Home Archived April 13, 2016

U.S. Geological Survey

Maps, Imagery, and Publications Hazards Newsroom Education Jobs Partnerships Library About USGS Social Media

USGS Newsroom

USGS Newsroom  

USGS Science at American Geophysical Union Conference, San Francisco, December 14-18, 2009
Released: 12/11/2009 2:34:45 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Leslie Gordon 1-click interview
Phone: 650-793-1534

Paul Laustsen 1-click interview
Phone: 650-454-7264

Citizen scientists contribute to earthquake monitoring

Press conference

Monday, 12/14, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m., Moscone West 3012

Two new projects take different approaches to involve interested individuals in collecting earthquake data. Come hear about the USGS Twitter Earthquake Detection project and about NetQuakes instruments in homes and businesses.

USGS Panelists: 

Paul Earle, Seismologist 

James Luetgert, Seismologist

New USGS Director Marcia McNutt meets the press

Press conference

Monday, 12/14, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., Moscone West 3012

USGS Director Marcia McNutt will outline exciting new directions for cutting-edge science at the 130-year old agency.

AGU Frontiers of Geophysics Lecture

The Tip of the Spear: Extreme USGS Science

Plenary session by USGS Director Marcia McNutt

Monday, 12/14, 6:15 -7:15 p.m., Moscone South  304-308

From astrogeology and Earth-observing satellites, to exploring for gas hydrates and the ecology of deep coral reefs, USGS scientists employ highly innovative techniques and perspectives to develop a more complete understanding of how our Earth works.

The 2009 Samoan tsunami: A field test in tsunami awareness

Press conference

Tuesday, 12/15, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Panelists will discuss improvements in tsunami forecasts and inundation models, how tsunamis behave in an island setting with fringing reef, the evolution of tsunami field surveys and the first attempt to describe the types of injuries caused by a tsunami.

USGS Panelists:

Guy Gelfenbaum, Oceanographer

Bruce Jaffe, Oceanographer

Tuesday. 12/15, 8:00 am - 12:20 pm

Planet Mercury: the view from MESSENGER

Kris J. Becker


New images of the planet Mercury give us a never-before-seen view of almost the whole planet. The new images, taken this year by the spacecraft MESSENGER, combined with those taken by the Mariner 10 mission more than 30 years ago, give us the highest resolution, clearest, and most accurate picture ever of the planet's surface. Come view the unveiling of this new global photo mosaic of Mercury.

Other sessions in chronological order

Monday, 12/14, 11:05 a.m., Moscone West 3011

Monitoring streams from space

David Bjerklie

H12A-04/Oral Presentation  

The author will discuss several ways to combine satellite measurements with ground measurements to expand river and flood monitoring.

Monday, 12/14, 1:55 p.m., Moscone West 3011

Famine early warning

James P. Verdin

H13F-02/Oral Presentation

USGS has employed satellite remote sensing since 1985 for early detection of agricultural drought in developing countries with potential for episodes of food insecurity. The global food crisis of 2008 has prompted expansion of remote monitoring and modeling to cover an additional 50 countries.

Monday, 12/14, 3:05 p.m., Moscone West 3001

Will rising sea levels inundate San Francisco Bay Area?

Noah Knowles

NH13B-05/Oral Presentation

Sea level rise is one of the primary impacts of projected global climate change. High-resolution elevation data were assembled for land surface areas and combined with a hydrodynamic model of the San Francisco Estuary to produce maps showing areas vulnerable to inundation from high-water levels with long-term sea level rise.

Tuesday, 12/15, 8:00 a.m., Moscone West 3022

Geologic hazard monitoring with real-time GPS

Michael Lisowski

G21A-01/Oral Presentation

USGS earthquake and volcano scientists are developing a real-time ground deformation monitoring system using data streamed from continuously recording GPS stations, and are currently using new methods to study information received from monitoring networks in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Long Valley Caldera, and several Cascades volcanoes.

Tuesday, 12/15, 8:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

Mineral supplies and political risks

Keith Long


Most metals and many non-metallic minerals are traded internationally, but concentration of global supplies at a single mine raises significant political risks. Loss of these supplies will have a significant impact on the cost and production of important national defense technologies and on alternative energy programs. Come hear a strategy for decision makers to consider when prioritizing risk reduction efforts.

Tuesday, 12/15, 8:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

20 Years of Mammoth Mountain magmatic gas emissions

Christopher Farrar


Mammoth Mountain volcano in eastern California has been considered dormant, but long-period earthquakes beneath the mountain, a seismic swarm in 1989, and persistent gas emissions since 1990, suggest that Mammoth Mountain is underlain by an active magmatic system and that potentially hazardous levels of CO2 emissions will likely persist for decades.

