Tag Archives: USGS

Wastewater and Oklahoma Earthquake

From Informed Infrastructure

Wastewater Disposal Likely Induced February 2016 Magnitude 5.1 Oklahoma Earthquake


Parul Dubey on October 25, 2016 – in Land Development, News, Wastewater, Water

 Distant wastewater disposal wells likely induced the third largest earthquake in recent Oklahoma record, the Feb. 13, 2016, magnitude 5.1 event roughly 32 kilometers northwest of Fairview, Oklahoma. These findings from the U.S. Geological Survey are available in the online edition of Geophysical Research Letters.

At the time, the Fairview earthquake was the largest event in the central and eastern United States since a 2011 magnitude 5.7 struck Prague, Oklahoma. The 5.1 magnitude event occurred southwest of a group of high-rate wastewater disposal wells greater than 12 kilometers away. In the region surrounding the Fairview earthquake sequence, the volume of fluid injected increased 7-fold over three years.

”The fact that seismicity is rather limited near the high-rate wells while the Fairview sequence occurred at a relatively larger distance from these wells, shows us the critical role preexisting, though possibly unknown, fault structures play in inducing large events,” said Dr. William Yeck, a USGS scientist and lead author of the study. “The rapid deployment of seismic stations by the USGS allowed us to precisely locate the aftershock sequence. High-quality data sets such as these are critical when trying to understand the shaking produced by these events and therefore are an important basis for earthquake hazard modeling.”

Earthquakes in this area primarily occur at depths of 6 to 9 kilometers, roughly 3.5 to 6.5 kilometers below the Arbuckle Group in which wastewater is typically injected.

On September 3, 2016, Oklahoma experienced the largest earthquake since 2011 when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurred near Pawnee, Oklahoma.

While the relationship between the Pawnee earthquake and wastewater injection is still under investigation, studies such as this further scientific understanding of the complex relationship between wastewater disposal and earthquakes.


USGS provides science for a changing world. Visit USGS.gov, and follow us on Twitter @USGS and our other social media channels.

USDA Plant Hardiness Map

From Geospatial eNews top 5 links:

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

For the first time, the map is available as an interactive GIS-based map, for which a broadband Internet connection is recommended, and as static images for those with slower Internet access. Users may also simply type in a ZIP Code and find the hardiness zone for that area.

No posters of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map have been printed. But state, regional, and national images of the map can be downloaded and printed in a variety of sizes and resolutions.



USGS: Volcano Hazards Program


30 Years of the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program

There are approximately 1,550 potentially active volcanoes around the world. 2016 marks the 30th year that the Volcano Disaster Assistance program (VDAP) has worked to reduce loss of life and property, limit economic impact and prevent volcanic crises from becoming disasters. The USGS and U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) established VDAP in 1986 in response to the tragic eruption of Nevado del Ruiz Volcano in Colombia, which killed more than 23,000 people from volcanic mudflows. Since then, VDAP scientific teams have deployed in response to 30 major crises, assisted counterparts with hundreds of additional volcanic events, and strengthened response capacity in 12 countries since the program began.

To recognize the milestone, the USGS is highlighting some of the major responses, showing how the program has helped save countless lives. Read the USGS Top Story to learn how VDAP works to support international scientists and agencies at the invitation of a host country.

USGS Mapathon – White House Mapathon Satellite Event – July 7, 2016

Date and Time: Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 1:00 – 5:00 pm EDT

Location: USGS The National Center, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be hosting its 1st USGS Mapathon in conjunction with the 2016 White House Mapathon at the USGS National Center in Reston, VA. This White House Mapathon Satellite Event is a call to all citizen mappers, cartographers, geonerds and data scientists to celebrate and actively participate in USGS open mapping projects. Help USGS map structures through The National Map Corps. Create geospatial visualizations of Critical Minerals. Check out our demos of USGS geospatial datasets, like the National Geologic Map Database, Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation, Landsat, and 3D Elevation.

To RSVP for the USGS Mapathon event in Reston, VA and receive more details, please send an email to Sophia B Liu (sophialiu@usgs.gov).

More details and the agenda can be found at: http://bit.ly/USGSMapathon

Use #USGSMapathon and #WHMapathon to spread the word and share your open mapping experience using USGS data!


