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: 71
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

Organisms have different abilities to adapt to disturbances. Some disturbances can be catastrophic to one species and inconsequential to another. Our Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC) scientists are studying the effects of disturbances on species, biogeochemistry, water quality, habitat connectivity and landscape patterns.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

SAFRR is now a partner in the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience project, a 3-year pilot collaboration to promote community resilience in the face of a wide range of public health emergencies.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

Bringing together seismologists, emergency managers, risk communication researchers, and design professionals to develop a framework for earthquake probability messages for both emergency managers and the general public.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

The Earthquake Hazards Program monitors and reports earthquakes, assesses earthquake impacts and hazards, and researches the causes and effects of earthquake.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

Worked with USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO) and California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to plan and stage a workshop to raise awareness, increase buy-in, and gather information for a volcano hazards annex to the California's State emergency plan.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

The Earthquake Hazards Program monitors and reports earthquakes, assesses earthquake impacts and hazards, and researches the causes and effects of earthquake.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

A modeled scenario of U.S. West Coast winter storm events induced by the formation of Atmospheric Rivers (AR) and capable of causing massive and devastating flooding.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

In the late summer of 2005, the remarkable flooding brought by Hurricane Katrina, which caused more than $200 billion in losses, constituted the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. However, even in typical years, flooding causes billions of dollars in damage and threatens lives and property in every State.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

Students at Art Center College of Design prototyped wildfire awareness campaigns after SAFRR exposed them to wildfire research and safety issues.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

This website brings together information about current and past flooding and USGS flood-focused resources. The USGS provides practical, unbiased information about the Nation's rivers and streams that is crucial in mitigating hazards associated with floods.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

Explore critical pre- and post-disaster images and datasets online for immediate viewing and downloading. These images are used in disaster preparations, rescue and relief operations, damage assessments, and reconstruction efforts. We supply satellite and aerial images for analysis of disaster areas before, during, and after a disaster.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 2, 2016

Research projects within the USGS Geomagnetism Program are targeted for societal relevance, especially for space-weather hazard science.

Filter Total Items: 59
USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Research Data and Products

USGS earthquake data including real-time and historic earthquake catalogs, GIS data, hazards, and more.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Software for Landslide Assessments and Modeling

USGS software for landslide assessments and modeling that include SLAMMER, TRIGRS, PTCOUNT and more.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

International Charter

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.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

DOI Emergency Management

DOI has a department-wide policy relating to emergency management that can be referenced in the Department's Manual in Series: 41-EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ‎(Parts 900-910)‎.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Station Information and Operations

Zoom in on an area to view all seismic network operation stations on the interactive map.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Seismogram Displays

This interactive map displays seismographic activity. Click on a red seismogram icon or select a region from list list.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

IRIS Data Management Center

Contains archived data from the Global Seismic Network.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Wildfires: GEOMAC

Maps of current fire locations and perimeters in the conterminous 48 States and Alaska.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Landfire Data Distribution

Map interface to view and download landfire data sets, receive alerts and notifications.

Ash-rich plume rises out of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, Kilauea Volcano Hawaiʻi
March 4, 2016

Current Alerts for U.S. Volcanoes

Volcano-alert notifications are produced by Volcano Observatory scientists based on analysis of data from monitoring networks, direct observations, and satellite sensors. They are issued for both increasing and decreasing volcanic activity and include text about the nature of the unrest or eruption and about potential or current hazards and likely outcomes.

March 4, 2016

/data-tools/volcano-notification-service-vns" target="">Volcano Notification Service (VNS)

The Volcano Notification Service (VNS) is a free service that sends you notification emails about volcanic activity happening at U.S. monitored volcanoes. You can customize the VNS to deliver notifications for certain volcanoes or a range of volcanoes, and you can also choose the notification types you want to receive.

Filter Total Items: 59
Year Published: 1989

A Direct Method for Calculating Instrument Noise Levels in Side-by-Side Seismometer Evaluations

INTRODUCTION The subject of determining the inherent system noise levels present in modem broadband closed loop seismic sensors has been an evolving topic ever since closed loop systems became available. Closed loop systems are unique in that the system noise can not be determined via a blocked mass test as in older conventional open loop...

