USGS Earthquake Monitoring Updated

USGS Earthquakes in Google EarthEarthquakes are happening around the world all the time, we just can’t feel all of them. The US Geological Survey (USGS) is constantly monitoring the Earth with sensitive instruments and for some time now has offered ways of sharing their data on the web through their Earthquake Hazards Program. Last February I reported on their new Google Earth earthquake monitoring features. They have recently refined the interface and in addition to real-time seismic activity world-wide, they now show faultlines, tectonic plate boundaries, and convergence points for faults with colored lines on the Earth (there’s a key to the colors in the places folder). I’m travelling at the moment, so I don’t have a time to show a new screenshot, but check out the USGS Earthquake monitoring network link. This is a nice improvement to an already amazing tool to monitor geologic activity of the Earth. It is in my permanent places folder. Thanks to a GEB reader who I only know as “GE_fan” for letting me know about the update.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Thanks to you and GE_fan for letting us know. 🙂

  2. Traveler13 says:

    I used the USGS live update layer to look at the earthquake in China .
    I could not load the shockwave map for some reason. There was a large red X indicating failure to load the data.
    But my real issue is I donot know how to remove the imagery and info they overlay my google earth map with. It also does not seem to stop trying to load the data.

  3. Speculos says:

    To remove the USGS imagery from GoogleEarth: select “places” in left pannel, and unselect (or remove) the “USGS Real-time Earthquakes” item.

  4. Wouldn’t be nice if a EQ warning/tracking system existed like there is for hurricanes? It is only a matter of time before a major quake hits a populated area and more than structural damage will have to be worried about. More attention needs to be paid to finding the warnings the earth gives us before it decides to shake, rattle and roll. I’ve been following research by a company in northern CA called Quakefinder ( They may be onto something as their research into data gathered from sensors near the Alum Rock quake in Oct 2007 are very intriguing. I encourage all to check them out and see their theories and research into electromagnetic fields and earthquakes.

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