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Date Published: August 21, 2019
Status: Active

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Information to help you plan your visit to the Earthquake Science Center.

Fort Tejon Earthquake
Date Published: August 5, 2019
Status: Completed

The Great M7.9 1857 Fort Tejon Earthquake

The Last "Big One"

Image: Damaged Building
Date Published: August 5, 2019
Status: Completed

M6.9 October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

On October 17, 1989, at 5:04:15 p.m. (PDT), a magnitude 6.9 earthquake severely shook the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions. The epicenter was located near Loma Prieta peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, approximately 14 km (9 mi) northeast of Santa Cruz and 96 km (60 mi) south-southeast of San Francisco.

Map background with colored blocks drawn on top if it to depict data regions or study areas, each area is labeled with words.
Date Published: July 26, 2019
Status: Active

CoSMoS 3.0: Southern California

CoSMoS 3.0 for southern California provides detailed predictions of coastal flooding due to both future sea-level rise and storms, integrated with predictions of long-term coastal evolution (beach changes and coastal cliff retreat) for the Southern California region, from Point Conception (Santa Barbara County) to Imperial Beach (San Diego County).

Pulsating animation shows a bay and estuaries and changing water depth during two days' worth of tidal cycles.
Date Published: July 26, 2019
Status: Active

CoSMoS 2.1: San Francisco Bay

With primary support from the National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), CoSMoS is set-up within the San Francisco Bay as part of Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF).

Web browser screen showing an application with different parameters and controls on left and the resulting map on right.
Date Published: July 26, 2019
Status: Active

CoSMoS 2.0: North-central California (outer coast)

Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF) is a collaborative, user-driven project providing science-based decision-support tools to help coastal planners and emergency responders understand, visualize, and anticipate local impacts from sea-level rise (SLR) and storms...

Shaded relief map of the Mojave Desert region, southern California, showing faults of the Eastern California Shear Zone.
Date Published: July 18, 2019
Status: Active

Western Basin & Range - Eastern California Shear Zone

 

The Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) Mapping project, funded by the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, combines surficial and bedrock geologic mapping, geophysical surveys, and high-resolution topographic data analysis with neotectonic, geomorphic, structural, volcanic, and geochronologic studies to better understand the tectonic framework and landscape...

Contacts: Andrew Cyr
Aerial view of coastal bluffs, marine terrace with farmland, beach in distance with lagoon, highway runs along coast.
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Dynamic coastlines along the western U.S.

The west coast of the United States is extremely complex and changeable because of tectonic activity, mountain building, and land subsidence. These active environments pose a major challenge for accurately assessing climate change impacts, since models were historically developed for more passive sandy coasts.

Image shows methane bubbling up from the seafloor
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

EXPRESS: Expanding Pacific Research and Exploration of Submerged Systems

EXPRESS is a multi-year, multi-institution cooperative research campaign in deep sea areas of California, Oregon, and Washington, including the continental shelf and slope. EXPRESS data and information are intended to guide wise use of living marine resources and habitats, inform ocean energy and mineral resource decisions, and improve offshore hazard assessments.

USGS
Date Published: July 11, 2019
Status: Completed

Comparing Shaking Intensity from Two Bay Area Earthquakes

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused billions of dollars in damage and claimed more than sixty lives. But was it "the big one"? Take a look at the comparison between the images below for the 1989 Loma Prieta and the 1906 San Francisco earthquakes, and decide for yourself.

The colors on the map indicate Modified Mercalli Shaking Intensity (MMI) at each point, which is usually (but not...

History of the Southern Hayward fault
Date Published: June 28, 2019
Status: Completed

Paleoseismology and the Hayward Fault

A large, widely damaging earthquake will occur on the Hayward fault in the future. That much we know.
What we don't know is when.

Filter Total Items: 344
screenshot of interactive data map displaying  USGS wells in the San Antonio Creek groundwater basin
February 13, 2019

In order to understand the integrated hydrologic systems, many different types of data are being gathered from both the surface water and groundwater system. Learn about these data types and explore them with the interactive map.

USGS
February 11, 2019

This data release presents raw (.csv) and processed (.csv) data files from land-based, frequency-domain electromagnetic induction (EMI) data collected at Bicycle Basin, U.S. Army Fort Irwin National Training Center, California. Data were collected during three distinct time periods: March 19, 2008 (1 survey), December 1 to December 5, 2014 (46 surveys) and Dece

Tubes used for collecting groundwater samples protruding from a nested groundwater well
February 1, 2019

Table of groundwater well sites in the Borrego Valley that were sampled for groundwater quality and groundwater level measurements.  Provides links to data as well as archvied well documents.

