Mission Areas

Natural Hazards

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

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: 110
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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Landslides Information

View current advisories, events, and what is going on in the news.

Date published: March 7, 2016

U.S. Volcano Information

There are 169 potentially active volcanoes in the U.S., and the USGS Volcano Hazards Program provides warnings of unrest and eruption for these volcanoes. We offer volcano monitoring data, provide maps and geologic information, conduct research how volcanoes work, and engage with community education and outreach.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Flood Information

The USGS provides practical, unbiased information about the Nation's rivers and streams that is crucial in mitigating hazards associated with floods. This site provides information about the USGS activities, data, and services provided during regional high-flow events, such as hurricanes or multi-state flooding events.

Filter Total Items: 94
Date published: February 23, 2017

Data Viewer—Post-Hurricane Sandy Lidar Elevations and Features

This viewer provides visualization for and accessibility to USGS lidar data obtained following Hurricane Sandy (October 2012). Access and download data and publications that include the source lidar data and the coastal dune and shoreline data needed to examine coastal change and erosion hazards.

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?

Filter Total Items: 406
Year Published: 2010

Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2008

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 Geology and Hydrology Disciplines of the USGS and with cooperators at the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, University of...

Nathenson, Manuel
Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2008; 2010; OFR; 2010-1052; Nathenson, Manuel

Year Published: 2010

Volcano-Monitoring Instrumentation in the United States, 2008

The United States is one of the most volcanically active countries in the world. According to the global volcanism database of the Smithsonian Institution, the United States (including its Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) is home to about 170 volcanoes that are in an eruptive phase, have erupted in historical time, or have not erupted...

Guffanti, Marianne; Diefenbach, Angela K.; Ewert, John W.; Ramsey, David W.; Cervelli, Peter F.; Schilling, Steven P.
Volcano-Monitoring Instrumentation in the United States, 2008; 2010; OFR; 2009-1165; Guffanti, Marianne; Diefenbach, Angela K.; Ewert, John W.; Ramsey, David W.; Cervelli, Peter F.; Schilling, Steven P.

Year Published: 2010

OMG earthquake! can twitter improve earthquake response?

[No abstract available]

Earle, P.; Guy, M.; Buckmaster, R.; Ostrum, C.; Horvath, S.; Vaughan, A.
OMG earthquake! can twitter improve earthquake response?; 2010; Article; Journal; Seismological Research Letters; Earle, P.; Guy, M.; Buckmaster, R.; Ostrum, C.; Horvath, S.; Vaughan, A.

Year Published: 2010

Monitoring and characterizing natural hazards with satellite InSAR imagery

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) provides an all-weather imaging capability for measuring ground-surface deformation and inferring changes in land surface characteristics. InSAR enables scientists to monitor and characterize hazards posed by volcanic, seismic, and hydrogeologic processes, by landslides and wildfires, and by human...

Lu, Zhong; Zhang, Jixian; Zhang, Yonghong; Dzurisin, Daniel

Year Published: 2009

Hand-Hewn Granite Basins at Native American Saltworks, Sierra Nevada, California

This site in the northern Sierra Nevada contains about 369 circular basins carved in fresh, glaciated granodioritic bedrock, with 325 basins crowded together in an area of 2,700 m2 on the main terrace. These terrace basins have a median average diameter of 125 cm (80 percent between 100 and 160 cm) and a median depth of 75-80 cm. They show a...

Moore, James G.; Diggles, Michael F.
Hand-Hewn Granite Basins at Native American Saltworks, Sierra Nevada, California; 2009; SIR; 2009-5225; Moore, James G.; Diggles, Michael F.

Year Published: 2009

Chronology and References of Volcanic Eruptions and Selected Unrest in the United States, 1980-2008

The United States ranks as one of the top countries in the world in the number of young, active volcanoes within its borders. The United States, including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is home to approximately 170 geologically active (age <10,000 years) volcanoes. As our review of the record shows, 30 of these volcanoes have...

Diefenbach, Angela K.; Guffanti, Marianne; Ewert, John W.
Chronology and References of Volcanic Eruptions and Selected Unrest in the United States, 1980-2008; 2009; OFR; 2009-1118; Diefenbach, Angela K.; Guffanti, Marianne; Ewert, John W.

