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The Geologic Hazards Science Center is located in Golden, Colorado, on the Colorado School of Mines campus. The Science Center works in the following four programs: - Earthquake Hazards Program - Landslide Hazards Program - Geomagnetism Program - Global Seismographic Network
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It is well know that every earthquake can spawn others (e.g., as aftershocks), and that such triggered events can be large and damaging, as recently demonstrated by L’Aquila, Italy and Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes. In spite of being an explicit USGS strategic-action priority (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2012/1088; page 32), the USGS currently lacks an automated system with which to forecast such events and official protocols for disseminating the potential implications. This capability, known as Operational Earthquake Forecasting (OEF), could provide valuable situational awareness to emergency managers, the public, and other entities interested in preparing for potentially damaging earthquakes. With the various...
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Non-native insect invasions increasingly cause widespread ecological and economic damage in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Non-native insects specialized for feeding on specific plant groups are particularly problematic as they can potentially eliminate an entire genus of native plant species across a wide area. For example, emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America since its accidental introduction from Asia, including more than 99% of all trees in forests near the epicenter of the invasion. However, most introduced insects do not become high-impact pests. Our goal is to develop a framework that allows us to predict whether non-native herbivorous insects in natural ecosystems...
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This data release presents structure-from-motion products derived from imagery taken along the North Carolina coast in response to storm events and the recovery process. USGS researchers use the aerial photogrammetry data and products to assess future coastal vulnerability, nesting habitats for wildlife, and provide data for hurricane impact models. This research is part of the Remote Sensing Coastal Change Project. Products include digital elevation models and orthorectified imagery (RGB averaged products) created from aerial imagery surveys with precise Global Navigation Satellite Systen (GNSS) navigation data flown in a piloted fixed wing aircraft (available here https://coastal.er.usgs.gov/data-release/doi-P91KB9SF/)....
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The past decade has seen improvements in computational efficiency, seismic data coverage, and communication technology - driven by societal expectation for timely, accurate information. While aspects of earthquake research have taken advantage of this evolution, the adoption of improvements in earthquake monitoring has not been fully leveraged. In real-time monitoring, earthquakes are characterized in a vacuum, without building upon our knowledge of past events. New data types may help characterize earthquakes more quickly and accurately. New opportunities exist for rapidly communicating information. With these advances, global seismic monitoring can improve the quality and timeliness of information shared with...
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Sea-level rise and storms cause major changes on coastal landscapes, including shifts in elevation, ecosystem type (for example, dunes and tidal wetlands), soils, and plant communities. Because these changes can have impacts on human communities, the local economy, and ecosystems, understanding how, when, and why these changes occur can be important for informing policy and natural resource management decisions. However, much is still unknown in our understanding of and ability to forecast coastal landscape change, and many current modeling approaches do not include important feedbacks between the physical landscape and the species inhabiting it. Examples of these types of feedbacks include the rapid development...
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Despite the proven efficacy of geothermal energy as a city-scale heating and cooling resource, the relative newness of most city-scale applications using diverse technologies has resulted in limited widespread adoption. We aim to develop authoritative information suitable for city-managers and other decision-makers. Geothermal resources are ubiquitous and diverse, with technologies available both for harvesting ambient heat or for storing thermal energy. These local low-carbon, baseload energy sources provide resilience, security, and jobs. The project team proposes to accelerate understanding and possibly energy-solution adoption by developing an international systematic nomenclature to describe the range of...
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Despite the best monitoring networks, the highest rate of earthquakes and the longest continuous recorded history in the world, this year’s M=9.0 Tohoku, Japan, earthquake was completely unforeseen. The Japanese had expected no larger than a M=8 quake in the Japan trench, 1/30 th the size of the Tohoku temblor. This year also saw the devastating M=6.3 Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake and the M=5.8 Virginia quake, and it marks the bicentennial of the enigmatic but destructive 1811 - 1812 M~7 ½ New Madrid, Missouri, earthquakes, each event an example of how poorly we can forecast earthquake rates or their ultimate size in the planet’s vast intraplate regions far from plate boundaries. The goal of the Global...
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A revolution is underway in seismology that transforms fiber-optic cables into arrays of thousands of seismic sensors. Compared to the traditional monitoring networks using inertial seismometers, the fiber-optic approach can increase the spatial data density by orders of magnitude and enable data processing methodologies that require a high-fidelity wavefield. The Working Group aims to advance the USGS, along with several academic and industry partners, towards effective utilization of fiber-optic sensing techniques to understand earthquake hazards and improve monitoring and real-time warning systems. We will conduct synthesis studies that demonstrate the potential gains for various applications, including earthquake...
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On May 25th, 2014, a 54.5 Mm3 rock avalanche occurred in the West Salt Creek valley in western Colorado following heavy rainfall on top of snow (Coe and others, 2016a). The data in this project includes boulder density in 20-m x 20-m grid cells for the entire West Salt Creek rock avalanche deposit. The grid cells cover 2,154,800 m2, which accounts for nearly the entire surface of the deposit. We estimated boulder density by counting 1-m or larger diameter boulders of sedimentary rock that are visible in high-resolution Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) imagery collected for the area in July of 2014 (Coe and others, 2016b). Basalt boulders were excluded from the count because field observations indicated that they generally...
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The St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center is one of three science centers that conduct research within the USGS Coastal and Marine Hazards Research Program. The USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center has a primary focus of investigating processes related to coastal and marine environments and their societal implications related to natural hazards, resource sustainability, and environmental change.
