Photo and Image Collections
This Web site provides links to a growing number of photo and image galleries available on USGS Web sites. Some of these Web sites contain classical and historical photographs taken by USGS scientists.
Document describing how to find and use USGS map and database resources valuable for the study of genealogy.
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National Wetlands Research Center/Ecosystems
Research on wetland losses, restoration, and management, with an emphasis on Gulf Coast habitats.
Status and Trends of Ecosystems
A compilation of USGS research related to ecosystems. This is the best starting point for USGS ecosystem science.
1997 Workshop on Climate Variability and Change
A series of USGS articles and Web sites related to climate change that were compiled for a 1997 workshop on effects of climate variability, long-term climate change, and land-use change in the rapidly-growing southwestern United States.
USGS Global Change Research - Earth Surface Dynamics
This more technical resource Web site describes climate change research at the USGS, but contains useful links to many climate investigations and publications.
USGS News and Information
on El Niño
The term El Niño (Spanish for "the Christ Child") refers to a warm ocean current that typically appears around Christmas-time and lasts for several months, but may persist into May or June. This Web site provides a general overview of the science of El Niño,
and provides links to resources that discuss the weather's impact on floods,
landslides, coastal hazards, climate and other information.
Effects of Climatic Variability and Land Use on American Drylands (USGS
Global Change Research)
This Web site has links to many resources about global change in the US
and Southwest, including California.
Investigating Climate Change of Western North America
This USGS fact sheet provides discussion how the California Current in
the Pacific Ocean drives the climate of the western United States.
Deserts—Geology and Resources
This general interest publication describes how deserts form, types of deserts, and landscape features typically associated with deserts. Learn about desertification as an indicator of climate change.
Carbon Cycle Science Program
This interagency Web site provide links to information and educational
resources related to the carbon cycle and greenhouse gases.
USGS Carbon Cycle Research
This Web site has selected links to resources about the impacts
of greenhouse gases on vegetation and climate change.
Exchanges of Greenhouse Gases, Water Vapor, and Heat at the Earth's Surface
This Web site discusses research into the exchange of greenhouse gases
(notably: carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane, and nitrous oxide), water
vapor, and heat between Earth's land and water surfaces and the overlying
This fact sheet describes gases released by volcanoes. Volcanic gases
contribute to the ongoing evolution of the atmosphere.
National Biological Information Infrastructure
Explore the broad range and scope of USGS science in biology, biodiversity, and ecology. NBII includes research on botany, birds, fisheries and aquatic resources, coral reefs, amphibians, reptiles, invasive species, West Nile Virus, wildlife population genetics, pollinator declines, wildlife diseases, and much more.
USGS research on invasive
species includes all significant groups of
invasive organisms in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
This Web site contains information about many types of invasive species
and the impacts they are having on ecosystems.
Invasive Species Research at WERC (Western
Ecological Research Center)
The Pacific Southwest (California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona) is characterized
by remarkable biodiversity in an unparalleled range of environments.
But the region's biodiversity and the continued survival of functioning
native ecosystems are threatened by the invasion of nonnative species.
Once established, some invasive species have the ability to displace
or replace native plant and animal species, disrupt nutrient and fire
cycles, and cause changes in the pattern of plant succession. (WERC)
researchers strive to improve the ability to detect, monitor, and predict
the effects of invasive species. Equally important research is being
conducted by WERC scientists on exotic animals.
USGS Contaminant Biology Program
The USGS Contaminant Biology Program investigates the effects and exposure
of environmental contaminants (such as mercury) to the Nation's living
resources, particularly those under the stewardship of the Department
of the Interior.
Redwood Field Station Research
Studies concerning restoration of the physical and biological landscapes
in Redwood National and State Parks. The studies include inventory and
monitoring of erosion, sediment transport, and stream temperatures; evaluating
the effectiveness of various strategies for watershed restoration; and
determining the influence of timber harvest and floods on riparian areas.
Discovery for Recovery
4-year study using satellite telemetry to follow the spring migration
of northern pintails; has maps that show the migration of individual
birds, and overall map of the migration routes documented in study; background
material about pintails and this study; how satellite tracking works;
summaries of 4 years, each with maps, biologist's journal, and forum
biologists); pintail voice on study home page can be played.
Migration of Surf
Scoters Along the Pacific Coast
In this study on surf scoters, scientists are capturing and marking scoters
with radio transmitters in San Francisco Bay to determine their late
winter, spring migration, and breeding distribution. Sea ducks are under
investigation because of evidence indicating widespread population declines
in this group.