Year Published: 2009

Finding Trapped Miners by Using a Prototype Seismic Recording System Made from Music-Recording Hardware

The goal of this project was to use off-the-shelf music recording equipment to build and test a prototype seismic system to listen for people trapped in underground chambers (mines, caves, collapsed buildings). Previous workers found that an array of geophones is effective in locating trapped miners; displaying the data graphically, as well as...

Pratt, Thomas L.
Finding Trapped Miners by Using a Prototype Seismic Recording System Made from Music-Recording Hardware; 2009; OFR; 2009-1095; Pratt, Thomas L.

Year Published: 2009

Preliminary Spreadsheet of Eruption Source Parameters for Volcanoes of the World

Volcanic eruptions that spew tephra into the atmosphere pose a hazard to jet aircraft. For this reason, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has designated nine Volcanic Ash and Aviation Centers (VAACs) around the world whose purpose is to track ash clouds from eruptions and notify aircraft so that they may avoid these ash clouds....

Mastin, Larry G.; Guffanti, Marianne; Ewert, John W.; Spiegel, Jessica
Preliminary Spreadsheet of Eruption Source Parameters for Volcanoes of the World; 2009; OFR; 2009-1133; Mastin, Larry G.; Guffanti, Marianne; Ewert, John W.; Spiegel, Jessica

Year Published: 2009

Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2007

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 Geology and Hydrology Disciplines of the USGS and with cooperators at the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, University of...

Nathenson, Manuel
Publications of the Volcano Hazards Program 2007; 2009; OFR; 2009-1071; Nathenson, Manuel

Year Published: 2009

Multiple dendrochronological responses to the eruption of Cinder Cone, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Two dendrochronological properties – ring width and ring chemistry – were investigated in trees near Cinder Cone in Lassen Volcanic National Park, northeastern California, for the purpose of re-evaluating the date of its eruption. Cinder Cone is thought to have erupted in AD 1666 based on ring-width evidence, but interpreting ring-width changes...

Sheppard, P.R.; Ort, M.H.; Anderson, K.C.; Clynne, M.A.; May, E.M.
Multiple dendrochronological responses to the eruption of Cinder Cone, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California; 2009; Article; Journal; Dendrochronologia; Sheppard, P. R.; Ort, M. H.; Anderson, K. C.; Clynne, M. A.; May, E. M.

Year Published: 2008

A Volcano Rekindled: The Renewed Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006

Mount St. Helens began a dome-building eruption in September 2004 after nearly two decades of quiescence. Dome growth was initially robust, became more sluggish with time, and ceased completely in late January 2008. The volcano has been quiet again since January 2008. Professional Paper 1750 describes the first 1 1/2 years of this eruptive...

Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.
A Volcano Rekindled: The Renewed Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004-2006; 2008; PP; 1750; Edited by Sherrod, David R.; Scott, William E.; Stauffer, Peter H.

Year Published: 2008

Origin of Meter-Size Granite Basins in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California

Meter-size granite basins are found in a 180-km belt extending south from the South Fork of the Kings River to Lake Isabella on the west slope of the southern Sierra Nevada, California. Their origin has long been debated. A total of 1,033 basins have been inventoried at 221 sites. The basins occur on bedrock granitic outcrops at a median elevation...

Moore, James G.; Gorden, Mary A.; Robinson, Joel E.; Moring, Barry C.
Origin of Meter-Size Granite Basins in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California; 2008; SIR; 2008-5210; Moore, James G.; Gorden, Mary A.; Robinson, Joel E.; Moring, Barry C.

Filter Total Items: 1,837
Rocks from a volcanic crater laying in the middle of the ground surrounded by ash.
May 16, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano - Rocks Hurled from Overlook Crater

Close view of rock hurled from the Overlook crater during an explosive event last evening. The rock broke apart on impact, and was about 60 cm (24 in) before it hit the ground. The location is a few hundred meters (yards) south of the Overlook crater at the Halema‘uma‘u parking lot. Note the ...

May 16, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano - Lower East Rift Zone Eruption (Fissure 18)

This video shows spattering at fissure 18, Kīlauea Volcano's Lower...

May 16, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano - Spattering (Aerial Between Fissures 16 and 20)

Aerial view (from a helicopter) of spattering between fissures 16 and...

Steam rising from a fissure
May 15, 2018

Fissure 14 — Incandescence Observed

Incandescence observed at Fissure 14 around 10:30 a.m. HST. Pulsing,...