Screenshot of the Borrego Valley groundwater quality data map
January 31, 2019

The quality of groundwater in the Borrego Valley is a concern because it is the sole source of water for agricultural, recreational, and public supply. Explore the interactive water-quality data map for detailed information and to download data.

Map of a coastline with an outline drawn around a portion of the coast land to show where the study area is.
January 1, 2019

This data contains maximum model-derived ocean currents (in meters per second) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scen

USGS
January 1, 2019

This data contains geographic extents of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maximum/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-ind

USGS
January 1, 2019

This data contains maximum model-derived significant wave height (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenar

Map of a western coastline with stretches of the coast labeled to identify data set regions.
January 1, 2019

This data contains geographic extents of projected coastal flooding, low-lying vulnerable areas, and maximum/minimum flood potential (flood uncertainty) associated with the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-ind

USGS
January 1, 2019

Presented here is a point cloud collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) using an oblique plane-mounted camera system, covering the area of the Mud Creek landslide on California State Route 1 (SR1), Mud Creek, Big Sur, California. The point cloud is referenced to previously published lidar data and contains RGB information as well as XYZ. Point cloud coordinates are in NAD83

Map of a coastline with an outline drawn around a portion of the coast land to show where the study area is.
January 1, 2019

This data contains model-derived total water levels (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. Projecti

USGS
January 1, 2019

X-Ray diffraction (XRD) data for bulk sediment and clay separations taken from cores from Bristol Dry Lake, California and geothermal springs from Paoha Island (Mono Lake), California. The data were collected for two separate projects: (1) determining the source of lithium in Bristol Dry Lake (BDL), and (2) determining the mechanism of sinter formation on Paoha Islan

Map of a coastline with an outline drawn around a portion of the coast land to show where the study area is.
January 1, 2019

This data contains model-derived total water levels (in meters) for the sea-level rise (SLR) and storm condition indicated.
The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions (meter-scale) over large geographic scales (100s of kilometers) of storm-induced coastal flooding and erosion for both current and future sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. Projecti

Filter Total Items: 315
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Year Published: 2018

Aeromagnetic map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada

Magnetic investigations of Mountain Pass and vicinity were begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures as an aid to understanding the geologic framework and mineral resources of the eastern Mojave Desert. The study area, which straddles the state boundary between southeastern California and southern Nevada, encompasses Mountain...

Ponce, David A.; Ponce, David A.; Denton, Kevin M.
Ponce, D.A., and Denton, K.M. (D.A. Ponce, ed.), 2018, Aeromagnetic map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3412–B, scale 1:62,500, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3412B.

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Year Published: 2018

Isostatic gravity map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada

Gravity investigations of Mountain Pass and vicinity were begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures as an aid to understanding the geologic framework and mineral resources of the eastern Mojave Desert. The study area, which straddles the state boundary between southeastern California and southern Nevada, encompasses Mountain...

Ponce, David A.; Ponce, David A.; Denton, Kevin M.
Ponce, D.A., and Denton, K.M. (D.A. Ponce, ed.), 2018, Isostatic gravity map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3412–A, scale 1:62,500, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3412A.

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Year Published: 2018

Geophysical and geologic maps of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3412 is a series of products that consists of geophysical and geologic maps of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California. Maps A and B (red outline in above map image) are gravity and aeromagnetic maps, respectively. The map series was begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures...

Ponce, David A.

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Year Published: 2018

Improving earthquake rupture forecasts using California as a guide

This article discusses ways in which earthquake rupture forecast models might be improved. Because changes are most easily described in the context of specific models, the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3) and its presumed successor, UCERF4, is used as a basis for discussion. Virtually all of the issues and possible...

Field, Edward H.
Field, E. H. (2018). Improving Earthquake Rupture Forecasts Using California as a Guide, Seismological Research Letters, https://doi.org/10.1785/0220180151.

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Year Published: 2018

Increasing earthquake insurance coverage in California via parametric hedges

California has the highest earthquake risk of any state in the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported in 2017 that 73% of the nation’s annual losses to earthquakes were expected to be concentrated in California and the Pacific Northwest. California alone constitutes 61% ($3.7 billion out of an estimated $6.1 billion...