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The USGS “Did You Feel It” (DYFI) is an extremely popular way for members of the public to contribute to earthquake science and earthquake response. DYFI has been in operation for nearly two decades (1999-2019) in the U.S., and for nearly 15 years globally. During that period the amount of data collected is astounding: Over 5 million individual DYFI intensity reports—spanning all magnitude and distance ranges—have been amassed and archived. Several of these types of surveys have been developed by international seismological institutions as well and many of these institutions have implemented algorithms to interpret intensity evaluations automatically, as a rapid and easy way to obtain a geographical distribution...
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This polygon feature class shows the spatial extent and boundaries of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern that have become officially designated by the BLM. These polygon features were previously in a pre-designated status (i.e. being considered as areas to be eventually designated as official ACEC designated polygonst). Once these polygon feature left the Pre-Designated phase (transitioned from a Considered to Designated status), they were removed from the ACEC Pre-designated polygon feature class and placed in this ACEC Designated polygon feature class. This dataset is a subset of the official national dataset, containing features and attributes intended for public release and has been optimized for online...
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This data release presents structure-from-motion (SfM) products derived from aerial imagery collected along the North Carolina coast in response to storm events and the recovery process. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers use the aerial imagery and products to assess future coastal vulnerability, nesting habitats for wildlife, and provide data for hurricane impact models. This research is part of the Remote Sensing Coastal Change Project. Products include digital elevation models and orthorectified imagery (RGB-averaged products) created from aerial imagery surveys with precise Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) navigation data flown in a piloted fixed-wing aircraft. The products span the coast over...
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Presented is a list of voltages (electric potential differences) measured during magnetic storms on grounded long lines in the United States and Canada between 1891 and 1940. The sources for the list are published papers, technical documents, and newspapers. Each entry consists of the maximum voltage measured for each storm on a specified line connecting two ground points, nominally, between A "and" B. However, if a specific polarity is available, for example, the positive voltage from point A to point B, then the maximum voltage for the indicated polarity is listed, that is, positive A "to" B; conversely, for the opposite polarity, that is, from point B to point A, then the maximum voltage for the indicated polarity...
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Household survey data about participation in wildfire risk mitigation cost-share programs and related questions, including stated barriers to conducting wildfire risk mitigation, basic demographics, and willingness to pay toward that cost-share program. Data (n=1,689) were collected in 95 communities exposed to wildfire risk in six counties in western Colorado, 2013-2017, with an overall survey response rate of 41.9%. The household surveys providing data were organized and implemented by two regional wildfire risk mitigation organizations, West Region Wildfire Council and Wildfire Adapted Partnership (formerly Firewise of Southwest Colorado).
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As a result of climate change, a warmer and drier climate has led to an increase in wildfire. Severe wildfires can cause whitebark pine mortality during all life stages, thus we used data on wildfire severity throughout the Crown landscape to predict where future severe fires will occur. Spatial data on wildfire severity was compiled by the CMP Hi5 Working Group technical team and ranked using a consistent categorical system based on each state/province’s assigned severity. Areas that had moderate-to-severe wildfires in the past 30 years were considered low risk.
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One of the grand challenges of Earth Surface Science and Natural Resource Management lies in the prediction of mass and energy transfer for large watersheds and landscapes. High resolution topography (lidar) datasets show potential to significantly advance our understanding of hydrologic and geomorphic processes controlling mass and energy transfer because they represent features at the appropriate fine scale on which surface processes operate. While lidar datasets have become readily available across the United States, challenges remain in extracting accurate and objective information relevant for hydrologic and geomorphic research, modeling, and prediction, as well as watershed management. We primarily focus our...
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The goal of this Powell Center Working Group is to produce a collection of vetted and standardized earthquake and landslide tsunami sources that can be used to produce the meaningful hazard assessment products required for effective tsunami hazard mitigation and risk reduction. The need for a set of realistic and consistent tsunami sources was identified as a high priority at a 2016 workshop between USGS scientists and the National Tsunami Hazards Mitigation Program (NTHMP). The Powell Center Working Group will include scientists from the USGS, NOAA, the NTHMP, academia, and consulting companies. Tsunamis are extreme events that have caused devastation worldwide over the past several decades. The tsunami from...
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The USGS Hurricane Sandy Science Plan, completed in December 2012, describes continuing USGS activities with other agencies and guides continued data collection and analysis to ensure support for recovery and restoration efforts. The activities outlined in the plan are organized in five themes based on impact types and information needs. The data, information, and tools that are produced will further characterize impacts and changes, guide mitigation and restoration of impacted communities and ecosystems, inform a redevelopment strategy aimed at developing resilient coastal communities and ecosystems, improve preparedness and responsiveness to the next hurricane or similar coastal disaster, and enable improved hazard...


map background search result map search result map USGS Hurricane Sandy Science Team BLM National Designated Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Polygons Aerial Photogrammetry Data and Products of the North Carolina coast: 2018-10-06 to 2018-10-08, post-Hurricane Florence USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center Distribution of large boulders on the deposit of the West Salt Creek rock avalanche, western Colorado Household survey data about participation in wildfire risk mitigation cost-share in western Colorado 2013-2017 Whitebark Pine- Fire Risk Distribution of large boulders on the deposit of the West Salt Creek rock avalanche, western Colorado Household survey data about participation in wildfire risk mitigation cost-share in western Colorado 2013-2017 Whitebark Pine- Fire Risk USGS Hurricane Sandy Science Team BLM National Designated Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Polygons