A Field Guide
to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Coastal Southern California
The highly developed and urbanized area of coastal Southern California
is host to one of the richest herpetofaunas in the United States and
includes several species with State and Federal protected status.
conservation information on the desert tortoise
Habitat Conservation Plans, particularly the growing number of plans
that cover large geographic areas and multiple species and habitats,
address a complex array of ecological issues. USGS scientists are making
important contributions to the scientific foundations upon which HCPs
are developed and analyzed.
Node for the National Biological Information Infrastructure)
The CAIN Web site provides links to many educational resources produced
in cooperation with many federal, state, and local agencies (including
the USGS). Web sites that provide resources related to ecology can be
found on this Web site, but especially on the California
Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES) Web site. This
theme page provides links to pages relating to weather, climate, plants,
wildlife, rivers, watersheds, wetlands, biodiversity, coastal resources,
fisheries, soils, environmental education, and much more.
Conservation Genetics at USGS WERC, San Diego Field Station
USGS scientists are using genetic techniques to investigate the population
structure of several species of conservation concern and to investigate
links between Southern California geography and patterns of genetic
diversity across different species groups.
Status and Trends of Biological Resources
The Status and Trends of Biological Resources Program supports and provides the collection and analysis of biological data for use by natural resource managers, scientists, and the general public. It examines: what they are, where they are located, how many there are, their capacity to produce, their health, and how these trends change over time and space. This very extensive site includes a publication list and recent news items.
Birds of North America Taxonomic List
A table listing birds of North America that is sorted taxonomically (by order, family, and genus).
NBII Digital Image Library
Each photograph in this extensive collection is available in low, medium, and high resolution. Most images are in the public domain and can be freely downloaded. Images are grouped as plants, animals, or fungi and lichen.
USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Resource site for materials related to wildlife health research and the functions of the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC). Includes links to hot topics in wildlife health and recent news articles.
West Nile Virus—USGS National Wildlife Health Center
West Nile virus fact sheets, Frequently Asked Questions, maps, identification tips for birds that host the virus, bird handling guidelines, and more.
USGS National Wildlife Health Center: Amphibian Malformations and Decline
This site provides links to a Field Guide to Malformations of Frogs and Toads plus a 1997 report on Diagnostic Findings Associated with Malformed Frogs in Vermont.
NBII FrogWeb: Amphibian Declines and Malformations
FrogWeb is a one-stop shop for information about amphibian declines and malformations, amphibian identification guides, lists of monitoring programs that utilize amateur observers, and ideas for creating amphibian-friendly habitats.
USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI)
As amphibian populations decline, reports of malformed frogs, toads, and salamanders are increasing. Learn about amphibians as environmental bellwethers and Congressionally-mandated USGS efforts in support of amphibian research and conservation. Links to regional Web Sites, a searchable publication list, and copyright-free photos are included.
|Maps and Geospatial Data
The National Map
This free, online map service allows users to design and print custom maps or download seamless, high-resolution geospatial layers for use in other software. Surface elevation, topography, boundaries, hydrography, geographic names, transportation, structures, high-resolution orthoimagery, and land cover are among the many layers of available data. This is the best starting point for obtaining free, seamless vector data.
Seamless Data Distribution System
This is the best starting point for obtaining free, seamless raster data from the USGS. Contents for the conterminous U.S. include National Elevation data (NED), Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data (SRTM), orthoimagery (1 foot resolution for selected areas), National Landcover Characterization data (NLCD), and more. Most files are in GeoTIFF and/or Arc formats.
National Atlas of the United States
This invaluable educational tool is a free, online version of the traditional paper United States atlas. Hundreds of interactive geospatial data layers are available for viewing or free download. Most data are designed to depict patterns and trends on a national scale. Use the Map Maker tool to create a custom map or print one of hundreds of pre-formatted page-size maps that are convenient for classroom use.
Geospatial One-Stop Portal
A central portal for access to maps and geospatial data from multiple
agencies (mostly Federal). Categories include Atmosphere, Climate,
Culture, Demographic, Business, Economic, Human Health and Disease,
Utilities, Communications, and much more.
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
GNIS provides a fast search with a search on its Query
Form for the United States and Its Territories.
A search on GNIS will give you topographic map indexing, longitude &
latitude, and feature information, plus gives you direct access to topographic
maps and aerial photography via the National Map and other sources.
USGS Education Map Catalog
Browse samples of popular USGS maps that are frequently used by educators.
