beaches serve as a natural barrier between the ocean and inland communities, ecosystems, and natural resources. However, these dynamic environments move and change in response to winds, waves, and currents. During extreme storms, changes to beaches can be large, and the results are sometimes catastrophic. Lives may be lost, communities destroyed,...

Stockdon, Hilary F.; Doran, Kara S.; Thompson, David M.; Sopkin, Kristin L.; Plant, Nathaniel G.
National assessment of hurricane-induced coastal erosion hazards: Southeast Atlantic Coast; 2013; OFR; 2013-1130; Stockdon, Hilary F.; Doran, Kara J.; Thompson, David M.; Sopkin, Kristin L.; Plant, Nathaniel G.

Year Published: 2013

U.S. Geological Survey natural hazards science strategy: promoting the safety, security, and economic well-being of the Nation

The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in natural hazards is to develop and apply hazard science to help protect the safety, security, and economic well-being of the Nation. The costs and consequences of natural hazards can be enormous, and each year more people and infrastructure are at risk. USGS scientific research—founded on...

Holmes, Robert R.; Jones, Lucile M.; Eidenshink, Jeffery C.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Kirby, Stephen H.; Love, Jeffrey J.; Neal, Christina A.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Plunkett, Michael L.; Weaver, Craig S.; Wein, Anne; Perry, Suzanne C.
U.S. Geological Survey natural hazards science strategy: promoting the safety, security, and economic well-being of the Nation; 2013; CIR; 1383-F; Holmes, Robert R., Jr.; Jones, Lucile M.; Eidenshink, Jeffery C.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Kirby, Stephen H.; Love, Jeffrey.J.; Neal, Christina A.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Plunkett, Michael L.; Weaver, Craig S.; Wein, Anne; Perry, Suzanne C.

Year Published: 2013

Operational Group Sandy technical progress report

Hurricane Sandy made US landfall near Atlantic City, NJ on 29 October 2012, causing 72 direct deaths, displacing thousands of individuals from damaged or destroyed dwellings, and leaving over 8.5 million homes without power across the northeast and mid-Atlantic. To coordinate federal rebuilding activities in the affected region, the President...

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Operational Group Sandy technical progress report; 2013; Federal Government Series; Department of the Interior Strategic Science Group

Year Published: 2012

A mantle-driven surge in magma supply to Kīlauea Volcano during 2003--2007

The eruptive activity of a volcano is fundamentally controlled by the rate of magma supply. At Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i, the rate of magma rising from a source within Earth’s mantle, through the Hawaiian hotspot, was thought to have been relatively steady in recent decades. Here we show that the magma supply to Kīlauea at least doubled during 2003...

Poland, Michael P.; Miklius, Asta; Sutton, A. Jeff; Thornber, Carl R.
A mantle-driven surge in magma supply to Kīlauea Volcano during 2003--2007; 2012; Article; Journal; Nature Geoscience; Poland, Michael P.; Miklius, Asta ; Sutton, A. Jeff; Thornber, Carl R.

Year Published: 2012

Relative azimuth inversion by way of damped maximum correlation estimates

Horizontal seismic data are utilized in a large number of Earth studies. Such work depends on the published orientations of the sensitive axes of seismic sensors relative to true North. These orientations can be estimated using a number of different techniques: SensOrLoc (Sensitivity, Orientation and Location), comparison to synthetics (Ekstrom...

Ringler, A.T.; Edwards, J.D.; Hutt, C.R.; Shelly, F.
Relative azimuth inversion by way of damped maximum correlation estimates; 2012; Article; Journal; Computers & Geosciences; Ringler, A.T.; Edwards, J.D.; Hutt, C.R.; Shelly, F.

Year Published: 2011

Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2009

The Volcano Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is part of the Geologic Hazards Assessments subactivity as funded by congressional appropriation. Investigations are carried out in the USGS and with cooperators at the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute,...

Nathenson, Manuel
Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2009; 2011; OFR; 2011-1047; Nathenson, Manuel

Year Published: 2011

Report on the 2010 Chilean earthquake and tsunami response

In July 2010, in an effort to reduce future catastrophic natural disaster losses for California, the American Red Cross coordinated and sent a delegation of 20 multidisciplinary experts on earthquake response and recovery to Chile. The primary goal was to understand how the Chilean society and relevant organizations responded to the magnitude 8.8...

Report on the 2010 Chilean earthquake and tsunami response; 2011; OFR; 2011-1053; American Red Cross Multi-Disciplinary Team

Year Published: 2011

Geoinformatics in the public service: building a cyberinfrastructure across the geological surveys

Advanced information technology infrastructure is increasingly being employed in the Earth sciences to provide researchers with efficient access to massive central databases and to integrate diversely formatted information from a variety of sources. These geoinformatics initiatives enable manipulation, modeling and visualization of data in a...

Keller, G. Randy; Baru, Chaitanya; Allison, M. Lee; Gundersen, Linda C.; Richard, Stephen M.
Attribution: Natural Hazards

Year Published: 2011

Segregating gas from melt: an experimental study of the Ostwald ripening of vapor bubbles in magmas

Diffusive coarsening (Ostwald ripening) of H2O and H2O-CO2 bubbles in rhyolite and basaltic andesite melts was studied with elevated temperature–pressure experiments to investigate the rates and time spans over which vapor bubbles may enlarge and attain sufficient buoyancy to segregate in magmatic systems. Bubble growth and segregation are also...

Lautze, Nicole C.; Sisson, Thomas W.; Mangan, Margaret T.; Grove, Timothy L.
Segregating gas from melt: an experimental study of the Ostwald ripening of vapor bubbles in magmas; 2011; Article; Journal; Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology; Lautze, Nicole C.; Sisson, Thomas W.; Mangan, Margaret T.; Grove, Timothy L.

