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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
Our scientists work with NASA and other space agencies to lead investigations, select rover landing sites, create geologic maps and cartographic products for numerous spacecraft missions throughout our solar system. Our Astrogeology Science Center continues to provide support for numerous past, present and future space missions.
Monitors and studies the active geologic processes and hazards of the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field and its caldera. Yellowstone National Park contains the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world. YVO also monitors volcanic activity in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.
The USGS Astrogeology Science Center is a hub for planetary research. The center provides guest facilities, labs, and numerous cartographic resources for both the scientific community and the general public. Geologists, archivists, data specialists, and cartographers are employed at the center to assist the planetary science community.
Our satellite remote sensing research and applications are essential for providing required data for mapping fire fuels, assessing fire effects, monitoring fire danger, and measuring progress in implementing the National Fire Plan. Land management agencies, scientific communities, and citizenry affected by wildland fires can benefit from our work.
The Astrogeology Science Center's mission includes producing planetary maps and cartographic products which reveal topography, geology, topology, image mosaics and more, all made available to the international scientific community and the general public as a national resource.
ShakeOut, an scenario model was developed to understand the impacts and implications of a hypothetical but realistic 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault. Pairing robust science with state-of-the-art modeling and visualization tools, ShakeOut is an accessible and effective message to enhance community preparedness and resilience to earthquakes.
MTBS is a multi-year project designed to map the burn severity and perimeters of fire across all lands of the United States for the period spanning 1984 through 2010. The data generated by MTBS will be used to identify national trends in burn severity and evaluate the effectiveness of the National Fire Plan and Healthy Forest Restoration Act.
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.
Post-fire landslides are particularly hazardous because they can occur with little warning, can exert great force on objects in their paths, can strip vegetation, block drainage ways, damage structures, and endanger human life. Our focus is to develop tools and methods for the prediction of post-wildfire landslide activity and hazard delineation.
What persuades someone to heed a debris flow or wildfire evacuation warning? SAFRR partners in emergency management are especially interested in the results of this study, now underway with Columbia's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions.
Ecosystems throughout the western U.S. are often dependent on a particular fire regime to reduce hazardous fuels and rejuvenate forests or even guide evolution of plant life and regulate ecological communities. Today fire’s role is more complicated. For example, fire can favor invasive plants and these invaders may, in turn, alter the fire regime.
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.
ISIS has many standard image processing operations such as contrast stretch, image algebra, filters, and statistical analysis. Isis operates on both classical two-dimensional images as well as three-dimensional cubes collected from imaging spectrometers. It also has unique capabilities for processing data from NASA spacecraft missions.
PILOT is a web based search tool for the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC) database of the Planetary Data System. PILOT features SPICE-corrected image locations and searching capabilities using a navigable map, user selectable image constraints, and facilitates bulk downloads and/or image processing using POW.
The Map Projection on the Web service was created to help researchers convert raw Planetary Data System images to a science-ready map projected images. The system integrates the Planetary Image LOcator Tool (PILOT) and the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC), ISIS3, GDAL, and the Astrogeology processing cluster for its’ processing needs.
Astro Web Maps – Our Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS) are based on Open Geospatial Consortium standards and allow capable mapping clients to view full-resolution planetary mosaicked Basemaps. Services are available for community use and are critical for our Planetary Nomenclature, Planetary Geologic Mapping and PILOT sites
Allows existing map-projected (derived) image products to be re-projected, stretched, clipped, and converted into a variety of useful formats. Version 2 allows us to quickly add new mosaics and potentially many other derived science products for conversion and download.
GDAL is a translator library for raster geospatial data formats that is released under an X/MIT style Open Source license by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. As a library, it presents a single abstract data model for all supported formats. It also comes with a variety of useful commandline utilities for data translation and processing.
Geologic Map of Mount Mazama and Crater Lake Caldera, Oregon
Crater Lake partly fills one of the most spectacular calderas of the world, an 8-by-10-km basin more than 1 km deep formed by collapse of the volcano known as Mount Mazama (fig. 1) during a rapid series of explosive eruptions about 7,700 years ago. Having a maximum depth of 594 m, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. Crater Lake...Bacon, Charles R.
Database for the Geologic Map of Upper Eocene to Holocene Volcanic and Related Rocks of the Cascade Range, Oregon
Since 1979, Earth scientists of the Geothermal Research Program of the U.S. Geological Survey have carried out multidisciplinary research in the Cascade Range. The goal of this research is to understand the geology, tectonics, and hydrology of the Cascades in order to characterize and quantify geothermal resource potential. A major goal of the...Nimz, Kathryn; Ramsey, David W.; Sherrod, David R.; Smith, James G.
Alaska Volcano Observatory
Steam plume from the 2006 eruption of Augustine volcano in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Explosive ash-producing eruptions from Alaska's 40+ historically active volcanoes pose hazards to aviation, including commercial aircraft flying the busy North Pacific routes between North America and Asia. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) monitors these volcanoes...Venezky, Dina Y.; Murray, Tom; Read, Cyrus
Cascades Volcano Observatory
Washington's Mount St. Helens volcano reawakens explosively on October 1, 2004, after 18 years of quiescence. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) study and observe Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes of the Cascade Range in Washington, Oregon, and northern California that hold potential for future...Venezky, Dina Y.; Driedger, Carolyn; Pallister, John
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Lava from Kilauea volcano flowing through a forest in the Royal Gardens subdivision, Hawai'i, in February 2008. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) monitors the volcanoes of Hawai'i and is located within Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park. HVO is one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and...Venezky, Dina Y.; Orr, Tim R.