Holcomb, L. Gary
A Direct Method for Calculating Instrument Noise Levels in Side-by-Side Seismometer Evaluations; 1989; OFR; 89-214; Holcomb, L. Gary

Year Published: 1989

IRIS/USGS Plans for Upgrading the Global Seismograph Network

PREFACE This report has been prepared to provide information to organizations that may be asked to participate in a program to upgrade the global seismographic network. In most cases, the organizations that will be offered new instrumentation by the U.S. Geological Survey currently operate stations in the World-Wide Standardized Seismograph...

Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.
IRIS/USGS Plans for Upgrading the Global Seismograph Network; 1989; OFR; 89-471; Peterson, Jon; Hutt, Charles R.

Year Published: 1985

Description and Preliminary Testing of the CDSN Seismic Sensor Systems

INTRODUCTION The China Digital Seismograph Network (CDSN) is being designed and installed to provide the People's Republic of China with the facilities needed to create a national digital database for earthquake research. The CDSN, which is being developed jointly by the PRC State Seismological Bureau and the U.S. Geological Survey,...

Peterson, Jon; Tilgner, Edwin E.
Description and Preliminary Testing of the CDSN Seismic Sensor Systems; 1985; OFR; 85-288; Peterson, Jon; Tilgner, Edwin E.

Year Published: 1983

A New Event Detector Designed for the Seismic Research Observatories

A new short-period event detector has been implemented on the Seismic Research Observatories. For each signal detected, a printed output gives estimates of the time of onset of the signal, direction of the first break, quality of onset, period and maximum amplitude of the signal, and an estimate of the variability of the background noise. On the...

Murdock, James N.; Hutt, Charles R.
A New Event Detector Designed for the Seismic Research Observatories; 1983; OFR; 83-785; Murdock, James N.; Hutt, Charles R.

Year Published: 1982

A Note on Transients in the SRO and ASRO Long-Period Data

Data users have occasionally observed pulse-like transients in the long-period waveforms recorded at the Seismic Research Observatories (SRO) and at the Modified High-Gain Long-Period (ASRO) stations. In a recent paper, Dziewonski et al (1981) reported transients associated with earthquake signals record at some SRO stations, and the authors...

Peterson, Jon
A Note on Transients in the SRO and ASRO Long-Period Data; 1982; OFR; 82-702; Peterson, Jon

Year Published: 1982

Design Concepts for a Global Telemetered Seismograph Network

INTRODUCTION This study represents a first step in developing an integrated, real-tlme global seismic data acquisition system -- a Global Telemetered Seismograph Network (GTSN). The principal objective of the GTSN will be to acquire reliable, high-quality, real-time seismic data for rapid location and analysis of seismic events. A...

Peterson, Jon; Orsini, Nicholas A.
Design Concepts for a Global Telemetered Seismograph Network; 1982; OFR; 82-703; Peterson, Jon; Orsini, Nicholas A.

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

BACKGROUND 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...