National Hydrography Database (NHD)
The best and easiest source for downloading free, seamless hydrography data for use in GIS software. Data can be extracted by sub-basin, county, congressional district, or topographic quadrangle.
All about USGS Topographic Maps
A comprehensive description of topographic maps and how they are made. Links to map symbols and ordering information.
Free Digital USGS Topographic Map Quadrangles
Download free USGS topographic map quadrangles in georeferenced PDF (GeoPDF) format through the Map Locator and Downloader on the USGS Store Web site. These files were created using high-resolution scans and average 10-17 megabytes in size.
Topographic Maps Illustrating Physiographic Features
Lists of USGS topographic maps (listed by state) that show good examples
of over 200 different physiographic features.
An explanation of topographic maps and map symbols.
Every map projection has its own set of advantages and disadvantages; mapmakers must select the one best suited to their needs. Learn about the eighteen most common projections and how they compare. A folded poster of this information is also available for free through the USGS Store (product number 16573). The poster is highly popular with professionals and academics who use it as a handy reference.
USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
GNIS contains information for almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States and its territories. Query the database to find individual features and their corresponding coordinates. Search results include links to on-line air photos and topographic maps containing the feature. GNIS is also a layer of The National Map (above).
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|Satellite Imagery and Remote Sensing
Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS)
EROS is the repository and source for USGS satellite imagery, aerial photography, and many digital data resources.
Satellite Image Gallery
A special collection of satellite images that record beautiful sights, events of historic significance, and scenes that stir the imagination. Includes the 'Earth as Art' collection. All images can be downloaded for free as high-resolution JPEG files.
Free USGS Satellite Data
Selected Landsat 4, 5, and 7 satellite data are available for free download through this site. Click on the product name to see what's free, what's not, and where to get it. Download an entire scene containing all bands, metadata, JPEG, and header information in a single, zipped file.
Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA)
LIMA brings the coldest continent on Earth alive in greater detail than ever before through this virtually cloudless, seamless, and high resolution satellite view of Antarctica. Zoom in on stunning detail with this Natural-Color, Pan-Sharpened image. The mosaic and all of the LIMA products can be downloaded at no charge.
USGS Center for LIDAR Information Coordination and Knowledge (CLICK)
CLICK was created to facilitate data access, user coordination, and education of Light Detecting And Ranging (LIDAR) remote sensing for scientific needs. Use CLICK to determine if publically-available lidar exists in your area of interest.
EarthNow! Landsat image Viewer
View near-real-time imagery received from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites as they pass over the United States.
Global Visualization Viewer (Glovis)
Order Landsat TM (4, 5, 7) and Terra ASTER satellite images on-line.
User-friendly global database allows convenient preview of images and
scene mosaics. The mosaic of the world comes in 240m and 1000m resolution.
Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change
Earthshots is an e-book of before-and-after Landsat images
(1972-present), showing recent environmental events and introducing the
concept of remote sensing. Some changes are due to natural causes and
some are due to human causes. Each set of images includes a detailed
description, photographs and maps, a list of references, and a question/answer.
Images are best used on-line.
|Purchase USGS Maps and Remote Sensing Data
A quick and easy way to find and order printed USGS products: paper maps, books, and other publications.
Order digital USGS data including satellite imagery. Locate products
by name, coordinates, or define on map.
This Web site provides a quick and easy way to order digital USGS National High Altitude Photography (NHAP) and National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) photos. These items can also be purchased through Earth Explorer.
Global Visualization Viewer (GloVis)
Use GloVis to order Landsat, Terra ASTER, MODIS, and EO-1 satellite images and NAPP photography. This data is also available through EarthExplorer, but the GloVis interface is preferred by some users. Some free downloads are only available through GloVis.
|Land Use History and Changing Landscapes
Land Use History of North America
Describes the historical and on-going changes in land use and land cover for several regions around the U.S. The section on Land Use Changes in the Southwestern U.S.
Land Use Change in Urban Environments (PDF)
Four-page USGS Fact Sheet describing and illustrating the need for urban
USGS Urban Dynamics Research Program
Describes a project that analyzes land use change in urban
environments in order to provide a historical perspective of land use
change and an assessment of the spatial patterns, rates, correlation,
trends, and impacts of that change. Includes links to computer animations
of urban growth in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Baltimore-Washington
Urban Dynamics - California 's Central Valley
Preliminary assessment of urban growth in California 's
Central Valley. Includes an urban growth timeline and an urban growth
animation from 1906-1996.
