Earthquake Hazards Program

USGS Earthquake Hazard Map[5]
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The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program is part of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), established by Congress in 1977. They monitor and report earthquakes, assess earthquake impacts and hazards, and research the causes and effects of earthquake.[1]

The USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States 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.[2]

USGS’s Earthquake Notification Service (ENS) disseminates earthquake information through emails and cellphone messages in case of an earthquake. Notifications are sent out 5 minutes after an earthquake in the US and 30 minutes after an earthquake elsewhere. Information provided by ENS includes magnitude, date and time, location, depth, region, distances to major cities and location uncertainty.[3]

National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC)

The National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location and magnitude of global earthquakes and is part of the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The NEIC determines the location and size of all destructive earthquakes worldwide and disseminates this information to concerned national and international agencies, scientists, and the general public.

The NEIC also collects and provides to scientists and to the public an extensive seismic database that serves as a solid foundation for scientific research, principally through the operation of modern digital national and global seismograph networks and through cooperative international agreements. The NEIC is the U.S. national data center and archive for earthquake information.

Furthermore, the NEIC pursues an active research program to improve its ability to locate earthquakes and to understand the earthquake mechanism. These efforts are all aimed at mitigating the risks of earthquakes to mankind; and they are made possible by the fine international cooperation that has long characterized the science of seismology.

Using a combination of automated tools and human review, NEIC issues moment magnitude and location information as soon as possible after a quake. NEIC personnel are often sought out by the news media after a large earthquake as experts.[4]



  1. United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program – Website:
  2. Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) – Website:
  3. USGS’s Earthquake Notification Service (ENS) –
  4. National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) – Website:
  5. Image Source: [Accessed July 20, 2013]