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Filter Total Items: 778
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Year Published: 2018

Clayey landslide initiation and acceleration strongly modulated by soil swelling

Largely unknown mechanisms restrain motion of clay-rich, slow-moving landslides that are widespread worldwide and rarely accelerate catastrophically. We studied a clayey, slow-moving landslide typical of thousands in northern California, USA, to decipher hydrologic-mechanical interactions that modulate landslide dynamics. Similar to some other...

Schulz, William; Smith, Joel B.; Wang, Gonghui; Jiang, Yao; Roering, Joshua J.

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Year Published: 2018

Variability in soil-water retention properties and implications for physics-based simulation of landslide early warning criteria

Rainfall-induced shallow landsliding is a persistent hazard to human life and property. Despite the observed connection between infiltration through the unsaturated zone and shallow landslide initiation, there is considerable uncertainty in how estimates of unsaturated soil-water retention properties affect slope stability assessment. This source...

Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Collins, Brian D.; Lu, Ning; Godt, Jonathan W.
Thomas MA, Mirus BB, Collins BD, Lu N, and Godt JW (2018) Variability in soil-water retention properties and implications for physics-based simulation of landslide early warning criteria, Landslides. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10346-018-0950-z

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Year Published: 2018

Seismic hazard, risk, and design for South America

We calculate seismic hazard, risk, and design criteria across South America using the latest data, models, and methods to support public officials, scientists, and engineers in earthquake risk mitigation efforts. Updated continental scale seismic hazard models are based on a new seismicity catalog, seismicity rate models, evaluation of earthquake...

Petersen, Mark D.; Harmsen, Stephen; Jaiswal, Kishor; Rukstales, Kenneth S.; Luco, Nicolas; Haller, Kathleen; Mueller, Charles; Shumway, Allison
Mark D. Petersen, Stephen C. Harmsen, Kishor S. Jaiswal, Kenneth S. Rukstales, Nicolas Luco, Kathleen M. Haller, Charles S. Mueller, Allison M. Shumway; Seismic Hazard, Risk, and Design for South America. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America; 108 (2): 781–800. doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170002.

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Year Published: 2018

Variabilities in probabilistic seismic hazard maps for natural and induced seismicity in the central and eastern United States

Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) characterizes ground-motion hazard from earthquakes. Typically, the time horizon of a PSHA forecast is long, but in response to induced seismicity related to hydrocarbon development, the USGS developed one-year PSHA models. In this paper, we present a display of the variability in USGS hazard curves due...

Mousavi, S. Mostafa; Beroza, Gregory C.; Hoover, Susan M.
Mousavi, S.M., G.C. Beroza, and S.M. Hoover (2018). Variabilities in probabilistic seismic hazard maps for natural and induced seismicity in the central and eastern United States. The Leading Edge, 37(2), 141a1-141a9.

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Year Published: 2018

Earthquake potential in California-Nevada implied by correlation of strain rate and seismicity

Rock mechanics studies and dynamic earthquake simulations show that patterns of seismicity evolve with time through (1) accumulation phase, (2) localization phase, and (3) rupture phase. We observe a similar pattern of changes in seismicity during the past century across California and Nevada. To quantify these changes, we correlate GPS strain...

Zeng, Yuehua; Petersen, Mark D.; Shen, Zheng-Kang
Zeng, Y., Petersen, M. D., & Shen, Z.-K.(2018). Earthquake potential in California-Nevada implied by correlation of strain rate and seismicity. Geophysical Research Letters, 45. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075967

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Year Published: 2018

Geoelectric hazard maps for the Mid-Atlantic United States: 100 year extreme values and the 1989 magnetic storm

Maps of extreme value geoelectric field amplitude are constructed for the Mid‐Atlantic United States, a region with high population density and critically important power grid infrastructure. Geoelectric field time series for the years 1983–2014 are estimated by convolving Earth surface impedances obtained from 61 magnetotelluric survey sites...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Lucas, Greg M.; Kelbert, Anna; Bedrosian, Paul A.
Love, J. J., Lucas, G. M., Kelbert, A. & Bedrosian, P. A., 2018. Geoelectric hazard maps for the Mid-Atlantic United States: 100 year extreme values and the 1989 magnetic storm, Geophys. Res. Lett., 45(1), 5-15, doi:10.1002/2017GL076042.