Growth in American Cities (Circular 1252)
An on-line publication that illustrates the spatial history
of urban growth in sixteen areas around the U.S. and the corresponding
land use change. Images can be downloaded as GIF files.
Distribution - Urban and Rural - National Atlas article
Article describing population change in the U.S. 1990 - 2000.
Includes population numbers for each state and for the ten largest cities
plus graphs and maps.
Land Use Change in Urban Environments (PDF)
Four-page USGS Fact Sheet describing and illustrating the need for urban
USGS topographic maps of the San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area Regional Database (BARD)
has 100 years of 15-minute topographic maps for the Bay Area. View
on-line or download low-resolution JPG files or high-resolution
SID compressed files.
Historic USGS Topographic Maps of the San Francisco Bay region
This interactive Web site provides access to
historic USGS topographic maps going back into the late 19th
Century when most of California was still undeveloped. An examination
of the same location on maps of different ages shows the gradual
progression of land use over time.
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|Astronomy and Astrogeology
Browse the Solar System!
This Web site starts with a "clickable" image of a popular poster of all
the planets and moons in the Solar System, and provides links to images
and information about each of them. Printouts of each of the planets
could be used for a variety of classroom activities.
Maps from the Astrogeology program
Global and regional maps of planets and moons.
Flagstaff Science Center
Looking for information on the moon, Mars, or impact craters? The Flagstaff Science Center is home to USGS astrogeology research. Take a special look at the Education and Outreach portion of the site for information, lesson plans, and activities that are "out of this world!"
USGS Planetary GIS Web Server (PIGWAD)
This user-friendly interface supports GIS tools for analyses of planetary data and includes planetary GIS databases consisting of digital geologic maps, feature maps, topography, and remote-sensing data. All downloads are free.
This Dynamic Earth: the Story of Plate Tectonics
"This Dynamic Earth" is one of the most recommended and referenced primers on plate tectonics. Topics include a history of the theory, scientific developments that spurred its development, the mechanics of plate motions, and the relationship of hotspots to plate tectonic theory. A companion best-selling map, "This Dynamic Planet", is also available online or in print.
This Dynamic Planet
Plate tectonics are fully illustrated by this best-selling world map (a companion to "This Dynamic Earth: the Story of Plate Tectonics") showing the locations of plate boundaries, volcanoes, earthquakes, and impact craters. Detailed ocean floor bathymetry and discussions of fundamental components are also featured. A paper version is available for purchase or the map can be downloaded free in PDF format.
"Ring of Fire", Plate Tectonics, Sea-Floor Spreading, Subduction Zones, "Hot
This resource page includes links to USGS information about
plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions including the geology behind the
Cascade Range Volcanoes, the East Africa Rift, the Iceland volcanic rift,
the Juan De Fuca Ridge and Juan de Fuca Subduction Zone, the Marianas
Trench, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, South America, and the Hawaiian and Yellowstone "hot
The Interior of the Earth
This booklet is an introductory guide to what is known about the interior
of our planet.
Geologic Maps and Mapping
Geologic maps describe the rocks and soils at the surface, provide information about what rocks lie at depth, describe the ages of rocks and soils, and show where features such as earthquake faults and landslides lie. Geologic maps are made by studying the rocks and materials exposed at the surface and depicting information about those rocks on a map. This resource page is particularly useful to help students understand geologic maps of areas near where they live or study.
National Geologic Map Database
This exhaustive database provides bibliographic access to many thousands
of geologic, geophysical, and other kinds of maps available in USGS
publication, Web sites, and in popular science journals, etc.
Tapestry of Time and Terrain
Shaded relief and geology are combined on this interactive map of the 48 conterminous states. It is a useful resource for discussing physiographic provinces and for viewing the location of rocks deposited during different geologic time periods. A paper wall-size version (one of the most eye-catching maps produced by the USGS) is available for purchase through the USGS Store.
The North America Tapestry of Time and Terrain
The North America Tapestry of Time and Terrain is woven
from a geologic map and a shaded relief image. This digital combination
reveals the geologic history of North America through the interrelation
of rock type, topography and time. Regional surface processes as
well as continent-scale tectonic events are exposed in the three
dimensions of space and the fourth dimension, geologic time. This
map is an expansion of the original United
States Tapestry of Time and Terrain,
produced in 2000.
|Rocks and Minerals
Learn about the occurrence and production of various gemstones in the United States. The site is organized by state and gemstone.
