Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Geological forces below the surface of the Earth have created some of our most inspiring landscapes—the Cascade Range, the Himalayas, Yellowstone, the Hawaiian Islands, the Galapagos Islands, and many more—but these same forces often also threaten our way of life and devastate communities.
NASA Earth observations help geologists and decision makers understand the movement of the Earth, monitor risk and vulnerability of populations, and
Discover Earthquake and Volcano Data
Socioeconomic Impacts from Hazards
Socioeconomic data help assess the exposure and vulnerability of a community to a disaster. Exposure is the presence of people, ecosystems, and infrastructure in places that could be adversely affected by a disaster. Vulnerability is the propensity to be adversely affected by a disaster.
- Discover Earthquake-related Data in Earthdata Search
- Earthquake Data at NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)
- Hazards Mapper at SEDAC
- Discover Volcano-related Data in Earthdata Search
- Visualize Volcano Hazard Data in NASA Worldview
- Volcano Hazard Data at SEDAC
- Discover Population Data in Earthdata Search
- Visualize Population Data in NASA Worldview
- Estimate Population in User-Defined Area
- Population Data at SEDAC
- POPGRID Mapping Tool
- Hazards and Population Mapper App at SEDAC
- Gridded Population and Settlement Data: An An Introduction to the POPGRID Data
- GNSS Radio Occultation Science and Applications
- Mapping Global Urbanization from Landsat Data and High-Resolution Reference Data
The dispersal of aerosols such as sulfur dioxide preceding and during a volcanic event can have not only an immediate but also a long-term effect on the atmosphere. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) can create pollutants that aggravate respiratory conditions in humans. Depending on the scale of the event, It can also change global temperatures for a period of time.
- Discover SO2 Data at Earthdata Search
- Visualize SO2 Data in NASA Worldview
- SO2 Data at NASA's Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC)
- SO2 Data in Giovanni
- SO2 Data at NASA's Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) [search for SO2]
assess impacts when an event does happen. This toolkit is designed to support research into earthquake and volcano-related disasters by providing easy access to relevant data and other resources.
There are several ways to measure movement of the ground due to an earthquake. The Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is a network of satellites providing positioning and timing to ground receivers, which provide a fairly precise measure of any movement. Additionally, Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) combines images from two different dates, one before the event and one after the event, to assess the amount of deformation from ground movement, whether from a fault rupture or a volcanic bulge, collapse, or lava flow.
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)
- Discover GNSS Data in Earthdata Search
- GNSS Data at NASA's Crustal Dynamics Data Information System (CDDIS)
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
- Discover SAR Data with Earthdata Search
- SAR Data at NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility DAAC (ASF DAAC)
- Sentinel-1 InSAR Data at ASF DAAC
- Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle SAR (UAVSAR) InSAR Data at ASF DAAC
- UAVSAR KMZ Files at ASF DAAC
Many different types of NASA Earth observations can be used to provide disaster management personnel and first responders with relevant up-to-date data, often near real-time, to help in the management of recovery efforts.
Land Surface Reflectance
- Discover Land Surface Reflectance Data in Earthdata Search
- Visualize Land Surface Reflectance in NASA Worldview
- Surface Reflectance Data at NASA's Land Processes DAAC (LP DAAC)
Land Surface Temperature
Active Fires and Thermal Anomalies
- Discover Active Fire and Thermal Anomalies in Earthdata Search
- Visualize Active Fire and Thermal Anomalies in NASA Worldview
- Visualize Active Fire and Thermal Anomalies in the Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS)
- Active Fire and Thermal Anomalies at LP DAAC
Power Outages using Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band
- Discover VIIRS Day/Night Band in Earthdata Search
- Visualize VIIRS Nighttime imagery in NASA Worldview
- Black Marble at NASA's Level-1 and Atmosphere Archive and Distribution System DAAC (LAADS DAAC)
- Black Marble Imagery in NASA Worldview
- Getting Started with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Thermal Anomalies and Fire Data: All About Accessing Data
- Getting Started with MODIS Thermal Anomalies and Fire Data: Interpreting Quality Information
- Getting Started with MODIS Thermal Anomalies and Fire Data: Using the Data
- Learn about Satellite Detections of Fire in Worldview
- Tutorials/Recipes for LP DAAC Data
- Data Prep Scripts in R and Python at LP DAAC
- Monitoring Volcanoes Using ASTER Satellite Imagery
- 18 Years of Volcanic Eruptions: Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
About the Data
NASA provides data from a variety of sources including satellites, airborne campaigns, field campaigns, in situ instruments and model outputs. NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) offers a wide variety of freely and openly available data that can be used to evaluate disaster-related events.
Dr. Piyush Agram develops new techniques for using and interpreting SAR and Interferometric SAR (InSAR) imagery.
Brian Conway uses SAR data to monitor land subsidence and the impacts of this on Arizona's water resources.
Dr. Kristine Larsen researches plate tectonics and geodesy, with work developing new ways of using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to study Earth and the water cycle.
Dr. Rowena Lohman studies earthquake physics, satellite remote sensing, finite element modeling, ground displacements from a variety of anthropogenic and natural causes.
Dr. Mike Ramsey uses Earth science data to developing new ways to study active volcanoes and to provide data to support emergency response.
Dr. Paul Siqueira works to improve SAR and other microwave sensors along with the Earth observing data they collect.
Dr. Franz Meyer, Chief Scientist, Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF), talks about Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Read about how researchers are using NASA satellite, field campaign, and model data to study natural disasters, the impacts of these disasters, and ways to mitigate risk and exposure.
SAR Data from SARViews
Earthquake-related Data from GeoGateway
NASA Applied Sciences Earthquakes
Volcano Data from the ASTER Volcano Archive
Volcano Data in Action from LP DAAC
Volcanological Applications of ECOSTRESS Data
Volcano Data Stories at GES DISC
NASA Applied Sciences Volcanoes
Updated January 11, 2021
Page Last Updated: Mar 11, 2021 at 10:17 PM EST