Tuesday, 12/15, 9:45 a.m., Moscone South 307

History of Martian surface changes observed by Mars Global Surveyor

Paul Geissler

P21C-08/Oral Presentation

A time-series of global mosaics shows in detail how the surface of Mars has changed over the decades, revealing a surprising range of behavior among variable features in different regions of the planet.

Tuesday, 12/15, 1:40-6:00 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

Wireless sensor networks expand the usefulness of existing data-collection infrastructure

Jeff Kennedy


A wireless sensor network, tied into USGS streamflow-gaging stations, can provide the means for developing a nationwide soil moisture network allowing improved runoff and flood forecasting, providing data for global circulation models, enabling more accurate drought monitoring, and is ideal for measuring soil moisture.

Tuesday, 12/15, 2:25 p.m., Moscone West 3005

Detecting explosive volcanic eruptions with the Worldwide Lightning Location Network

John Ewert

V23F-04/Oral Presentation

Scientists report on correlating lightning detected by the Worldwide Lightning Location Network with explosive eruptions worldwide to determine the eruption-detection capabilities of the network.

Tuesday, 12/15, 2:45 p.m., Moscone West 3001

U.S. Global Climate Change Impacts report, Alaska Region

Anthony D. McGuire

GC23B-07/Oral Presentation

Summers are getting hotter and drier with increasing evaporation outpacing increased precipitation. Climate changes are already affecting water, energy, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, and health, and are expected to grow under projected climate change conditions.

Tuesday, 12/15, 3:10 p.m., Moscone West 2009

Deciphering tectonic tremor beneath Parkfield

David Shelly

T23E-07/Oral Presentation

The systematic recurrence of tremor in seismic records following the 2004 Parkfield, California earthquake suggests great potential to study deformation on this portion of the deep San Andreas Fault, unveiling rich and complex patterns of tremor occurrence not previously observed in this area.

Tuesday, 12/15, 4:30 p.m., Moscone West 3009

Cleaning up crude-oil contamination of groundwater

Geoffrey Delin

H24A-03/Oral Presentation

Research at the Bemidji, MN crude-oil spill site is contributing to our knowledge of natural processes that degrade crude oil contaminants in the environment as well as providing information that could save millions of dollars in cleanup costs each year.

Wednesday, 12/16, 8:00 a.m. -12:20 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

Nitrate contamination in groundwater beneath California dairy farms

Megan Young


In California's Central Valley, nitrate contamination of drinking water wells can occur from several sources including septic discharge, fertilizers, and concentrated animal feeding operations. Dairies represent the majority of animal feeding operations and have been shown to be potential sources of nitrate, salinity, dissolved organic carbon, and pathogens. Studies of groundwater samples from San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Lake Basin dairies are discussed.

Wednesday, 12/16, 8:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

Locating the 2006 and 2009 North Korean nuclear tests

Alexander Hutko

S31C - 1736/Poster

North Korea's 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests were recorded by over 700 Hi-net seismic stations in Japan. Array processing techniques used to locate earthquakes are used to find precise relative locations of the two tests.

Wednesday, 12/16, 9:00 a.m., Moscone West 3003

Understanding US vulnerability to tsunamis

Nathan. J. Wood

OS31B-04/ Oral Presentation

Advances in understanding societal vulnerability in the U.S. to tsunamis since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, are presented, as well as opportunities and needs for further work.

Wednesday, 12/16, 9:35 a.m., Moscone West 3016

Greenhouse Gases in the Denver Urban Ecosystem

Dean Anderson

B31C-07/Oral Presentation

Measurements of biogenic greenhouse gases in Denver indicated a net emission to the atmosphere that highly varied with traffic, vigor of vegetation, and time of year. Hear more about how urban ecosystems will increasingly determine future trends of greenhouse gases and water use.

Thursday, 12/17, 8:00 a.m., Moscone West 2006

Remote Sensing of Drought

Jesslyn Brown

NH41D-01/Oral Presentation

Two new drought-monitoring tools are now available for decision-makers. The Vegetation Drought

Response Index and the Evaporative Stress Index are designed to supplement more traditional drought indicators.

Thursday, 12/17, 10:20 a.m., Moscone West 3016

Spring comes early, again -- An update

Michael Dettinger

B42B-01/Oral Presentation

A broad range of physical and biological indicators reflecting changes in the timing of the onset of spring have been noted since the 1950s, with a trend toward earlier springs in North America. These broad and interconnected changes provide evidence for significant vulnerabilities of the region to continued warming.

Thursday, 12/17, 1:40 – 6:00 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

Classifying northern Alaska’s coasts

Bruce Richmond


Scientists are using oblique photography and videography to document coastal erosion and other changes on the Arctic coast of Alaska. Come see how this information is being used to develop a modern coastal classification system, useful for identifying coastal features and land loss.

