Unified Interior Regions

Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands)

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We conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring to address a broad range of natural-resource issues that affect the quality of life of citizens and landscapes in the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean region.

News

Date published: March 30, 2020

Sediment Trap in Gulf of Mexico Recovered for the Last Time, Marking the Culmination of a 12-year Time Series of Climate Data Collection

By understanding modern changes in temperature, and therefore past changes in the climate of the Gulf of Mexico, scientists can better predict climate changes in Earth’s future– just by studying teeny tiny forams.

Date published: March 19, 2020

New USGS map can help Puerto Rico deal with risk of landslides after hurricanes

A new U.S. Geological Survey map of Puerto Rico shows the relative risks of landslides due to the kind of intense rainfall brought on by hurricanes. It identifies 20%  of the island as at high risk, 9% at very high risk, and 1% at extremely high risk of landslides under those conditions. 

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View from the sky of a tropical coastline and a beach with ocean water so clear the coral reef can be seen.
Date Published: February 25, 2020
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Tres Palmas

Four video cameras look westward over the coast and the coral reef at Tres Palmas in Rincón, on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Two cameras look out at the horizon and over the ocean for the mid-field view; one camera offers a zoomed-in, far-field view overlooking the reef and out to the island of Desecheo, a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge; and another camera focuses on the beach.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi, PhD, Miguel Canals-Silander, Patricia Chardon Maldonado
Barton, Fair, Markovich, and Gestring
Date Published: February 11, 2020
Status: Completed

Fish Chat and Slam November 2019

Fifty fish biologists from 15 organizations participated in a three-day Fish Chat and Slam event in South Florida on November 5-7, 2019.

Coral head that looks like lettuce sits on sandy bottom in clear blue water and is surrounded by brightly colored fish.
Date Published: February 5, 2020
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project

Explore the fascinating undersea world of coral reefs. Learn how we map, monitor, and model coral reefs so we can better understand, protect, and preserve our Nation's reefs.

View of beach from roof top, edge of roof in foreground, pier extending from beach out over water in center, park in background.
Date Published: January 29, 2020
Status: Active

Remote Sensing Coastal Change

We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.

Montastrea annularis
Date Published: January 28, 2020
Status: Active

Contaminants Assessment in the Coral Reefs of the Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument

USGS collected samples at reef locations within the Virgina Islands National Park and analyzed for the presence of contaminants, organotin compounds, or sunscreen compounds.

Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
Date Published: November 8, 2019
Status: Active

Fine-Scale Dive Profiles and Activity Patterns of Sea Turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

Researchers are developing acceleration data logger pop-off packages that can be affixed to sea turtles to collect behavioral patterns of diving, surfacing, and general activity levels.

Invasive Burmese Python
Date Published: November 6, 2019
Status: Active

Applications of Advanced Tracking and Modeling Tools with Burmese Pythons across South Florida's Landscape

Researchers will determine movement rates and habitat-use patterns of pythons across the South Florida landscape by conducting a telemetry study tracking pythons simultaneously in several locations

Invasive Burmese Python
Date Published: November 6, 2019
Status: Active

Habitat Selection of the Burmese Python in the Florida Everglades

Researchers plotted locations of radio-tagged pythons to create a habitat suitability model.

Sea turtle
Date Published: November 6, 2019
Status: Active

Hotspot and Risk Analysis for Sea Turtles in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Researchers will collect location data that will be used to identify areas of high-use for resident sea turtles in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. 

Bobcat
Date Published: October 15, 2019
Status: Active

Spatial Ecology of Bobcats in the Greater Everglades

WARC researchers will estimate the density and distribution of bobcats in relation to environmental variables through the development of spatially explicit capture-recapture and occupancy models.

Topobathymetric elevation model of Outer Banks and Pamlico Sound, North Carolina
Date Published: October 3, 2019
Status: Active

Topobathymetric Elevation Model of Outer Banks and Pamlico Sound, North Carolina

Pamlico Sound is ecologically important as it is the second largest estuary in the United States, and is the largest lagoon on the U.S. east coast. The sound is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Outer Banks, a series of low, sandy barrier islands that are vulnerable to hurricane storm surge and sea-level rise. The seamless high-resolution topobathymetric digital elevation model (TBDEM)...