Long Valley Observatory
The ~300-year-old lava on Paoha Island in Mono Lake was produced by the most recent eruption in the Long Valley Caldera area in east-central California. The Long Valley Caldera was formed by a massive volcanic eruption 760,000 years ago. The region is monitored by the Long Valley Observatory (LVO), one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program...Venezky, Dina Y.; Hill, David
Volcano Hazards Program
Diagram of common volcano hazards. The U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program (VHP) monitors unrest and eruptions at U.S. volcanoes, assesses potential hazards, responds to volcanic crises, and conducts research on how volcanoes work. When conditions change at a monitored volcano, the VHP issues public advisories and warnings to alert...Venezky, Dina Y.; Myers, Bobbie; Driedger, Carolyn
Yellowstone Volcano Observatory
Eruption of Yellowstone's Old Faithful Geyser. Yellowstone hosts the world's largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features, which are the surface expression of magmatic heat at shallow depths in the crust. The Yellowstone system is monitored by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO), a partnership among the U.S. Geological...Venezky, Dina Y.; Lowenstern, Jacob
Remote-controlled pan, tilt, zoom cameras at Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes, Hawai'i
Lists of important volcano-monitoring disciplines usually include seismology, geodesy, and gas geochemistry. Visual monitoring - the essence of volcanology - is usually not mentioned. Yet, observations of the outward appearance of a volcano provide data that is equally as important as that provided by the other disciplines. The eye was almost...Hoblitt, Richard P.; Orr, Tim R.; Castella, Frederic; Cervelli, Peter F.
Digital Data for Volcano Hazards at Newberry Volcano, Oregon
Newberry volcano is a broad shield volcano located in central Oregon, the product of thousands of eruptions, beginning about 600,000 years ago. At least 25 vents on the flanks and summit have been active during the past 10,000 years. The most recent eruption 1,300 years ago produced the Big Obsidian Flow. Thus, the volcano's long history and...Schilling, S.P.; Doelger, S.; Sherrod, D.R.; Mastin, L.G.; Scott, W.E.
Digital Data for Volcano Hazards from Mount Rainier, Washington, Revised 1998
Mount Rainier at 4393 meters (14,410 feet) is the highest peak in the Cascade Range; a dormant volcano having glacier ice that exceeds that of any other mountain in the conterminous United States. This tremendous mass of rock and ice, in combination with great topographic relief, poses a variety of geologic hazards, both during inevitable future...Schilling, S.P.; Doelger, S.; Hoblitt, R.P.; Walder, J.S.; Driedger, C.L.; Scott, K.M.; Pringle, P.T.; Vallance, J.W.
Digital Data for Volcano Hazards in the Crater Lake Region, Oregon
Crater Lake lies in a basin, or caldera, formed by collapse of the Cascade volcano known as Mount Mazama during a violent, climactic eruption about 7,700 years ago. This event dramatically changed the character of the volcano so that many potential types of future events have no precedent there. This potentially active volcanic center is contained...Schilling, S.P.; Doelger, S.; Bacon, C.R.; Mastin, L.G.; Scott, K.E.; Nathenson, M.
At 2:00 p.m. HST. This photo reveals a small pad of lava between Fissures 16 and 17 which did not appear in photos of the same scene taken this morning. (Red arrow points to the lava pad.) From the photo it appears that this fissure had stagnated. We have designated this small outbreak as Fissure 18.
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 13, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 12, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.
5/12/18, 08:27 a.m. HST - An aerial view of fissure 16, located about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) northeast of fissure 15 (top left). The fissure is located 500 m northeast of the Puna Geothermal Venture site (top right). Photograph courtesy of Hawai`i County Fire Department.
Fissure 16 eruption at 12:57 p.m. HST on May 12, 2018. Video by Cheryl Gansecki, University of Hawaii.
Good weather provided clear views into Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater. The crater floor collapsed on April 30 as magma drained to the east along the East Rift Zone. Based on a 3D model constructed from thermal images, the deepest part of the crater was 350 m (1150 ft) below the crater rim.
During an overflight on May 11, we collected thermal images of the crater at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and created an updated 3D model of the crater geometry. The collapse on April 30 produced a large cavity, with the deepest point roughly 350 m (1150 feet) below the crater rim.
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 11, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 10, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.
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.
Documentary features USGS researchers
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...
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?
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.
Coral reef expert Caroline Rogers was the only USGS employee in the Virgin Islands when the Category 5 storm hit.
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.
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.
No, this EarthWord isn’t how natural gas quenches its thirst-it just sounds like it...
A study finds that although the “wilderness breach” created by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 has reached a relatively stable size and location, the channel and shoals will keep changing in response to weather. Related research shows the breach isn’t likely to increase storm-tide flooding in Great South Bay.