Minerals Statistics and Information
This Web site assembles statistics and information about the worldwide supply of, demand for, and flow of minerals and materials essential to the U.S. economy, the national security, and protection of the environment.
USGS Mineral Resources Program
The USGS Mineral Resources Program funds science to provide and communicate
current, impartial information on the occurrence, quality, quantity,
and availability of mineral resources. The MRP provides information
about mineral commodities, regional mineral resources, crustal imaging,
and minerals information.
Mineral Resources On-Line Spatial Data
View maps and download data for the U.S. and the World.
Historic Events in Minerals and Materials
This report provides a review of significant changes in
industries that consume metals and industrial minerals. It includes
a timeline showing major achievements in mineral production and
events that affected the U.S. mineral industry. These are related
to overall U.S. mineral consumption and years of war or recession.
Rocks and Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region
The landscape of the San Francisco Bay region is host to a greater variety of rocks than most other areas the United States. This introductory guide provides illustrated descriptions of 46 varieties of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks found in the region. Discussions about regional geology, the rock cycle, and mineral resources are included.
Building Stones of Our Nation's Capital
This on-line publication provides descriptions and examples of all the
kinds of stone used in the buildings and monuments in the Washington
DC area, and discusses the impact of acid precipitation on our national
Aggregate: A Primer
This Web site describes the origins of sand, gravel, and crushed stone
and their uses and importance to society.
Living Rock: The Earth's Continental Crust (Windows
This 1 hour 45 minute film provides a global tour of geologic processes
through the eyes of several USGS scientists.
Gold—Why is gold such an important mineral?
This 23-page booklet gives a brief history of gold mining and the "gold fever" that has endured for centuries of civilizations.
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|Fossils and Earth History
Education Resources for Paleontology
This Web site provides links to paleontological resources
available from the USGS and elsewhere for teachers, students, scientists,
and others who are interested in paleontology and related earth and
biological science disciplines.
Southern Appalachians: A Changing World (Window Media)
This award-winning 25 minute film, co-produced with the National Park
Service, explains the origin of one of the oldest mountain ranges in
|Geology of National Parks
Geology in the National Parks
This Web site provides a general introduction to many facets of the geology of national parks, and USGS research involving our public lands.
||Geology of National Parks: 3-D Tours Featuring Park Geology
||This Web site index provides examples of 3D images representing many kinds
of landscape features including many associated with processes of erosion
and deposition including volcanoes, canyons, wind, glaciers, spheroidal
weathering, caverns, beaches, landslides, dunes, alluvial fans, stream
erosion, fossils, and much more. Over 50 national parks are represented.
Images can be previewed in image thumbnail galleries. Specific examples
of landscape features can be found on the Subject Index. You
will need 3D viewing glasses to best utilize this Web site (like the kind
used with commercial 3D movies; red and cyan varieties work best). Non-3D
versions of images are also provided.
USGS Coastal & Marine
The USGS Coastal & Marine Geology Program Web site provides current information on a variety of research topics including tsunamis generated by submarine earthquakes and landslides, El Niño,
sea level change, coastal erosion, corals, pollution, and much more. The
Web site provides links to CMGP field centers in Santa Cruz/Menlo Park,
California, St. Petersburg, Florida, and Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
State-of-the-art digital multibeam systems are now used to systematically map the seafloor and collect data such as bathymetry and backscatter. Use this Web site to access maps and data for select USGS study areas, mostly along the west coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Some lakes are included.
Coasts in Crisis (Circular1075)
This Web site describes types of coasts (rocky shores, sandy beaches,
coastal wetlands, and coral reefs). It also provides discussion about
processes that affect beaches and coastlines including waves, tides,
weather, water-level changes, coastal vegetation, and human impacts of
beach sediments and processes.
Beyond the Golden Gate: Oceanography, Geology, Biology, and Environmental Issues in the Gulf of the Farallones (Circular 1198)
The general report describes a major USGS geologic and oceanographic
study of the Gulf of the Farallones. This investigation, the first of
several now being conducted adjacent to major population centers by the
USGS, was undertaken to establish a scientific data base for an area
of 3,400 square kilometers (1,000 square nautical miles) on the Continental
Shelf adjacent to the San Francisco Bay region. The results of this study
can be used to evaluate and monitor human impact on the marine environment.
Natural Hazards Gateway
Provides many links and resources to USGS information related to earthquakes,
floods, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanoes, and wildfires.
