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The DART system consists of a bottom pressure recorder (BPR) located on the sea floor capable of detecting a tsunami as small as 1 centimeter high on the ocean surface. A discus-shaped buoy, 2.5 meters in diameter, on the ocean surface is moored at a position close enough to receive data via acoustic link from the BPR. After receiving data from the BPR, the surface buoy relays the information via the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system to ground stations. The ground stations demodulate the signals and disseminate information to NOAA Tsunami Warning Centers (TWC) and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. TWCs use the data in real time to decide what U.S. coastal communities...
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The Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group, or GeoMAC, is an internet-based mapping tool originally designed for fire managers to access online maps of current fire locations and perimeters in the conterminous 48 states and Alaska. Perimeters are submitted to GeoMAC by field offices and then posted to an FTP site for downloading. This file contains fire perimeters submitted from the year 2001 to 2009. The projection is geographic and the datum is NAD83. Last updated in November, 2010.
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The Usoi dam was created in the winter of 1911 after an enormous seismogenic rock slide completely blocked the valley of the Bartang River in the Pamir Mountains of southeastern Tajikistan. At present the dam impounds 17 million cubic meters of water in Lake Sarez. Flood volume and discharge estimates were made for several landslide generated floods that could overtop the dam. For landslide volumes of 200, 500, and 1,000 million cubic meters, estimated overtopping flood volumes were 2, 22, and 87 million cubic meters of water, respectively. Estimated peak discharge at the dam for these three flood scenarios were 57,000, 490,000, and 1,580,000 m3/s, based on triangular hydrographs of 70-, 90-, and 110-s durations,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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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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Tsunami-evacuation planning in coastal communities is typically based on maximum evacuation zones for a single scenario or a composite of sources; however, this approach may over-evacuate a community and overly disrupt the local economy and strain emergency-service resources. To minimize the potential for future over-evacuations, multiple evacuation zones based on arrival time and inundation extent are being developed for California coastal communities. We use the coastal city of Alameda, California (USA), as a case study to explore population and evacuation implications associated with multiple tsunami-evacuation zones. We use geospatial analyses to estimate the number and type of people in each tsunami-evacuation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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This study presents a quantitative and geospatial description of global losses due to earthquake-induced secondary effects, including landslide, liquefaction, tsunami, and fire for events during the past 40 years. These processes are of great importance to the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) system, which is currently being developed to deliver rapid earthquake impact and loss assessments following large/significant global earthquakes. An important question is how dominant are losses due to secondary effects (and under what conditions, and in which regions)? Thus, which of these effects should receive higher priority research efforts in order to enhance PAGER’s...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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An alert-level system for communicating volcano hazard information to the aviation industry was devised by the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) during the 1989–1990 eruption of Redoubt Volcano. The system uses a simple, color-coded ranking that focuses on volcanic ash emissions: Green—normal background; Yellow—signs of unrest; Orange—precursory unrest or minor ash eruption; Red—major ash eruption imminent or underway. The color code has been successfully applied on a regional scale in Alaska for a sustained period. During 2002–2011, elevated color codes were assigned by AVO to 13 volcanoes, eight of which erupted; for that decade, one or more Alaskan volcanoes were at Yellow on 67 % of days and at Orange or Red...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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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This map layer contains the locations and attributes of significant, historic earthquakes that caused deaths, property damage, and geological effects, or were otherwise experienced by populations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. Included are earthquakes located in the United States as well as some that occurred in adjacent portions of Canada and Mexico. The main sources for the data are Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 and the Preliminary Determination of Epicenters for 1990 to August 2009. This is a replacement for the January 2005 map layer.