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Year Published: 2018

Extreme-event geoelectric hazard maps: Chapter 9

Maps of geoelectric amplitude covering about half the continental United States are presented that will be exceeded, on average, once per century in response to an extreme-intensity geomagnetic disturbance. These maps are constructed using an empirical parameterization of induction: convolving latitude-dependent statistical maps of extreme-value...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Bedrosian, Paul A.

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Year Published: 2018

The electric storm of November 1882

In November 1882, an intense magnetic storm related to a large sunspot group caused widespread interference to telegraph and telephone systems and provided spectacular and unusual auroral displays. The (ring current) storm time disturbance index for this storm reached maximum −Dst ≈ 386 nT, comparable to Halloween storm of 29–31...

Love, Jeffrey J.
Love, J. J. (2018). The electric storm of November 1882. Space Weather, 16, 37–46. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017SW001795.

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Year Published: 2018

Increasing rock-avalanche size and mobility in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska detected from 1984 to 2016 Landsat imagery

In the USA, climate change is expected to have an adverse impact on slope stability in Alaska. However, to date, there has been limited work done in Alaska to assess if changes in slope stability are occurring. To address this issue, we used 30-m Landsat imagery acquired from 1984 to 2016 to establish an inventory of 24 rock avalanches in a 5000-...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Geertsema, Marten

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Year Published: 2017

Improvements in absolute seismometer sensitivity calibration using local earth gravity measurements

The ability to determine both absolute and relative seismic amplitudes is fundamentally limited by the accuracy and precision with which scientists are able to calibrate seismometer sensitivities and characterize their response. Currently, across the Global Seismic Network (GSN), errors in midband sensitivity exceed 3% at the 95% confidence...

Anthony, Robert E.; Ringler, Adam T.; Wilson, David C.
Anthony, R.E., A.T. Ringler, D.C. Wilson (2017), Improvements in Absolute Seismometer Sensitivity Calibration using Local Earth Gravity Measurements, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 108, 503-510. doi:10.1785/0120170218

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Year Published: 2017

Amplification of earthquake ground motions in Washington, DC, and implications for hazard assessments in central and eastern North America

The extent of damage in Washington, DC, from the 2011 Mw 5.8 Mineral, VA, earthquake was surprising for an epicenter 130 km away; U.S. Geological Survey “Did-You-Feel-It” reports suggest that Atlantic Coastal Plain and other unconsolidated sediments amplified ground motions in the city. We measure this amplification relative to...

Pratt, Thomas L.; Horton, J. Wright; Munoz, Jessica; Hough, Susan E.; Chapman, Martin C.; Olgun, C. Guney
Pratt, T. L., Horton, J. W., Jr., Muñoz, J., Hough, S. E., Chapman, M. C., & Olgun, C. G. (2017). Amplification of earthquake ground motions in Washington, DC, and implications for hazard assessments in central and eastern North America. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 12,150–12,160. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075517

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Year Published: 2017

An open repository of earthquake-triggered ground-failure inventories

Earthquake-triggered ground failure, such as landsliding and liquefaction, can contribute significantly to losses, but our current ability to accurately include them in earthquake-hazard analyses is limited. The development of robust and widely applicable models requires access to numerous inventories of ground failures triggered by earthquakes...