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Photo showing complex geomorphology of the Grand Bay marsh landscape
December 20, 2019

In wetlands within and near Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, parts of the salt marsh are eroding relatively rapidly. To understand the connection between sediment fluxes and these processes, the U.S. Geological Survey made oceanographic and water-quality measurements from August 2, 2016, to January 28, 2017

Hydrologic Conditions Chart of Selected Reservoirs in Puerto Rico
February 5, 2019

The following graphs show water surface elevations above NGVD 1929 in selected reservoirs for several years, including 2015. The purpose of these graphs is to compare water surface elevations during 2015 with water surface elevations observed during years when documented droughts have occurred.

Hydrologic Conditions Chart of Selected Reservoirs in Puerto Rico
February 5, 2019

The following graphs show water surface elevations above NGVD 1929 in selected reservoirs for several years, including 2015. The purpose of these graphs is to compare water surface elevations during 2015 with water surface elevations observed during years when documented droughts have occurred.

Water Level and Salinity Analysis Mapper
February 5, 2019

The Water Level and Salinity Analysis Mapper is designed to conduct automated statistical and graphical analyses on water-level and salinity data collected from sites monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in South Florida.

USGS
January 1, 2019

This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands (the islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each four n

USGS
January 1, 2019

Time-series data of water surface elevation, waves, currents, temperature, and salinity collected between 17 May 2017 and 17 Jan 2018 off the southwest coast of Puerto Rico in support of a study on circulation and sediment transport dynamics over coral reefs. The data are available in NetCDF format, grouped together in zip files by instrument site location. A README.txt file details the

Map of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding continents with boxes drawn around areas to show study locations.
January 1, 2019

This data release provides flooding extent polygons (flood masks) and depth values (flood points) based on wave-driven total water levels for 22 locations within the States of Hawaii and Florida, the Territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. For each of the 22 locations there are eight ass

USGS
January 1, 2019

The Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP) Project contains several geologic units which act as important aquifers. We collected several sets of time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) data consisting of two higher-density surveys and six regional-scale transects. The higher density surveys were collected to compare and contrast to other geophysical data not included in this data release, such as a

USGS
January 1, 2019

Regional grid files and 3D voxel models were used to study crustal architecture beneath the Southern Midcontinent (USA) by McCafferty and others (2019). The study covered a rectangular, multi-state area of 924 by 924 kilometers centered on Missouri, and a corresponding volume extending from the topographic surface to a depth of 50 kilometers below sea level. The grid files consist of

USGS
January 1, 2019

This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the State of Hawaii (the islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, and Oahu). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for

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Sparrow Modeling North Carolina Watersheds Map
June 26, 2019

The USGS developed the SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) modeling framework to relate water-quality monitoring data to upstream nutrient and sediment sources and watershed characteristics. The mapper can be used to evaluate alternative hypotheses about the relative importance of various pollutant sources.

Okeechobee County, Florida irrigated agricultural land-use GIS shapefile
February 28, 2019

This data set consists of a detailed digital map of individual irrigated fields and a summary of the irrigated acreage for the 2017 growing season developed for Okeechobee County, Florida. Selected attribute data that include crop type, irrigation system, and primary water source were collected for each irrigated field.

USGS
August 22, 2018

Flynn Creek crater is a 3.8 km diameter, 360-million-year-old impact structure located in north central Tennessee, and is an invaluable terrestrial analog for the study of impact cratering dynamics. The Flynn Creek Crater Sample Collection consists of over two thousand boxes of drill core from 18 drill holes in the crater’s central uplift, floor, and rim. 

Screenshot of Irma water footprint on a map
September 14, 2017

Hurricane Irma, the most intense hurricane observed in the Atlantic in the last decade, approached the west coast of Florida on September 10th, 2017. This animation shows the precipitation and river conditions through time as Irma moved over the southeastern United States.

Jordan Lake sample sites image
January 20, 2017

The New Hope arm of Jordan Lake, located in Chatham County, North Carolina, serves as a drinking-water supply for the Towns of Cary, Apex, and Morrisville. The reservoir is listed as impaired due to nutrient over-enrichment and occasionally experiences algal blooms and fish kills.

Map showing locations of physiographic provinces and bridge-scour investigation sites in South Carolina.
December 12, 2016

Development of a Guidance Manual for Assessing Scour Using the South Carolina Bridge-Scour Envelope Curves

Figure 1. Location of physiographic provinces and bridge-scour investigation sites in South Carolina.

