United States Geological Survey

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Cascades Volcano Observatory (Vancouver, Washington State, USA)

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. The agency is a part of the United States Department of the Interior.

The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines: biology, geography, geology, and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization. It has no power to regulate.

The USGS science focus is on seven "Mission Areas", (1) Climate and land use change, (2) Core science systems, (3) Ecosystems, (4) Energy and minerals, (5) Environmental health, (6) Natural hazards, and (7) Water.[1][2]

Administratively, it is divided into a Headquarters unit and six Regional Units.[3] Other specific programs include:

Earthquakes[change | change source]

The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide. Its National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) in Golden, Colorado detects the location and magnitude of global earthquakes. The USGS also runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the U.S. under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS). The USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, and the public, both domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes. It also maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research. It also conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards.

The USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online. The motto of the USGS is "Science for a changing world."[4]

Other websites[change | change source]

USGS official site
Major USGS sites: Water, Geology, Geography, Biology

References[change | change source]