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United States Geological Survey

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Logo of the United States Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography, geology, and water.

Founded on March 3, 1879, it is an unbiased, fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility. Since 1962, it has been involved in global, lunar and planetary exploration and mapping. Part of the United States Department of the Interior, it is the department's sole scientific agency. The USGS employs approximately 10,000 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, with major offices in Denver, Colorado, and Menlo Park, California.

The USGS is the primary civilian mapping agency in the United States, and is best known for its 1:24,000 scale, 7.5-minute quadrangle topographic maps.

The USGS operates the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado which detects the location and magnitude of earthquakes worldwide. The NEIC informs both appropriate authorities and the media, domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes.

The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time.

As of 2005, the agency is working to create a National Volcano Early Warning System by improving the instrumentation monitoring the 169 volcanoes in U.S. territory and by establishing methods for measuring the relative threats posed at each site.

Around 2004, by order of the US Department of Homeland Security, the USGS digitally airbrushed the US Capitol, the White House, and the residence of the Vice President (The US Naval Observatory) because of Security Concerns.

The motto of the USGS is "science for a changing world."

See also

External links

et:USGS pt:United States Geological Survey

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