Map of nutrient sampling sites Durham County, North Carolina
November 8, 2016

All data collected and analyzed by the USGS will be archived in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database

Map of water sampling sites
October 25, 2016

The USGS and EPA project will be conducted at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory (LWRFL) in Wake County, North Carolina. The LWRFL is an agricultural site used for both research and teaching purposes. The farm contains both a swine facility and a dairy facility with each having two animal-waste storage lagoons.

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Year Published: 2020

Effects of box culverts on stream habitat, channel morphology, and fish and macroinvertebrate communities at selected sites in South Carolina, 2016–18

Much attention has been placed on the role that under-roadway culverts may have in inhibiting upstream fish movement because of altered hydrology and unsuitable conditions for accessing or swimming through the culvert. Other culvert effects related to habitat alterations or disturbance to macroinvertebrate communities have received relatively...

Riley, Jeffrey W.; Beaulieu, Karen M.; Walsh, Stephen J.; Journey, Celeste A.
Riley, J.W., Beaulieu, K.M., Walsh, S.J., and Journey, C.A., 2020, Effects of box culverts on stream habitat, channel morphology, and fish and macroinvertebrate communities at selected sites in South Carolina, 2016–18: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5021, 51 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205021.

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Year Published: 2020

Hurricane sedimentation in a subtropical salt marsh-mangrove community is unaffected by vegetation type

Hurricanes periodically deliver sediment to coastal wetlands, such as those in the Mississippi River Delta Complex (MRDC), slowing elevation loss and improving resilience to sea-level rise. However, the amount of hurricane sediment deposited and retained in a wetland may vary depending on the dominant vegetation. In the subtropical climate of the...

McKee, Karen L.; Mendelssohn, Irving A.; Hester, Mark W.

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Year Published: 2020

Water resources of Union Parish, Louisiana

Information concerning the availability, use, and quality of water in Union Parish, Louisiana, is critical for proper water-supply management. The purpose of this fact sheet is to present information that can be used by water managers, parish residents, and others for stewardship of this vital resource. In 2014, about 4.88 million gallons per day...

Robinson, Angela L.
Robinson, A.L., 2020, Water resources of Union Parish, Louisiana: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3002, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203002.

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Year Published: 2020

An overview of agent-based models in plant biology and ecology

Agent-based modeling (ABM) has become an established methodology in many areas of biology, ranging from the cellular to the ecological population and community levels. In plant science, two different scales have predominated in their use of ABM. One is the scale of populations and communities, through the modeling of collections of agents...

Zhang, Bo; DeAngelis, Donald L.

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Year Published: 2020

A 'weight of evidence' approach to evaluating structural equation models

It is possible that model selection has been the most researched and most discussed topic in the history of both statistics and structural equation modeling (SEM). The reason for this is because selecting one model for interpretive use from amongst many possible models is both essential and difficult. The published protocols and advice for model...

Grace, James

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Year Published: 2020

Uptake and toxicity of clothianidin to monarch butterflies from milkweed consumption

Recent concern for the adverse effects from neonicotinoid insecticides has centered on risk for insect pollinators in general and bees specifically. However, natural resource managers are also concerned about the risk of neonicotinoids to conservation efforts for the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and need additional data to help estimate...

Bargar, Timothy A.; Hladik, Michelle; Daniels, Jaret C.

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Year Published: 2020

Potential impacts of future urbanization and sea level rise on Florida’s natural resources

As urban development continues to encroach into natural systems, these ecosystems experience increasing degradation to their form and function. Losses in biodiversity and ecosystem function are further compounded by changing climatic conditions. The State of Florida is known for its biodiversity but has experienced declines in species populations...

Romanach, Stephanie; Benscoter, Allison; Haider, Saira

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Year Published: 2020

Predicting barrier island habitats and oyster and seagrass habitat suitability for various restoration measures and future conditions for Dauphin Island, Alabama

Barrier islands, such as Dauphin Island, Alabama, provide numerous invaluable ecosystem services including storm damage reduction and erosion control to the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, carbon sequestration in marshes, water catchment and purification, recreation, and tourism. These islands are dynamic environments that are gradually...

Enwright, Nicholas M.; Wang, Hongqing; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Elizabeth Godsey
Enwright, N.M., Wang, H., Dalyander, P.S., and Godsey, E., eds., 2020, Predicting barrier island habitats and oyster and seagrass habitat suitability for various restoration measures and future conditions for Dauphin Island, Alabama: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1003, 99 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201003.