USGS Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDS)
Use this dynamic map interface to view and download free USGS datasets for national and international disasters including tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
USGS Natural Hazards Support System (NHSS)
Monitor and analyze natural hazards events as they are occurring anywhere on the earth through NHSS. Dynamic links connect to additional information. Viewer resolution is designed for a national or global scale.
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USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
This is a comprehensive Web site about earthquake hazards and research, and includes numerous links to teaching resources, activities, and current and past earthquake activity.
This general interest publication provides an introduction to earthquakes,
historic quakes, where earthquakes occur, how they happen, how they
are measured, and efforts to predict earthquakes.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake: 100 Years Later
A list of links to USGS science and products about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Includes simulations of ground shaking, earthquake intensity maps, a virtual tour of the San Francisco Bay Area faults, historic photographs, an earthquake survival handbook for the San Francisco Bay region, and much, much more.
Down Roots In Earthquake Country: Your Handbook For the San Francisco
This general interest publication provides information about
San Francisco Bay region earthquakes (cause, history, probabilities,
effects) and provides detailed information about how to be prepared when
a major earthquake happens. The guide identifies specific steps to improve
your safety before, during, and following an earthquake. This "must read" document
provides sound advice for anyone living in a potential disaster zone.
Database of seismic hazard maps, earthquake maps, site response,
and fault and landform maps.
National Seismic Hazard Maps
National maps of ground motion.
Regional maps of ground motion and shaking intensity.
Did you feel it? Report An Earthquake
This Web site allows the public to report earthquake experiences.
Quaternary Faults and Fold Database of the United States
This Web site contains information on faults and associated folds in the
United States that are believed to be sources of M>6 earthquakes during
the Quaternary (the past 1,600,000 years). Maps of these geologic structures
are linked to detailed descriptions and references. Many of the faults
described in this database are in California.
Recent Earthquake Activity in the United States
Recent Earthquake Activity Around the World
Maps of Recent Earthquake Activity in California-Nevada
Visit the ever-popular USGS "Quake" Web site to see information about
the daily earthquake activity in California and Nevada.
History of California
Earthquake Probability Map for San Francisco Bay Area
Faults in Southern California
This Web site provides detailed information about major active faults
in Southern California.
San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD)
The SAFOD project is a deep borehole experiment that penetrates
the San Andreas Fault in one of the most predictively active segments
of the San Andreas Fault. The USGS and partners have installed an
extensive network of seismic instrumentation along the fault near
the Parkfield, California.
The San Andreas Fault System, California (USGS Professional Paper 1515)
This classic book, edited by Robert E. Wallace, is both a technical and exhaustive resource of information about the San Andreas Fault and is an essential companion to all newly published research about the fault system. The book is available for download or to purchase.
San Andreas Fault In The San Francisco Bay Area, California:
A Geology Field Trip Guidebook To Selected Stops On Public Lands
This field guide provides descriptions of the section of the San Andreas
Fault that ruptured in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Descriptions
of places the public can go range from the South Bay regions near Hollister,
San Juan Bautista, throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains between San Jose
and San Francisco, and Point Reyes National Seashore. Introductory materials
include an overview of the San Andreas Fault System, geology, landscape
features, and plant communities that reveal information about the underlying
Earthquakes In and Near the Northeastern United States, 1638-1998
This thematic map documents earthquake activity in the northeastern United States from the time of the first settlers. A companion fact sheet is also available for download.
Earthquakes in the Central United States—1699-2002
More than 800 earthquakes are shown on this downloadable map detailing seismic activity in the most active region of the central United States.
The Severity of an Earthquake
The severity of an earthquake can be expressed in terms of both intensity and magnitude .
However, the two terms are quite different, and they are often confused.
This Web site explains the differences.
FAQs about Earthquakes, Faults, Plate Tectonics, and Earth Structure
Measuring the Size of an Earthquake
This publication contains directions for constructing a simple earthquake machine and supporting instructional material to demonstrate the principles of seismology.
West Coast & Alaska
Tsunami Warning Center
This Web site provides comprehensive information and links to information about earthquakes and related tsunami hazards for the West Coast and Alaska. It provides information about historic and recent tsunamis.
Surviving a Tsunami-Lessons from Chile, Hawaii, and Japan
This on-line publication describes the causes and impacts of large tsunamis,
with examples from around the Pacific Rim.
Western Coastal & Marine
This Web site provides access to information about scientific
research in the coastal and offshore areas of California and other states,
including marine earthquake, tsunami and other submarine hazards and
Tsunamis & Earthquakes
This Web site provides information about USGS tsunami research
and links to information Web sites about the origins of tsunamis and QuickTime
animations of tsunamis in the Pacific region including a recreation of
the probable tsunami associated with the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.