A Software Tool for Rapid Flood Inundation Mapping


A software tool for rapid flood inundation mapping

Open-File Report 2016-1038

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)
James Verdin, Kristine Verdin, Melissa Mathis, Tamuka Magadzire, Eric Kabuchanga, Mark Woodbury, and Hussein Gadain
DOI: 10.3133/ofr20161038



The GIS Flood Tool (GFT) was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance to provide a means for production of reconnaissance-level flood inundation mapping for data-sparse and resource-limited areas of the world. The GFT has also attracted interest as a tool for rapid assessment flood inundation mapping for the Flood Inundation Mapping Program of the U.S. Geological Survey. The GFT can fill an important gap for communities that lack flood inundation mapping by providing a first-estimate of inundation zones, pending availability of resources to complete an engineering study. The tool can also help identify priority areas for application of scarce flood inundation mapping resources. The technical basis of the GFT is an application of the Manning equation for steady flow in an open channel, operating on specially processed digital elevation data. The GFT is implemented as a software extension in ArcGIS. Output maps from the GFT were validated at 11 sites with inundation maps produced previously by the Flood Inundation Mapping Program using standard one-dimensional hydraulic modeling techniques. In 80 percent of the cases, the GFT inundation patterns matched 75 percent or more of the one-dimensional hydraulic model inundation patterns. Lower rates of pattern agreement were seen at sites with low relief and subtle surface water divides. Although the GFT is simple to use, it should be applied with the oversight or review of a qualified hydraulic engineer who understands the simplifying assumptions of the approach.

Suggested Citation

Verdin, James; Verdin, Kristine; Mathis, Melissa; Magadzire, Tamuka; Kabuchanga, Eric; Woodbury, Mark; and Gadain, Hussein, 2016, A software tool for rapid flood inundation mapping: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1038, 26 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161038.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • GIS Flood Tool Concepts
  • Software Tools
  • Elevation Data
  • Software Validation
  • Applications of the GIS Flood Tool Software
  • Technical Considerations
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • References Cited

Ground Water Toolbox (USGS)

From the USGS:

The Groundwater Toolbox is a graphical and mapping interface for analysis of hydrologic data. The software is a customized interface built on the non-proprietary, open-source MapWindow geographic information system software in a Microsoft Windows computing environment. The Groundwater Toolbox allows for the retrieval of hydrologic time-series data (streamflow, groundwater levels, and precipitation) from the USGS National Water Information System; preprocessed meteorological data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center also are available with the Groundwater Toolbox.”  Get the toolbox or read more here.

National Map Corp Volunteers

From:  https://my.usgs.gov/confluence/display/nationalmapcorps/Home

The mapping crowd-sourcing program, known as The National Map Corps ( TNM Corps), encourages citizens to collect structures data by adding new features, removing obsolete points, and correcting existing data for The National Map database

If you have access to the Internet and are willing to dedicate some time editing map data we hope you will consider participating!  Volunteers can now contribute data for all 50 states! You do not need to live in available states to participate. Our editing guidelines explain how you can contribute data from anywhere.


You would be using our online map editor to edit USGS structures data by updating existing features, adding new features, and removing obsolete features. You can choose what types of structure features to edit (from our list of structures ) and edit in any of the available states shown above!


1)      Read through the editing guidelines to learn more about the project and how to contribute.

2)      Create an account to access the online map editor .

3)     Follow the directions on how to edit and add points to get started.

The National Map



The USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP) sponsored various forms of volunteer map data collection projects over the past two decades. Citizen cartographers revised many maps during this period, but the program was suspended in 2008.

New technologies and Internet services have made it easy to georeference many different types of information and share this information with others on map-based Internet platforms and social networking sites in recent years.

This activity has been referred to as crowdsourcing, and the information produced has been called volunteered geographic information (VGI).

In light of this rapidly changing technical landscape, the increasing use of social software for citizen mapping, and the mandates for more transparency and citizen involvement in government, the USGS has revitalized its volunteer program.

As a result, the USGS has launched a pilot project to once again encourage citizen participation.

Continue reading The National Map


Public Lecture Series – Science In Action

Free and Open to the Public

Dallas L. Peck Memorial Auditorium, Reston, VA

Wednesday – February 1, 2012   7:00 PM

Title:  The View from Space: Landsat’s Role in Tracking Forty Years of Global Changes

By:  Dr. Thomas R. Loveland

For nearly 40 years, Landsat and other Earth observing satellites have been silently orbiting the globe collecting high quality images that document the condition of our changing planet. These remote sensing images provide an unprecedented long-term, impartial view of the Earth’s cities and natural resources. Join us on February 1 to view the Earth from space, and discuss the profound impact Landsat has on many facets of our economy, safety, and environment.

Please join us.

For more information on our USGS Public Lecture Series:  Science in Action please visit our website:  www.usgs.gov/public_lecture_series/

NOVA/USGS Physical Science Technician Program

Curriculum Reqts Phys Sci Tech USGS

The NOVA/USGS Physical Science Technician Program is new and in the formative stages.  The USGS is looking for well trained candidates to serve in Internship positions during the summer months.  These are paid internships with the possibility of placement this coming summer.  We have established curriculum requirements (link above) for the intern candidates.  This program will ultimately lead to a new Associates of Applied Science degree at NOVA (in work).  Ultimately the USGS is looking for candidates to fill these internships as well as qualified individuals that may be interested in employment at the USGS.  We are planning a “career fair” with the USGS in January (date, location forthcoming) where you will learn much more about the new program and opportunities at the USGS.