Science for a Changing World

Infrastructure

USGS scientists are dedicated to studying how Earth processes and resources can affect the structures, systems, and facilities that are needed for the Nation and its economy to function. The USGS also relies on scientific infrastructure such as laboratories, monitoring networks, and satellites as a means to effectively conduct research.

Filter Total Items: 19
Date published: December 10, 2016

Preparing the Nation for Intense Space Weather

While major geomagnetic storms are rare, with only a few recorded per century, there is significant potential for large-scale impacts when they do occur. Extreme space weather can be viewed as hazards for the economy and national security.

Date published: December 9, 2016

Revolutionizing Volcano Monitoring in Indonesia

In early September of 2010, a pattern of increased earthquake activity occurred at the Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia. A few days later, an avalanche was observed south of the mountain, and white plumes were seen rising above the crater. A lava dome detected in March began to increase rapidly.

Date published: December 5, 2016

Guiding Rovers for Safe Mars Exploration

Billions of dollars and a decade worth of research are on the line in the instant that a spacecraft touches down on Mars. When deciding where to land on the planet’s rocky surface, it is essential to analyze potential landing sites and their surface characteristics.

Date published: November 22, 2016

The Fire Island Wilderness Breach: Help or Hindrance?

When Hurricane Sandy struck the south shore of Long Island, New York, on October 29, 2012, it caused substantial erosion of the beach and dunes. Storm waves cut through Fire Island National Seashore’s wilderness area, forming a breach. The resulting channel allowed water to flow between the Atlantic Ocean and Great South Bay. 

Date published: November 17, 2016
Status: Active

Water is Life for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

For the Swinomish people of northwestern Washington, water is life. But this symbiotic relationship between man and nature has been disrupted, and increasingly threatened, by sea-level rise and changes in Northwestern storm and rainfall patterns.

Date published: November 15, 2016

Assessing Critical Infrastructure Damage After Earthquakes

Early on the morning of August 24, 2014, Loren Turner was awoken by clattering window blinds, a moving bed, and the sound of water splashing out of his backyard pool. He experienced what is now named the “South Napa Earthquake.” 

Date published: November 1, 2016

Mineral Discovery Could Mean Billions for Michigan

For more than two decades, researchers, geologists, and investors had no idea they were standing above tremendous wealth. Thousands of feet deep beneath the surface of western Michigan, a potential multibillion-dollar potash deposit was discovered. Potash—a mineral salt containing high levels of potassium—is an ingredient in fertilizer essential for growing crops.