Earthquake Hazards Program Facts & Lists
This resource page provides links to many tsunami information and resources.
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Landslide Hazards in Glacial Lake Clays – Tully Valley, New York
This fact sheet explores the largest landslides to have occurred in the state of New York in more than 75 years. Learn how USGS science is being used to map landslide susceptibility throughout the region.
USGS Natural Hazards Gateway—Landslides
Gateway to the USGS Landslide Hazards Program, highlighted landslide resources, recent USGS news related to landslides, and a list of recent landslide alerts. This is a good jumping-off point for general landslide research.
Landslide Photo Collections
Landslide photos from all over the United States.
Landslide Types and Processes
This Web site provides a good introduction to types of landslides and
mass movement associated with gravity and stream floods.
Landslide Hazards (PDF)
This Web site provides basic information about landslide hazards and safety
issues related to wet weather conditions in landslide-prone areas.
National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy: A Framework for Loss Reduction (Circular 1244)
This circular outlines the key elements of a comprehensive and effective
national strategy for reducing losses from landslides nationwide and
provides an assessment of the status, needs, and associated costs of
National Landslide Overview Map of the United States
This interactive map show landslide and flood hazard areas of the United
States, including California (and was used in generating "California's Landslide Hazards" Map
- show here to the right).
Debris-Flow Hazards in the United States
Map Showing Inventory and Regional Susceptibility for Holocene Debris Flows, and Related Fast-Moving Landslides in the Conterminous United States
This map shows debris flow hazard areas of the United
States, including California.
Riding the Storm—Landslide Danger in the San Francisco Bay Area
A catastrophic 1982 rainstorm triggered 18,000 landslides in the Bay Area, claiming 25 lives and causing $66 million in property damage. Learn what USGS scientists have discovered in the last two decades about landslide dynamics and which slopes are most susceptible to sliding.
Fire and Mud: Eruptions and Lahars of Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines
This history of the devastating 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo highlights the new science that was learned at the time and challenges that lie ahead to prevent and/or mitigate another disaster.
USGS Natural Hazards Gateway—Volcanoes
Gateway to the USGS Volcano Hazards Program, highlighted volcano resources, recent USGS news related to volcanoes, and a list of recent volcano observatory activity reports. This is a good jumping-off point for general volcano research.
Alaska Volcano Observatory
The AVO Web site contains current information about Alaska's
volcanoes, FAQs, images, regional maps, and more.
Cascades Volcano Observatory
This USGS Web site has resources and links to practically every conceivable
concept related to volcanoes, particularly those in the western United
States, Hawaii, and Alaska. This comprehensive Web site includes current
volcanic activity information. An educational resources page has teaching
guides about volcanoes, activities and "fun stuff", posters,
access to videos, special features, and much more!
This Web site provides comprehensive information about Hawaii's active
volcanoes with many graphics and features.
Long Valley Volcano Observatory
Find out what USGS scientists are discovering about this perhaps not
widely known volcanic area in eastern California. Long Valley Volcanic
System extends from Mammoth Mountain to Mono Lake.
Yellowstone Volcano Observatory
Find out about current seismic and potential volcanic activity in Yellowstone
Living with Volcanoes
The 1980 cataclysmic eruption of Mount St. Helens in southwestern Washington
ushered in a decade marked by more worldwide volcanic disasters and crises
than any other in recorded history. Volcanoes killed more people (over
28,500) in the 1980's than during the 78 years following the 1902 eruption
of Mont Pelee (Martinique). Not surprisingly, volcanic phenomena and
attendant hazards received attention from government authorities, the
news media, and the general public. As part of this enhanced global awareness
of volcanic hazards, the U.S. government significantly expanded the Volcano
Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey in response to the eruptions
or volcanic unrest during the 1980's at Mount St. Helens (Washington),
Mauna Loa and Kilauea (Hawaii), Long Valley Caldera (California), and
Redoubt Volcano (Alaska). This publication summarizes the Volcano Hazards
Program—its goals, the activities designed to achieve these goals,
some key accomplishments of the past two decades, and a plan for work
that started in the the 1990's.
USGS Natural Hazards Gateway—Wildfires
Gateway to the USGS wildfire science, with highlighted wildfire resources and recent USGS news related to wildfires. This is a good jumping-off point for general wildfire research.