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Floods are the most common and widespread climate-related hazard on Earth. Flood forecasting can reduce the death toll associated with floods. Satellites offer effective and economical means for calculating areal rainfall estimates in sparsely gauged regions. However, satellite-based rainfall estimates have had limited use in flood forecasting and hydrologic stream flow modeling because the rainfall estimates were considered to be unreliable. In this study we present the calibration and validation results from a spatially distributed hydrologic model driven by daily satellite-based estimates of rainfall for sub-basins of the Nile and Mekong Rivers. The results demonstrate the usefulness of remotely sensed precipitation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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The devastating southeast Asian tsunami of December 26, 2004 has brought home the destructive consequences of coastal hazards in an absence of effective warning systems. Since the 1946 tsunami that destroyed much of Hilo, Hawai'i, a network of pole mounted sirens has been used to provide an early public alert of future tsunamis. However, studies in the 1960s showed that understanding of the meaning of siren soundings was very low and that ambiguity in understanding had contributed to fatalities in the 1960 tsunami that again destroyed much of Hilo. The Hawaiian public has since been exposed to monthly tests of the sirens for more than 25 years and descriptions of the system have been widely published in telephone...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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Rapid onset natural disasters such as large landslides create a need for scientific information about the event, which is vital to ensuring public safety, restoring infrastructure, preventing additional damage, and resuming normal economic activity. At the same time, there is limited data available upon which to base reliable scientific responses. Monitoring movement and modeling runout are mechanisms for gaining vital data and reducing the uncertainty created about a rapid onset natural disaster. We examine the effectiveness of this approach during the 2006 Ferguson rock slide disaster, which severed California Highway 140. Even after construction of a bypass restoring normal access to the community of El Portal,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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Forecasting earthquake and tsunami hazards along the southern Cascadia subduction zone is complicated by uncertainties in the amount of megathrust fault slip during past ruptures. Here, we estimate slip on hypothetical ruptures of the southern part of the megathrust through comparisons of late Holocene Cascadia earthquake histories derived from tsunami deposits on land and marine turbidites offshore. Bradley Lake in southern Oregon lies ~600 m landward of the shoreline and contains deposits from 12 tsunamis in the past 4600 years. Tsunami simulations that overtop the 6-m-high lake outlet, generated by ruptures with most slip south of Cape Blanco, require release of at least as much strain on the megathrust as would...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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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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In the aftermath of a catastrophic tsunami, much is to be learned about tsunami generation and propagation, landscape and ecological changes, and the response and recovery of those affected by the disaster. Knowledge of the impacted area directly helps response and relief personnel in their efforts to reach and care for survivors and for re-establishing community services. First-hand accounts of tsunami-related impacts and consequences also help researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in other parts of the world that lack recent events to better understand and manage their own societal risks posed by tsunami threats. Conducting post-tsunami surveys and disseminating useful results to decision makers in an...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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We use 21 strong motion recordings from Nepal and India for the 25 April 2015 moment magnitude (MW) 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, earthquake together with the extensive macroseismic intensity data set presented by Martin et al. (Seism Res Lett 87:957–962, 2015) to analyse the distribution of ground motions at near-field and regional distances. We show that the data are consistent with the instrumental peak ground acceleration (PGA) versus macroseismic intensity relationship developed by Worden et al. (Bull Seism Soc Am 102:204–221, 2012), and use this relationship to estimate peak ground acceleration from intensities (PGAEMS). For nearest-fault distances (RRUP < 200 km), PGAEMS is consistent with the Atkinson and Boore (Bull...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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Determining the likelihood of a disaster is a key component of any comprehensive hazard assessment. This is particularly true for tsunamis, even though most tsunami hazard assessments have in the past relied on scenario or deterministic type models. We discuss probabilistic tsunami hazard analysis (PTHA) from the standpoint of integrating computational methods with empirical analysis of past tsunami runup. PTHA is derived from probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA), with the main difference being that PTHA must account for far-field sources. The computational methods rely on numerical tsunami propagation models rather than empirical attenuation relationships as in PSHA in determining ground motions. Because...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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Following wildfires, emergency-response and public-safety agencies can be faced with evacuation and resource-deployment decisions well in advance of coming winter storms and during storms themselves. Information critical to these decisions is provided for recently burned areas in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California. A compilation of information on the hydrologic response to winter storms from recently burned areas in southern California steeplands is used to develop a system for classifying magnitudes of hydrologic response. The four-class system describes combinations of reported volumes of individual debris flows, consequences of debris flows and floods in an urban setting, and spatial extents of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Natural Hazards
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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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