Thursday, 12/17, 1:40 - 6:00 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

Air quality effects of the 2008-2009 Halema'uma'u eruption on the island of Hawaii

Jeff Sutton


While the Halema'uma'u eruption has provided volcanologists with a rare opportunity to observe eruptive processes at Kilauea's summit, it has also caused significant environmental impact on the island of Hawaii, with SO2 emissions from the vent and the plume dispersal pattern affecting downwind communities. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designated Hawaii County as a primary natural disaster area due to agricultural losses from volcanic emissions.

Thursday, 12/17, 1:40 - 6:00 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

Tracking forest changes with satellites

Bruce Wylie


Boreal forest productivity varies from year to year because of different weather conditions. This analysis separates out the influence of year-to-year changes in weather to better understand the longer-term changes in ecosystem productivity caused by changing ecosystems and disturbances.

Thursday, 12/17, 1:40 - 6:00 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

Using web cams for biological monitoring

Pamela Nagler


Tamarisk is an introduced shrub/tree that is now widespread in western U.S. riparian corridors, and the salt cedar leaf beetle has been introduced to control its spread. Scientists are using visible-light and infrared web cameras to study the effectiveness of the beetles in reducing leaf cover and water use by tamarisk. Preliminary findings show success is limited.

Thursday, 12/17, 4:00 p.m., Moscone West 2006

Predicting landslides

Jonathan Godt

NH44A-01/Oral Presentation

A new framework to forecast the timing and location of shallow landslides that result from heavy rainfall has been developed and will be discussed in this session.

Friday, 12/18, 8:45 a.m., Moscone South 104

Simulation of groundwater/surface water interaction in the upper Klamath Basin

Marshall Gannett

H51M-04/Oral Presentation

A regional groundwater flow model of the entire upper Klamath Basin has been developed to evaluate the connection of groundwater and streams to assist with management strategies by providing insights into the effects of groundwater pumping.

Friday, 12/18, 10:35 a.m., Moscone West 3005

U.S.-Mexico border environmental health initiative

Miguel Villarreal

H52A-02/Oral Presentation

USGS scientists are identifying risks to water resources and the potential for impacts to riparian ecosystems and ultimately, human health in the Santa Cruz River Watershed. Modeling will be used to track and assess contaminants and their effects from sources to supply points in sediment, water, plants, and animals, and identify critical areas where implementing refined management practices could be most effective to abate pollution.

Friday, 12/18, 11:30 a.m., Moscone South 104

Effects of habitat restoration on endangered fish in the upper Klamath Basin

Scott VanderKooi

H52D-05/Oral Presentation

In an effort to recover two endangered fish species, the Lost River sucker and the shortnose sucker, several large-scale restoration projects have recently been undertaken in the Klamath Basin. Project objectives and preliminary results will be discussed.

Friday, 12/18, 1:40 p.m., Moscone West 2005

Isolating sources and signals of dynamic and static earthquake triggering

Tom Parsons

S53B-01/Oral Presentation

For thousands of years scientists have known that earthquakes cause other earthquakes, but they still don't know why. The two most promising causes, triggering by seismic waves and triggering by faulting and crustal distortion, predict the same signal and it's difficult to unravel them from one another. In this presentation the causes are isolated by comparing the triggering ability of nuclear explosions and earthquakes, and by studying relationships between earthquakes at global distance scales. It is presumed that near-source triggering is mostly caused by crustal distortion, and that Earth's largest earthquakes are not triggered by seismic waves at very long-distances from sources.  

Friday, 12/18, 1:40 – 6:00 p.m., Moscone South, Poster Hall

Helicopter electromagnetic surveys

Jared Abraham and Bruce Smith

H53B-0929/Poster and H53B-0930/Poster

Researchers used helicopter electromagnetic surveys to map selected areas of the Nebraska Panhandle and improve surface and groundwater models.

Friday, 12/18, 2:40 p.m., Moscone West 2005

Dynamic quake triggering -- near and far

David Hill

S53B-05/Oral Presentation

Seismic waves from strong, distant earthquakes are capable of triggering local, small earthquakes, volcanic unrest, as well as tectonic(non-volcanic) tremor beneath active sections of plate-boundary faults such as the San Andreas Fault or the Cascadia subduction zone. The phenomenon of dynamic triggering extends the "aftershock" zone of major earthquakes to global dimensions. A variety of processes likely account for this phenomenon and various models will be discussed in this session.

A PDF flyer containing the above information is available for downloading.  (PDF 796 KB)


USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.

Subscribe to USGS News Releases via our electronic mailing list or RSS feed.

**** www.usgs.gov ****

Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2365
Page Contact Information: Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: 12/14/2009 10:41:50 AM