Schmitt, Robert G.; Tanyas, Hakan; Nowicki Jessee, M. Anna; Zhu, Jing; Biegel, Katherine M.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Jibson, Randall W.; Thompson, Eric M.; van Westen, Cees J.; Sato, Hiroshi P.; Wald, David J.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Gorum, Tolga; Xu, Chong; Rathje, Ellen M.; Knudsen, Keith L.
Schmitt, R.G., Tanyas, Hakan, Nowicki Jessee, M.A., Zhu, Jing, Biegel, K.M., Allstadt, K.E., Jibson, R.W., Thompson, E.M., van Westen, C.J., Sato, H.P., Wald, D.J., Godt, J.W., Gorum, Tolga, Xu, Chong, Rathje, E.M., Knudsen, K.L., 2017, An open repository of earthquake-triggered ground-failure inventories: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1064, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1064.

The Southwest Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Gulf Coast and the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Southwest Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

Filter Total Items: 159
Photo of a temporary streamgage installed by the USGS on the Brazos River near Brazoria, Texas.
June 1, 2016

Temporary Streamgage on Brazos River

Temporary streamgage installed by the USGS on the Brazos River near Brazoria, Texas. Rapidly deployable streamgages can be installed temporarily to provide emergency managers with additional information needed to help protect public safety.

Photo of a temporary streamgage installed by the USGS on the Brazos River near West Columbia, Texas.
June 1, 2016

Temporary Streamgage on Brazos River

Temporary streamgage installed by the USGS on the Brazos River near West Columbia, Texas. Rapidly deployable streamgages can be installed temporarily to provide emergency managers with additional information needed to help protect public safety.

May 25, 2016

What's the Big Idea?—Multiple Perspectives to Answer Complex Questions

JoAnn Holloway, biogeochemist with the USGS Mineral Resources Program, explains how interdisciplinary science can help better inform the conditions of a complex ecosystem.

Photo of the Colorado River near Moab, Utah
May 6, 2016

Colorado River Near Moab, Utah.

Water flowing on the Colorado River near Moab, Utah. 

The entire Colorado River Basin currently supports 50 million people, and that amount is expected to increase by 23 million between 2000 and 2030. A new USGS study shows more than half of the streamflow in the Upper Colorado River Basin originates as groundwater. 

Flooding in street
April 20, 2016

Flooding near Houston, Texas on April 20, 2016

USGS responsds to recent flooding near Houston, Texas on April 20, 2016. 

Red Mountain, Colorado
April 19, 2016

Red Mountain near Silverton, Colorado

Intensely altered propylitic rocks (red and yellow) in the Red Mountain mining district, overprinting the regional, propylitically altered igneous rocks (grayish-green), peaks at top of image. View to west.

Maroon bells
April 7, 2016

Maroon Bells

Attribution: Rocky Mountain
A family enjoys paddleboarding at Schreiner Park during spring break in Kerrville, Texas.
March 17, 2016

Paddle Boarding on the Guadalupe River

Cool, clear rivers of the Texas Hill Country attract visitors for many recreational opportunities. Here, a family enjoys paddleboarding at Schreiner Park during spring break in Kerrville, Texas.

The new USGS Texas Water Dashboard is a cutting-edge USGS map that provides critical current water information and National Weather Service forecast data at your fingertips

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USGS scientist collects a groundwater-level measurement in Freeport, Texas. 
January 31, 2016

Collecting a groundwater-level measurement in Freeport, Texas

USGS hydrologist Jason Ramage collects a groundwater-level measurement using a steel tape in Freeport, Texas. 

A new interactive web application illustrates how groundwater, sediment compaction and land-elevation change are related in the Houston-Galveston region in Texas. 

Image shows a scanning electron microscope image of finchite
December 31, 2015

Scanning Electron Microscope Image of Finchite

A scanning electron microscope image of the newly discovered mineral finchite. The Denver Microbeam Lab provided this scan of finchite in order to help describe and identify the mineral as a new one. Finchite is a uranium mineral first observed in Martin County, Texas. Read more about our uranium research here

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The Southwest Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Gulf Coast and the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Southwest Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

Filter Total Items: 215