Year Published: 2011

Whole-edifice ice volume change A.D. 1970 to 2007/2008 at Mount Rainier, Washington, based on LiDAR surveying

Net changes in thickness and volume of glacial ice and perennial snow at Mount Rainier, Washington State, have been mapped over the entire edifice by differencing between a highresolution LiDAR (light detection and ranging) topographic survey of September-October 2007/2008 and the 10 m lateral resolution U.S. Geological Survey digital elevation...

Sisson, T.W.; Robinson, J.E.; Swinney, D.D.
Whole-edifice ice volume change A.D. 1970 to 2007/2008 at Mount Rainier, Washington, based on LiDAR surveying; 2011; Article; Journal; Geology; Sisson, T. W.; Robinson, J. E.; Swinney, D. D.

Year Published: 2010

Encounters of aircraft with volcanic ash clouds; A compilation of known incidents, 1953-2009

Information about reported encounters of aircraft with volcanic ash clouds from 1953 through 2009 has been compiled to document the nature and scope of risks to aviation from volcanic activity. The information, gleaned from a variety of published and other sources, is presented in database and spreadsheet formats; the compilation will be updated...

Guffanti, Marianne; Casadevall, Thomas J.; Budding, Karin
Encounters of aircraft with volcanic ash clouds; A compilation of known incidents, 1953-2009; 2010; DS; 545; Guffanti, Marianne; Casadevall, Thomas J.; Budding, Karin

Filter Total Items: 2,236
Annotated photo looking at fissure 8 lava channels and identifying lava flows in residential areas and the ocean entry
July 2, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Fissure 8 Channel (Annotated)

Annotated drone image of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone fissure 8 lava channel. Image captured near Kapoho Crater looking east toward the ocean entry. Incandescent flow margin is more easily identified in the dark - specifically here in the area of Kapoho Beach Lots.

Aerial of lava channels
July 2, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Open Lava Channels

Fountains from Fissure 8 spatter cone continue to supply lava to the open channel with intermittent small, short-

...
July 1, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Whirlwind Above Fissure 8

In the Leilani Estates subdivision, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory field crews monitoring 

...
July 1, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Collapse/Explosion Event at Halema‘uma‘u

On June 30, 2018, at 02:51 PM HST, a collapse/explosion event occurred at Kīlauea's summit. An ash-poor 

...
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.

Filter Total Items: 342
Date published: February 20, 2018

Pacific Missile Tracking Site Could Be Unusable in 20 Years Due to Climate Change

Living and working on the Pacific islands hosting a key missile tracking site soon could be almost impossible due to the impacts of climate change.

Date published: February 19, 2018

USGS fields tsunami questions after earthquake off Kodiak, Alaska

USGS geophysicist Eric Geist fielded questions about tsunamis after a magnitude 7.9 earthquake off southern Alaska prompted a tsunami watch for the U.S. west coast.

Date published: February 16, 2018

One of the first Black USGS geophysicists, pioneers subsurface research

Early in his college career, U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Rufus Catchings became drawn to the mysteries that lie beneath the earth’s surface — and was determined to understand them. 

Date published: February 16, 2018

Workshops on subduction-zone science to reduce risk for communities

The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center hosted two back-to-back subduction-zone workshops in Santa Cruz, California, from February 5–8, 2018.

Date published: February 15, 2018

False-alarm tsunami alerts across the U.S. East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean prompt calls to USGS

On February 6, USGS research geophysicist Eric Geist spoke to reporters Rachel Becker of The Verge and Grace Toohey of The Advocate about tsunami hazards on Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shores.

Date published: February 14, 2018

USGS research featured on the cover of Eos

USGS research on a big earthquake fault off Alaska and Canada is featured on the cover of Eos, a journal of Earth and space science news published by the American Geophysical Union.

Date published: February 13, 2018

International workshop on “Understanding Flooding on Reef-lined Island Coastlines”

USGS research geologist Curt Storlazzi led a workshop on “Understanding Flooding on Reef-lined Island Coastlines” (UFORIC) in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, from 5–7 February. 

Date published: February 12, 2018

Giant grooves discovered on an earthquake fault offshore Costa Rica

Imagine dragging your outstretched fingers through wet beach sand, leaving long grooves behind. Scientists recently discovered enormous grooves buried under the seafloor near Costa Rica. The detailed three-dimensional data they used to uncover these corrugations can help them better understand large subduction zone earthquakes and related tsunamis worldwide.

Date published: February 9, 2018

USGS Gas Hydrates Project Releases New Fact Sheets!

The USGS Gas Hydrates Project has published two new Fact Sheets. One describes the goals and scope of the Project and the other describes "Gas Hydrates in Nature," including where they form, how they are studied, and why researchers focus on gas hydrates for energy resource and environmental studies. 

Date published: February 7, 2018

USGS 360-degree videos of king tides show how rising seas will transform California beaches in the future

USGS oceanographer Juliette Finzi Hart shot 360-degree videos of king tides—the highest high tides of the year—throughout the Los Angeles region in 2016 and 2017.

Date published: February 5, 2018

USGS participates in workshop on restoring Monterey Bay sand-mining site

Acting deputy director of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center Nadine Golden attended a workshop on restoring a sand-mining operation on California’s Monterey Bay.

Date published: January 30, 2018

January 23, 2018 M7.9 Gulf of Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami

One week ago, on January 23rd at 12:31 a.m. local time, Alaskans were rocked by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake, with an epicenter in the Gulf of Alaska, about 350 miles southwest of Anchorage, and about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.