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.

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Filter Total Items: 113
Date published: December 5, 2016

National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards - Hurricane Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy moved northward along the U.S. Atlantic coast in October 2012, USGS scientists worked to determine where and how the storm’s waves and surge might dramatically reshape the beaches and dunes that stand between the storm and coastal developments.

Date published: September 2, 2016

Hawaii Tsunami Messaging

SAFRR brings together tsunami and communication experts to discuss potential changes to safety messages, based on improved scientific understanding of Hawaii's tsunami hazard.

Date published: September 1, 2016

Tsunami Awareness Campaign

Students at Art Center College of Design learned about tsunamis from SAFRR partners in natural science, social science, and emergency management, then designed a fun, engaging, multi-faceted awareness campaign.

Date published: June 9, 2016
Status: Completed

The First Sue Nami

Collaboration among SAFRR, Art Center College of Design, and other partners produced this tsunami awareness video, targeted for the 18-34 year old audience.

Date published: April 13, 2016

Understanding Coastal Change

Scientists perform a range of studies that document, assess, and model coastal change, risk, and vulnerability. Studies include historical shoreline change, the geologic structure and history of coastal regions, sediment supply and transport, sea-level rise, and how extreme storm events affect rates and impacts of coastal change.

Date published: April 13, 2016

Geologic Hazards and Catastrophic Events

We study the distribution and hazard potential of coastal and submarine events such as earthquakes and submarine landslides and associated tsunami potential, hurricane induced coastal inundation, extreme storms, sea-level rise and oil and gas spills. We also model development to help evaluate and forecast coastal hazard probability and occurrence.

Date published: April 13, 2016

Ocean Resources for America's Needs

Our scientists conduct research studies focused on geologic mapping, sampling and understanding of mineral and energy resources and studies of the geologic setting and processes to inform renewable energy development offshore.

Date published: April 13, 2016

Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Science

We bring together multidisciplinary expertise focused on developing tools and models to improve understanding of how healthy ecosystems function as well as how they respond to environmental changes and human impacts including ecosystem restoration. Research studies address coral reef, coastal wetland, benthic habitat and groundwater resources.

Date published: April 12, 2016

Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application

USGS scientists at the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center and other offices received funding for studies related to habitat change, storm surge and ecological modeling, migratory bird impacts, and other topics of interest. The Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application showcases the data and analytical products resulting from these studies.

Date published: March 17, 2016

Volcano Hazards Assessments Help Mitigate Disasters

The Volcano Hazards Program develops long-range volcano hazards assessments. These includes a summary of the specific hazards, their impact areas, and a map showing ground-hazard zones. The assessments are also critical for planning long-term land-use and effective emergency-response measures, especially when a volcano begins to show signs of unrest.

Date published: March 14, 2016
Status: Completed

Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) Support

An existing technological capability (not yet implemented in CA) for providing a few seconds of advance notification before arrival of earthquake-generated seismic waves causing ground shaking, with current efforts underway to move forward with providing users with the means to utilize the system for warning and preparedness action plans.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Earthquakes Hazards

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

Filter Total Items: 93
Date published: April 27, 2016

Download Real-Time Data

Download real-time and definitive data and indices from USGS geomagnetic observatories.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Real-Time Display of Geomagnetism Plots

Real-time HEZF data from USGS geomagnetic observatories with satellite data used to fill gaps.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Real-Time Disturbance Storm Time (Dst) Display

Real-time Dst data from USGS observatories as well as other world partners.

Date published: April 18, 2016

Coastal and Marine Geology Video and Photography Portal

This portal contains U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) video and photography of the seafloor off of coastal California and Massachusetts, and aerial imagery of the coastline along segments of the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic coasts. These data were collected as part of several USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program Seafloor Mapping projects and Hurricane and Extreme Storm research.

Date published: April 12, 2016

Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Map

The Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application showcases data and analytical products from Aerial reconnaissance imagery; Environmental Contaminants; and Reproductive success of piper plovers.

Date published: March 17, 2016

Volcano Monitoring Data

Many volcanoes in the U.S. are monitored by arrays of several instruments that detect subtle movements within the earth and changes in gas and water chemistry. The Volcano Hazards Program streams this data to its Volcano Observatories and makes it available on volcano-specific websites.

Date published: March 17, 2016

Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System

Site provides access to Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) data via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards services; serving data to GeoMapApp and Virtual Ocean 2-D and 3-D earth browsing tools, for data integration, visualization and analysis; and metadata catalogs for data discovery.

Date published: March 15, 2016

High-resolution geophysical data collected along the Delmarva Peninsula in 2015, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2015-001-FA

The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012. The U.S. Geological Survey conducted cruises during the summers of 2014 and 2015 to map the inner continental shelf of the Delmarva Peninsula using geophysical and sampling techniques to define the geologic framework

Date published: March 15, 2016

California State Waters Map Series GIS Data and Metadata

GIS data files for map areas offshore of California are listed with a brief description, a small image, and links to the metadata files and the downloadable data files.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Drought Watch

Where in the Nation are droughts or very low flows occurring now? How can I see these sites on a map and get to the data?