GeoMAC Wildland Fire Support
The Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group (GeoMAC) is an internet-based mapping application designed for fire managers (and the public) to access online maps of current fire locations and perimeters in the conterminous 48 States and Alaska.
Fire Ecology Research
This is the portal page to fire ecology studies at WERC; research is
in Sierra Nevada forests, California shrublands, and Mojave and Sonoran
deserts, and Great Basin.
and Invasive Annual Grasses in Western Ecosystem
Research on ways to prevent invasive annual grass invasions and restore
invaded habitats; this particular study has a nice photo gallery of field
work on prescribed burning and monitoring.
Fire and Fire
Surrogate Study Sequoia National Park Site
Evaluating the ecosystem impacts of different fire hazard reduction treatment
in forests that historically experienced short-interval, low- to moderate-severity
of Fuel Management Treatments in Piñon Juniper Vegetation
at a Site on the Colorado Plateau
Study on the cost-effectiveness and ecological effects of various combinations
of thinning, seeding, and burning to restore sagebrush steppe vegetation.
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Fog Drip in Tropical Montane Ecosystems
How much does fog contribute to cloud forest water budgets? Do plants utilize fog water, rain water, or both? How much does fog contribute to streamflow? This study on the importance of fog drip to ecosystem hydrology and water resources attempts to answer those questions.
Water Resources of the United States
The main portal to USGS Water Resources Program provides links to real-time data for surface and groundwater, and water quality information for all states. The Web site is rich in data resources pertaining to regional science investigations, floods, droughts, toxic substances hydrology, water use, recreation, and state, national, and international research initiatives.
The Quality of Our Nation's Waters: Nutrients and Pesticides
This nontechnical report describes major findings on nutrients and pesticides in water and on pesticides in bed sediment and fish tissue. These are results of studies made at regional and national levels.
Water Availability for the Western United States—Key Scientific Challenges
In the Western United States, the availability of water has become a serious concern for many communities. This report reviews the quality, availability, use, and sustainability of both ground water and surface water in the western U.S.
Water Resources Data
The National Water System Web Site is a comprehensive source of real-time
water data for the nation (surface& underground water and water quality).
Real-time stream flow data is collected from over 8,000 on-line stations
throughout the U.S. A "Water Use" Web site
has maps and searchable data by county and watershed. A great place for
a school project! On-line databases provide data and reports on acid rain,
atmospheric deposition and precipitation chemistry, and information about
the transport of sediments and contaminants in streams.
Science in Your Watershed
This Web site provides information about watersheds and provides a map
locator for watersheds across the country.
Chemical and Pathogenic Contaminant Exposure by Drinking Water
USGS provides scientific data and information on the occurrence, fate, and transport of emerging and legacy contaminants in water resources, assessments of drinking water sources, and the vulnerability of water supplies to contamination. How safe is your water?
An underground layer of permeable rock, sediment, or soil that yields water is called an aquifer. This site describes different kinds of aquifers and where they are located.
Ground Water Atlas of the United States
Learn about the ground-water resources of regional areas that collectively cover the U.S. and its territories. Text and maps are used to describe the climate, physiography, geology, land use, major aquifers, and ground-water withdrawals for each region.
Sustainability of Ground-Water Resources (USGS Circular 1186)
Ground water is one of the Nation's provides about 40 percent of
the public water supply in the United States. This Web site provides information
and discussion about one or our nation's most precious resource, our
and Surface Water - A Single Resource (USGS Circular 1139)
This publication includes a chapter on the hydrologic cycle, and illustrates
the interactions of groundwater and surface water. The report discusses
issues related to water supply, water quality, and degradation of aquatic
Ground Water and the Rural Homeowner
This comprehensive 36-page booklet describes groundwater as it relates to problems that rural homeowners might encounter, such as digging a well, water-level declines, and contamination.
USGS Natural Hazards Gateway—Floods
Gateway to USGS research on floods. Includes highlighted flood resources and recent USGS news related to floods. This is a good jumping-off point for general flood science.
Large Floods in the United States : Where they Happen and Why
A 13-page on-line publication that describes the geographic and climatic factors that influence the occurrence and impacts of large floods in the United States.
Two Months of Flooding in Eastern North Carolina, September - October 1999: Hydrologic Water-Quality, and Geologic Effects of Hurricanes Dennis, Floyd, and Irene
In 1999, unusually heavy rainfall caused 500-year or greater floods in all of the river basins in the eastern part of North Carolina. This report describes flooding, water quality, and shoreline changes caused by the floods and related storms.
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