Franco, Guillermo; Tirabassi, G; Lopeman, M; Wald, David J.; Siembieda, W.J.

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Year Published: 2018

State transportation agencies partner to deploy and enhance ShakeCast

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is organizing and leading a three-year Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) project, Connecting the Dots: Implementing ShakeCast Across Multiple State Departments of Transportation for Rapid Post-Earthquake Response. Ten state Departments of Transportation (DOT)—CA, ID, MO, MS, OK, OR, SC, TX, UT...

Turner, L.; Wald, David J.; Lin, Kuo-wan; Chiou, Brian; Slosky, Daniel

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Year Published: 2018

Identifying physics‐based thresholds for rainfall‐induced landsliding

Most regional landslide warning systems utilize empirically derived rainfall thresholds that are difficult to improve without recalibration to additional landslide events. To address this limitation, we explored the use of synthetic rainfall to generate thousands of possible storm patterns and coupled them with a physics‐based hydrology and slope...

Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Collins, Brian D.
Thomas, M. A., Mirus, B. B., & Collins, B. D. (2018). Identifying physics‐based thresholds for rainfall‐induced landsliding. Geophysical Research Letters. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL079662

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Year Published: 2018

A physics-based earthquake simulator replicates seismic hazard statistics across California

Seismic hazard models are important for society, feeding into building codes and hazard mitigation efforts. These models, however, rest on many uncertain assumptions and are difficult to test observationally because of the long recurrence times of large earthquakes. Physics-based earthquake simulators offer a potentially helpful tool, but they...

Shaw, Bruce E.; Milner, Kevin R.; Field, Edward H.; Richards-Dinger, Keith B.; Gilchrist, Jacquelyn J.; Dieterich, James H.; Jordan, Thomas H.
B. E. Shaw, K. R. Milner, E. H. Field, K. Richards-Dinger, J. J. Gilchrist, J. H. Dieterich, T. H. Jordan, A physics-based earthquake simulator replicates seismic hazard statistics across California. Sci. Adv. 4, eaau0688 (2018).

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Year Published: 2018

Survival, travel time, and utilization of Yolo Bypass, California, by outmigrating acoustic-tagged late-fall Chinook salmon

Juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) migrating through California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta toward the Pacific Ocean face numerous challenges to their survival. The Yolo Bypass is a broad floodplain of the Sacramento River that floods in about 70 percent of years in response to large, uncontrolled runoff events. As one of...

Pope, Adam C.; Perry, Russell W.; Hance, Dalton J.; Hansel, Hal C.
Pope, A.C., Perry, R.W., Hance, D.J., and Hansel, H.C., 2018, Survival, travel time, and utilization of Yolo Bypass, California, by outmigrating acoustic-tagged late-fall Chinook salmon: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1118, 33 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181118.

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Year Published: 2018

Controls on submarine canyon head evolution: Monterey Canyon, offshore central California

The Monterey submarine canyon, incised across the continental shelf in Monterey Bay, California, provides a record of the link between onshore tectonism, fluvial transport, and deep-marine deposition. High-resolution seismic-reflection imaging in Monterey Bay reveals an extensive paleocanyon unit buried below the seafloor of the continental shelf...

Maier, Katherine L.; Johnson, Samuel Y.; Hart, Patrick E.
Maier, K.L., Johnson, S.Y., and Hart, P., 2018, Controls on submarine canyon head evolution—Monterey Canyon, offshore central California: Marine Geology, v. 404, p. 24-40.

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Year Published: 2018

Analysis of mean seismic ground motion and its uncertainty based on the UCERF3 geologic slip rate model with uncertainty for California

The Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast v.3 (UCERF3) model (Field et al., 2014) considers epistemic uncertainty in fault‐slip rate via the inclusion of multiple rate models based on geologic and/or geodetic data. However, these slip rates are commonly clustered about their mean value and do not reflect the broader distribution of...

Zeng, Yuehua
Zeng, Y. (2018). Analysis of Mean Seismic Ground Motion and Its Uncertainty Based on the UCERF3 Geologic Slip Rate Model with Uncertainty for California, SRL, doi: 10.1785/0220170114.

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Year Published: 2018

Faunal and stable isotopic analyses of benthic foraminifera from the Southeast Seep on Kimki Ridge offshore southern California, USA

We investigated the benthic foraminiferal faunal and stable carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of a 15-cm push core (NA075-092b) obtained on a Telepresence-Enabled cruise to the Southeast Seep on Kimki Ridge offshore southern California. The seep core was taken at a depth of 973 m in the vicinity of a Beggiatoa bacterial mat and vesicomyid...