Ash plume rising from a crater
May 15, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano — Ash Falls onto Kau Desert

At 1:38 p.m. HST, ash falls from the plume southwest from Halema‘uma‘u crater onto the Kau desert. The northeast tradewinds were persistent today at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, so ash was only blown southwest.

Ash plume rises in the distance over a golf course
May 15, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano Ash Plume from Volcano Golf Course

Ash plume viewed from the Volcano Golf Course near Volcano, Hawai‘i. This view is nearly due north of the Halema‘uma‘u crater.

Lava oozing from edge of a volcanic flow
May 15, 2018

Fissure 17 - Highly Viscous (Sticky) Lava Oozing

Highly viscous (sticky) lava oozes from the edge of the ‘a‘ā flow spreading slowly from fissure 17.

Aerial view of the ash plume
May 15, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano Ash Plume (Aerial)

At 11:43 HST, Civil Air Patrol flight CAP20 reported plume tops at about 9,500 ft with the dispersed plume rising as high as 11,000 ft. The CAP mission was launched from Hilo in support of Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory response to the ongoing eruption. Ash from this plume was reported falling on communities downwind. Information on ash hazards and how to...

Ash plume rising from a crater
May 15, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano - Ash Plume Rising from Overlook Crater

At 11:05 a.m. HST. Photograph from the Jaggar Museum, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, captures an ash plume rising from the Overlook crater. Ash falling from the plume can be seen just to the right side (and below) the plume.

A dark ash plume rising from a crater
May 15, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano - Dark Ash Plume Rising from Overlook Crater

At 1:38 p.m. HST, another dark ash plume rose from the Overlook crater. During a flight earlier today by the Civil Air Patrol, the height of the ash plumes near the crater rose to more than 3 km (9,800 ft) above sea level, and downwind the plumes continued to rise to about 3.5 km (11,500 ft) above sea level.

Ash blanketing a desert landscape
May 15, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano - Ash Blanketing Kau Desert

At 1:38 p.m. HST. A telephoto photo from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory looking toward the southwest shows gray ash blanketing the Kau Desert landscape.

May 15, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - May 15, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 15, 2018.

Filter Total Items: 328
Date published: December 12, 2017

USGS Research Geologist Publishes New AGU Article Forecasting Barrier Island Response to Sea-Level Rise

A new article combines geomorphological and pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy observations from coastal New Jersey with a morphodynamic model to forecast the response of barrier islands to various rates of sea-level rise and explores the impact of human alterations on forecasted behavior.

Date published: December 12, 2017

SEABOSS Survey in Long Island Sound

Geological Sampling (videos, photos and sediment samples) in Long Island Sound on the newly stretched R/V Connecticut with scientist from USGS, UConn and Univ of New Haven

Date published: December 12, 2017

Geophyiscal survey of Lake Powell, UT-AZ

Develop a new bathymetry map of Lake Powell, UT-AZ, and characterize shallow sediment deposition near the mouths of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers. Bathymetric data, acoustic backscatter imagery, and limited CHIRP sub-bottom data were collected by the USGS Utah Water Science Center (UTWSC) and Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) within Lake Powell, October - November, 2017...

Date published: December 11, 2017

USGS provides information about Alaska coastal change to Scientific American

USGS scientists at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center spoke by phone with Scientific American writer Andrea Thompson on November 15.

Date published: December 11, 2017

First observation of gold particles in hot hydrothermal fluids

For the first time, scientists have found gold particles in boiling fluids from a hydrothermal vent.

Date published: December 9, 2017

Open House at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, USGS scientists treated visitors to displays about their research at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.

Date published: December 8, 2017

Physical processes dominate channel evolution in Olympic National Park rivers—A reply

A team of federal scientists addressed comments from researchers who disagree with their conclusions that river channel evolution is driven primarily by physical factors rather than an overabundance of elk after wolf eradication.

Date published: November 30, 2017

Magnitude 4.1 Earthquake near Dover, Delaware

The USGS has up-to-date details on the November 30, 2017 event.

Date published: November 30, 2017

Revisiting the Oso Landslide

"Gravity Never Sleeps":  The USGS collaborates with community partners for a series of briefings on Capitol Hill to discuss national landslide hazards.  

Date published: November 29, 2017

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.

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.