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: 1,452
2017 (approx.)
A tour of the Planetary Geologic Mapping Python toolbox, a suite of GIS tools from the Astrogeology Science Center.
Spider crab and rocks on the seafloor in Long Island Sound
2017 (approx.)
Seafloor photograph of a spider crab, sediment, rocks, taken by the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center SeaBOSS during a deployment off the R/V Connecticut in Long Island Sound
image of the SeaBOSS and USGS personnel on the fantail of the R/V Connecticut on Long Island Sound
2017 (approx.)
Image of the SeaBOSS and USGS personnel on the fantail of the R/V Connecticut in Long Island Sound
USGS personnel adjusting SeaBOSS equipment
2017 (approx.)
USGS personnel adjust equipment on the SeaBOSS on the fantail of the R/V Connecticut on Long Island Sound
This HiRISE image cutout shows Recurring Slope Lineae in Tivat crater on Mars in enhanced color.
2017 (approx.)
This HiRISE image cutout shows Recurring Slope Lineae in Tivat crater on Mars in enhanced color. The narrow, dark flows descend downhill (towards the upper left). Analysis shows that the flows all end at approximately the same slope, which is similar to the angle of repose for sand. Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been identified...
Long Island Sound Survey team
2017 (approx.)
Long Island Sound Survey mapping team. This project is a collaboration of several agencies and institutions including Univ of Connecticut, Univ of New Haven, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, NOAA, LDEO, USGS
Photograph of a flooded road in Olympic National Park, Washington, showing a person walking in the shallow water.
November 24, 2017
Flooding on a road in Olympic National Park, Washington, on November 24, 2017.
A series of images from various sources of shaded-relief topography show the progression of the Mud Creek landslide area.
November 6, 2017
A series of images from various sources of shaded-relief topography show the progression of the Mud Creek landslide area, from 2010 through October 12, 2017. Sources: lidar data from 2010 lidar data from 2016 structure-from-motion (SfM), March 8, 2017 SfM, May 19, 2017 SfM, May 27, 2017 SfM, May 31, 2017 SfM, June 13, 2017 SfM, June 26, 2017 SfM, October 12, 2017
October 20, 2017
An introduction to GIS data using ArcMap 10.1 and higher; intended for planetary geologic mappers.
3D map of Mud Creek slide derived from video footage collected by drone on October 12, 2017.
October 12, 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. USGS scientists have been monitoring the slide by transforming photos shot from an airplane into 3D maps. They applied the...
Low elevation dunes on East Ship Island
October 10, 2017
Low elevation dunes on East Ship Island were inundated by waves and surge from Hurricane Nate. Sand was transported across the entire island, covering vegetation and filling in ponds. The predicted probability of inundation in this location was 98%.
Filter Total Items: 281
USGS
September 18, 2017

Just after Labor Day, U.S. Geological Survey field crews began digging a trench within the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski area, on the lower reaches of Buffalo Bowl. 

 

 

A gif of a before and after image slider showing flooding in Texas from Hurricane Harvey.
September 15, 2017

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Harvey, visit the USGS Hurricane Harvey page at https://www.usgs.gov/harvey.

Repairing a streamgage on the Savannah River
September 13, 2017

Hurricane Irma’s heavy rains and storm surge caused severe flooding in parts of the Southeast.

Flooding on Atlantic Avenue in Garden City, SC
September 13, 2017

When a major storm is on the horizon, the USGS uses its water monitoring, coastal change, mapping, and modeling expertise to help prepare for, respond to, and recover from hurricanes and tropical storms.

USGS scientist David Rodriguez records high water marks from storm surge following Harvey near Corpus Christi, Texas. 
September 8, 2017

Editor’s note: this news release will be updated online with more information on the streamgage records being set in Texas as it becomes available.

Rivers and streams reached record levels as a result of Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall, with about 40 U.S. Geological Survey streamgages measuring record peaks.

Satellite captured image of the rapidly intensifying storm, Harvey
September 8, 2017

As Harvey’s record breaking rainfall and catastrophic flood waters recede in Texas and western Louisiana, U.S. Geological Survey teams are collecting high water marks, monitoring water levels and coastal change, retrieving storm tide sensors and collecting samples for water quality analysis.

Coastal erosion
September 8, 2017

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Map showing epicenter of 2017-09-08 earthquake offshore Mexico
September 8, 2017

A magnitude 8.1earthquake struck offshore Chiapas, Mexico on September 7, 2017 at 11:49 local time (September 8 at 04:49UTC).

 

USGS scientists installs storm-tide sensor in preparation for Hurricane Harvey
September 7, 2017

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Preparing to measure Irma's storm surge in Puerto Rico
September 6, 2017

 To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Sensor deployment
September 6, 2017

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Natural Hazard image WGSC
September 6, 2017

With hurricanes in the east and wildfires in the west, natural hazards have the potential to impact a majority of Americans every year. USGS science provides part of the foundation for emergency preparedness whenever and wherever disaster strikes.