U.S. Geological Survey

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As an unbiased, multi-disciplinary science organization that focuses on biology, geography, geology, geospatial information, and water, we are dedicated to the timely, relevant, and impartial study of the landscape, our natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten us.

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A tool for browsing USGS science programs and activities.

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Seismic reflection method
Geophysical technique to study the subsurface of the earth using sound waves induced by explosives, vibrating devices, or percussive equipment. The reflections of the sound waves from the boundaries of different rocks are measured.

Featured Topics

Photo of a deer in the brush Earth Science for the Health of It
Public health problems caused by environmental contamination and emerging infectious diseases are a growing concern worldwide. USGS can play a significant role in providing scientific knowledge and information that will improve understanding of the environmental contributions to disease and human health.  Learn More
Photo of a wave hitting the shore. USGS Studies Sandy Setbacks
Waves, water, and wind, such as those caused by hurricanes, increase already-dramatic erosion along the America’s coasts, threatening the Nation’s beaches. The USGS is conducting studies that document and analyze the processes that control sand transport and sedimentation patterns.  Learn More
Photo of a Gulf Sturgeon A Fish Tale of Gargantuan Proportions
Gulf sturgeon can grow to 8 feet long and weigh up to 200 pounds. With a long pointed nose and five rows of bony plates running down their back and sides, sturgeon look the part of a species that dates back to the age of dinosaurs. USGS studies of this remarkable fish help decisionmakers understand the population size, critical habitat, life history, and other factors needed to preserve the Gulf sturgeon.  Learn More

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Fact of the Day
A tsunami is a large wave caused by earthquakes; submarine landslides; and, infrequently, by eruptions of island volcanoes. During a major earthquake, an enormous amount of water can be set in motion as the seafloor moves up and down. The result is a series of potentially destructive waves that can move at more than 500 miles per hour.
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