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Year Published: 2020

Digging into the geologic record of environmentally driven changes in coral-reef development

This lesson uses data based on real-world geological archives to guide students toward understanding how climate and oceanography have impacted coral-reef growth over the last 5000 years. The objective of the lesson is for students to determine the relationship between environmental variability and coral-reef development over millennial timescales...

Gravinese, Philip M.; Aronson, Richard B.; Toth, Lauren T.

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Year Published: 2020

Changing suspended sediment in United States rivers and streams: Linking sediment trends to changes in land use/cover, hydrology and climate

Sediment is one of the leading pollutants in rivers and streams across the United States (US) and the world. Between 1992 and 2012, concentrations of annual mean suspended sediment decreased at over half of the 137 stream sites assessed across the contiguous US. Increases occurred at less than 25 % of the sites, and the direction of change was...

Murphy, Jennifer C.

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Year Published: 2020

Application of decadal modeling approach to forecast barrier island evolution, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Forecasting barrier island evolution provides coastal managers and stakeholders the ability to assess the resiliency of these important coastal environments that are home to both established communities and existing natural habitats. This study uses an established coupled model framework to assess how Dauphin Island, Alabama, responds to various...

Mickey, Rangley C.; Elizabeth Godsey; Dalyander, P. Soupy ; Victor Gonzalez; Jenkins, Robert L.; Long, Joseph W.; Thompson, David M.; Plant, Nathaniel G.
Mickey, R.C., Godsey, E., Dalyander, P.S., Gonzalez, V., Jenkins, R.L., III, Long, J.W., Thompson, D.M., and Plant, N.G., 2020, Application of decadal modeling approach to forecast barrier island evolution, Dauphin Island, Alabama: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1001, 45 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201001.

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Year Published: 2020

Development of a modeling framework for predicting decadal barrier island evolution

Predicting the decadal evolution of barrier island systems is important for coastal managers who propose restoration or preservation alternatives aimed at increasing the resiliency of the island and its associated habitats or communities. Existing numerical models for simulating morphologic changes typically include either long-term (for example,...

Mickey, Rangley C.; Long, Joseph W.; Dalyander, P. Soupy ; Jenkins, Robert L.; Thompson, David M.; Passeri, Davina L.; Plant, Nathaniel G.
Mickey, R.C., Long, J.W., Dalyander, P.S., Jenkins, R.L., III, Thompson, D.M., Passeri, D.L., and Plant, N.G., 2019, Development of a modeling framework for predicting decadal barrier island evolution: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1139, 46 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191139.

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Floodplain and Channel Evaluation Tool (FACET)
December 4, 2019

The Floodplain and Evaluation Tool (FACET) is an open-source python tool that maps the floodplain extent and derives reach-scale summaries of stream and floodplain geomorphic measurements from high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs).

multicolored map of Ocean Shores, Washington
April 13, 2017

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst is an ArcGIS extension that estimates how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a hazardous area that was threatened by a sudden event such as a tsunami, flash flood, or volcanic lahar. It takes into account the elevation changes and the different types of landcover that a person would encounter along the way.

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Four USGS scientists on mountainside with landslides and downed trees
March 18, 2020

On a hillside in Las Marias, USGS scientists examine landslide effects

USGS ground failure experts examine landslides after Hurricane Maria in the municipality of Las Marias, Puerto Rico.

click on image for full description
January 29, 2020

2020 Southwest Puerto Rico Earthquake Sequence (Jan 29, 2020)

2020 Southwest Puerto Rico Earthquake Sequence

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a report on the potential duration of aftershocks of the 2020 Southwest Puerto Rico earthquake sequence (series) to guide public policy decisions, other actions, and help people stay safe and care for themselves and each other.

i) AFTERSHOCK FORECAST*
Aftershocks are

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click on image for full description
January 29, 2020

Secuencia del Terremoto del 2020 en el Suroeste de Puerto Rico

Secuencia del Terremoto del 2020 en el Suroeste de Puerto Rico

El Servicio Geológico de los EE. UU. ha publicado un informe sobre la duración potencial de las réplicas de la secuencia (serie) del terremoto del Suroeste de Puerto Rico en el 2020 que puede ser usado como guía en las decisiones de política pública, otras acciones y ayudar a las

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December 23, 2019

Image of the Week - Festive Fields in North Carolina

The smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree can evoke visions of majestic evergreen forests teeming with winter wildlife. In truth, more than half of U.S. Christmas trees come from farms in Oregon, North Carolina, or Michigan. Cut Christmas Trees area commodity, tracked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture just like corn or soybeans. These USDA aerial images show tree harvest