Date published: March 7, 2016

Real-time Streamflow

Map and data of real-time streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day of the year in the U.S.

Filter Total Items: 65
Year Published: 1982

Preliminary Study of Methods for Upgrading USGS Antarctic Seismological Capability

Purpose The purpose of this study is to evaluate potential methods for obtaining higher quality seismic data from Antarctica. Currently, USGS-sponsored WWSSN stations are located at Scott Base, Sanae Base, and at South Pole Station. Scott and Sanae Stations are located near the coast; data obtained from coastal installations are normally...

Holcomb, L. Gary
Preliminary Study of Methods for Upgrading USGS Antarctic Seismological Capability; 1982; OFR; 82-292; Holcomb, L. Gary

Year Published: 1982

Test and calibration of the Digital World-Wide Standardized Seismograph

During the past decade there has been steady progress in the modernization of the global seismograph network operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The World-Wide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN) has been augmented by new stations with advanced instrumentation, including the Seismic Research Observatories (SRO) and the modified...

Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.
Test and Calibration of the Digital World-Wide Standardized Seismograph; 1982; OFR; 82-1087; Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.

Year Published: 1981

Preliminary Design Study for a National Digital Seismograph Network

Introduction Recently, the National Research Council published a report by the Panel on National, Regional, and Local Seismograph Networks of the Committee on Seismology in which the principal recommendation was for the establishment of a national digital seismograph network (NDSN). The Panel Report (Bolt, 1980) addresses both the need and the...

Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.
Preliminary Design Study for a National Digital Seismograph Network; 1981; OFR; 81-1046; Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.

Year Published: 1980

Preliminary Observations of Noise Spectra at the SRO and ASRO Stations

Introduction The seismic noise spectra presented in this report were derived from SRO and ASRO station data for the purpose of evaluating the performance of the seismic instruments. They are also useful for constructing a spectral estimate of earth noise at a quiet site based on noise samples obtained from a network of globally distributed...

Peterson, Jon
Preliminary Observations of Noise Spectra at the SRO and ASRO Stations; 1980; OFR; 80-992; Peterson, Jon

Year Published: 1980

Test and Calibration of the Seismic Research Observatory

Introduction The Seismic Research Observatory (SRO) network is generating an important new data base for seismological research. The SRO systems have extended both the range and resolution of seismic measurements beyond the limits of conventional seismographs and the data are recorded in digital format making it convenient to automate...

Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.; Holcomb, L. Gary
Test and Calibration of the Seismic Research Observatory; 1980; OFR; 80-187; Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.; Holcomb, L. Gary

Filter Total Items: 1,689
Broad view of an icy scarp on Mars
December 31, 2017

Broad view of an icy scarp on Mars

For the first time, high-resolution images show the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars. 

This NASA HiRISE image shows an icy scarp on Mars in the context of a broader area. 

Lake Powell
December 31, 2017

Lake Powell

The USGS Utah Water Science Center and the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center conducted a collaborative geophysical research effort within Lake Powell, UT-AZ to map the bathymetry of the lake and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers.

Detailed subsection of an icy scarp on Mars
December 31, 2017

Detailed subsection of an icy scarp on Mars

For the first time, high-resolution images show the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars. 

This high-resolution NASA HiRISE image shows a detailed subsection of an icy scarp on Mars in enhanced color. 

Overview of 4 terrain models
December 31, 2017

Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone

Overview of the 4 Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf

Gerry Hatcher and Shawn Harrison work on their video-camera station atop a hotel in Santa Cruz, California.
December 31, 2017

video-camera station

Gerry Hatcher (left) and Shawn Harrison work on their video-camera station atop a hotel in Santa Cruz, California.

Map of marsh shoreline change rates for Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
December 31, 2017

Map of Marsh shoreline change rates

Map of Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, N.J., marsh shoreline change rates.

Video camera atop a hotel in Madeira Beach, Florida.
December 31, 2017

Video camera atop a hotel in Madeira Beach, Florida

Video camera atop a hotel in Madeira Beach, Florida.

December 31, 2017

Great view of the Great Marsh, Cape Cod, MA

USGS scientists, along with collaborators from the Marine Biological Laboratory, deployed a carbon flux tower on Great Marsh in 2017. Great Marsh is a 3800 acre salt marsh complex behind the Sandy Neck barrier beach in Barnstable, Cape Cod. This ecosystem is home to a variety of animals, including deer, fox, owls, and the rare Diamondback terrapin. The carbon flux tower monitors the exchange...

browse graphic of the data locations
December 31, 2017

Browse graphic of data

Browse graphic of the sediment textuer and geomorphology data of the sea floor from Fenwick Island, MD to FIsherman's Island, VA

Filter Total Items: 317
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 20, 2017

ABC News speaks to USGS researchers about Arctic coastal change

Documentary features USGS researchers

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!

Date published: October 18, 2017

EarthWord–Gas Hydrate

No, this EarthWord isn’t how natural gas quenches its thirst-it just sounds like it...