McGann, Mary; Conrad, James E.
McGann, M., Conrad, J.E., 2018, Faunal and stable isotopic analyses of benthic foraminifera from the Southeast Seep on Kimki Ridge offshore southern California, USA: Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2018.01.011

Filter Total Items: 1,150
Sydney Berrios running samples on Aqualog
September 8, 2019

Sydney Berrios running samples on Aqualog

Sydney Berrios running samples on Aqualog

Horiba Aqaulog - simultaneously measures absorbance spectra and fluorescence Excitation-Emission Matrices
September 6, 2019

Horiba Aqaulog

Horiba Aqaulog - simultaneously measures absorbance spectra and fluorescence

TOC-L Laboratory Total Organic Carbon Analyzer
September 5, 2019

TOC-L Laboratory Total Organic Carbon Analyzer

TOC-L Laboratory Total Organic Carbon Analyzer

Labconco WaterPros PS ultrapure water filtration system in Biology Lab
September 3, 2019

Labconco WaterPros PS ultrapure water filtration system in Biology Lab

Labconco WaterPros PS ultrapure water filtration system in Biology Lab

Fume Hood in Carbon Lab used for acid storage and acid cleaning of laboratory dishware
September 1, 2019

Fume Hood in Carbon Lab used for acid storage and acid cleaning of lab

Fume Hood in Carbon Lab used for acid storage and acid cleaning of laboratory dishware

Fume Hood in Carbon Lab
August 31, 2019

Fume Hood in Carbon Lab

Horiba Aqaulog - simultaneously measures absorbance spectra and fluorescence Excitation-Emission Matrices

August 29, 2019

PubTalk 08/2019 — Pliocene World

Title: Pliocene World: Earth's Climate 3 Million Years Ago and How it Relates to our Future
By Marci Robinson, USGS Research Geologist 

  • Three million years ago, during the late Pliocene, CO2 levels were similar to today, but global temperatures and sea level were much higher
  • Find out how we use microfossils to reconstruct
...
Filter Total Items: 909
A scene showing the harbor and surrounds at Monaco, Monte Carlo
May 16, 2019

Dr. Christina Kellogg (Research Microbiologist, SPCMSC) is a member of the judging panel that will award winners of the $7 million dollar Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE during the final award announcement at the Musée Océanographique de Monaco on May 31.

A huge canyon surrounded by deep-set cliffs opens to reveal a sunny gorge and part of the Colorado River.
April 11, 2019

A new study shows that mysterious cycles in salinity in the lower Colorado River are a result of precipitation patterns in the headwaters of the upper basin more than a thousand river miles away. The salinity levels generally repeat about every 10 years.

Rear-arc basalt lava outcrop
April 2, 2019

Scientists at the volcano observatories of the U.S. Geological Survey pay close attention to volcanoes of the Cascade Range, Alaskan Peninsula and Aleutian Arc.

waves cross a coastal road
March 29, 2019

In less than 30 years the combination of sea-level rise plus an extreme storm along California’s coast could flood more than 150,000 residents and impact over $30 billion in property value. By 2100, up to 600,000 people and $150 billion in property could be at risk from coastal flooding.

research boat on delta
March 15, 2019

Earlier this month, over 40 scientists from the California Water Science Center attended the 2019 Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) Workshop in Folsom, California. 

Flooding in California
March 13, 2019

New U.S. Geological Survey-led coastal modeling research presents state, federal, and commercial entities with varying storm and sea level-rise scenarios to assist with planning for future infrastructure and mitigation needs along the California coast. 

View of the Mono Lake-Long Valley volcanic region
March 7, 2019

The Mono Craters, a line of volcanic domes and craters south of Mono Lake in eastern California, represent the youngest rhyolitic volcanoes in the western United States.

Application window with parameter settings down the left, map showing results of parameter settings, and legend on right.
March 1, 2019

Oceanographer Juliette Finzi Hart of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center was invited by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to provide an overview of the USGS Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) at the 2019 California Transportation Planning Conference in San Diego.

Three illustrations to show location of a study site, each labeled with distinctive areas, where there are high coastal cliffs.
March 1, 2019

On Monday, February 25, 2019, research geologist Jonathan Warrick of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center spoke with ABC7 News about a February 22 landslide that injured one woman and buried another at San Francisco’s Fort Funston beach.

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