Satellite imagery of eastern berm of Jim Foot Key in Florida Bay before Hurricane Irma and after
November 30, 2019

Impacts to island in Florida Bay following Hurricane Irma

Scientists from the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center first sampled four islands in Florida Bay, Everglades National Park, in April 2014 to collect cores to study sea level rise and storm history in the region.  In September 2017, Hurricane Irma (a category 4 storm at landfall in the Florida Keys) passed just to the west of our field sites.  The western-most of the four

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November 21, 2019

Using Decision Tools to Design the Everglades Headwaters NWR

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge (EHNWR) is strategically located in Florida to protect upland and wetland habitats. The location of the new refuge was targeted to: address pressures from urbanization and climate change, provide improved quality of water flowing southward to the Greater Everglades, and protect

Georgia mineral commodity producing areas map from 2014 Minerals Yearbook
October 28, 2019

Mineral commodity producing areas of Georgia in 2014

The Georgia chapter of the Minerals Yearbook Volume II - Area Reports, Domestic - contains data and information on the nonfuel mineral commodities produced in Georgia including a generalized map of principal mineral commodity producing areas. The map is included in the PDF version; both PDF and XLS versions of text and data are available.

October 11, 2019

Earth as Art 6

The Earth As Art project began in the early 2000s, and its original intent remains the same: to produce images that do not look like satellite images at first glance. Earth As Art shows not only what satellites capture in the visible wavelengths of light you and I can see, but also what’s hiding in the invisible wavelengths that Landsat sensors can detect in the infrared

Flowing artesian well in Brunswick, Georgia, USA
October 7, 2019

Flowing artesian well in Brunswick, Georgia, USA

Groundwater in aquifers between layers of poorly permeable rock, such as clay or shale, may be confined under pressure. If such a confined aquifer is tapped by a well, water will rise above the top of the aquifer and may even flow from the well onto the

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Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: tethered ADCP
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: tethered ADCP

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: tethered ADCP – A tethered acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) is pulled through a cross section of Rio de La Plata near Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2019. Hydrologic technicians with the Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center visited multiple USGS stream gage sites to make high flow

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Woman stands besides scientific equipment on the deck of a ship.
March 30, 2020

By understanding modern changes in temperature, and therefore past changes in the climate of the Gulf of Mexico, scientists can better predict climate changes in Earth’s future– just by studying teeny tiny forams.

Aeirial view of landslides blocking roads  in Utuado, Puerto Rico
March 19, 2020

A new U.S. Geological Survey map of Puerto Rico shows the relative risks of landslides due to the kind of intense rainfall brought on by hurricanes. It identifies 20%  of the island as at high risk, 9% at very high risk, and 1% at extremely high risk of landslides under those conditions. 

Magnitude 5.8 in Puerto Rico
January 29, 2020

Links to forecasts and scenerios (below) will continue to be updated, however, text in this story will not be updated unless there is significant change to the aftershock behavior or to the USGS response to the earthquake. 

7-day aftershock forecast [English]

30-day aftershock scenarios [English | Spanish]

seismic stations
January 17, 2020

A sequence of earthquakes in southwest Puerto Rico continues to affect people living there, with the largest recent aftershock a magnitude 5.2 on Jan. 15. U.S. Geological Survey scientists on the island and the mainland are providing up-to-date scientific information to help the Commonwealth government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency make decisions that protect the public.

jet ski exhibit at St. Petersburg Science Festival
December 31, 2019

USGS participated in the the St. Petersburg Science Festival, an annual event held in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, that invites local schools and the science-interested public to come explore topics in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM).

Image shows a map of the Eastern United States with the boundaries of the Marcellus Shale superimposed
October 3, 2019

The Marcellus Shale and Point Pleasant-Utica Shale formations of the Appalachian Basin contain an estimated mean of 214 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous resources of natural gas, according to new USGS assessments.

Image shows a satellite image of Hurricane Dorian as it approaches Florida
September 2, 2019

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Dorian, visit the USGS Hurricane Dorian page at www.usgs.gov/dorian.

Hurricane Dorian
August 29, 2019

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published Aug. 29 and was updated Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 to reflect changes in the number and locations of sensor deployments as Hurricane Dorian's forecast track changed.

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Dorian, visit the USGS Hurricane Dorian page at www.usgs.gov/dorian.

Follow Region 2 activities on social media, get contact information for Region 2 USGS centers, and meet Region 2's staff and center directors. 

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