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: 110
Date published: March 2, 2016

Mission Support

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO)

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

A Hub for Planetary Research

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Satellite Data Applications for Fire Science

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Producing Planetary Maps

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

ShakeOut Scenario

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS)

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Earthquake Early Warning (EEW)

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 2, 2016

Post-Wildfire Landslide Hazards

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Debris Flow and Wildfire Evacuation Messaging

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Fire Ecology

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.

Date published: March 2, 2016

Partnership for Community Disaster Resilience

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.

Filter Total Items: 94
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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

ISIS – The Integrated System for Imagers and Spectrometers

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

PILOT – The Planetary Image LOcator Tool

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

POW – The Map Projection on the Web

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Astro Web Maps – Our Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS)

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

Date published: March 7, 2016

Map-a-Planet 2

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

GDAL – The Geospatial Data Abstraction Library

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.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Real-time Earthquake Information

Get real-time earthquake notifications sent to you using a number of popular mediums: Feeds, Email, Twitter, etc…

Date published: March 7, 2016

Flood Watch

Maps of flood and high flow conditions within the U.S.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Technology and Tools

Links to a variety of Coastal and Marine Geology mapping technologies, data modeling and visualization tools.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Latest Earthquakes Map and List

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

Date published: March 4, 2016

Research Data and Products

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

Filter Total Items: 406
Year Published: 2008

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.
Geologic Map of Mount Mazama and Crater Lake Caldera, Oregon; 2008; SIM; 2832; Bacon, Charles R.

Year Published: 2008

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.
Database for the Geologic Map of Upper Eocene to Holocene Volcanic and Related Rocks of the Cascade Range, Oregon; 2008; DS; 313; Nimz, Kathryn; Ramsey, David W.; Sherrod, David R.; Smith, James G.

Year Published: 2008

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
Alaska Volcano Observatory; 2008; GIP; 79; Venezky, Dina Y.; Murray, Tom; Read, Cyrus

Year Published: 2008

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
Cascades Volcano Observatory; 2008; GIP; 75; Venezky, Dina Y.; Driedger, Carolyn; Pallister, John

Year Published: 2008

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.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory; 2008; GIP; 76; Venezky, Dina Y.; Orr, Tim

Year Published: 2008

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
Long Valley Observatory; 2008; GIP; 78; Venezky, Dina Y.; Hill, David

Year Published: 2008

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
Volcano Hazards Program; 2008; GIP; 74; Venezky, Dina Y.; Myers, Bobbie; Driedger, Carolyn

Year Published: 2008

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
Yellowstone Volcano Observatory; 2008; GIP; 77; Venezky, Dina Y.; Lowenstern, Jacob

Year Published: 2008

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.
Remote-Controlled Pan, Tilt, Zoom Cameras at Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes, Hawai'i; 2008; SIR; 2008-5129; Hoblitt, Richard P.; Orr, Tim R.; Castella, Frederic; Cervelli, Peter F.

Year Published: 2008

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 at Newberry Volcano, Oregon; 2008; OFR; 2007-1225; Schilling, S. P.; Doelger, S.; Sherrod, D. R.; Mastin, L. G.; Scott, W. E.

Year Published: 2008

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 from Mount Rainier, Washington, Revised 1998; 2008; OFR; 2007-1220; Schilling, S. P.; Doelger, S.; Hoblitt, R. P.; Walder, J. S.; Driedger, C. L.; Scott, K. M.; Pringle, P. T.; Vallance, J. W.

Year Published: 2008

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.
Digital Data for Volcano Hazards in the Crater Lake Region, Oregon; 2008; OFR; 2007-1223; Schilling, S. P.; Doelger, S.; Bacon, C. R.; Mastin, L. G.; Scott, K. E.; Nathenson, M.

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Orange spray paint on cracks in roadway
May 13, 2018

Fissure 17 — Marking cracks in roadway

At 10:31 a.m. HST. Cracks on Hwy 132 marked with orange spray paint to track changes through time.

Aerial view of a fissure in Hawaii
May 13, 2018

Fissure 18 - small outbreak

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.

Aerial view of fissure in Hawaii
May 13, 2018

Fissure 17 - Kīlauea

At 2:00 p.m. HST. View of Fissure 17 looking makai (southward) from Hwy 132

May 13, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - May 13, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 13, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.

May 12, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - May 12, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 12, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.
 

An aerial view of fissure 16, located about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) northeast of fissure 15 (top left).
May 12, 2018

An aerial view of fissure 16

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.

May 12, 2018

Fissure 16 eruption at 12:57 p.m. HST on May 12, 2018

Fissure 16 eruption at 12:57 p.m. HST on May 12, 2018. Video by Cheryl Gansecki, University of Hawaii.

May 11, 2018

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Eruption (May 11, 2018)

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.

May 11, 2018

New 3D Model of the Drained Crater at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō

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.

May 11, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - May 11, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 11, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.
 

May 10, 2018

USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - May 10, 2018

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 10, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.

Filter Total Items: 328
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...

Date published: October 10, 2017

USGS Tracks Evolution of a Fire Island Hurricane-Made Breach

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.