Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Number of results: 62
- Open-File Report 2010-1037: Turbidity on the Shallow Reef off Kaulana and Hakioawa Watersheds, North Coast of Kaho‘olawe, Hawai‘i
Measurements of Turbidity and Ancillary Data on Winds, Waves, Precipitation, and Stream flow Discharge, November 2005 to June 2008 The island of Kaho‘olawe has particular cultural and religious significance for native Hawaiians. Once known as Kanaloa, the island was a center for native Hawaiian navigation. In the mid-20th century, the island was used as a bombing range by the U.S. Navy, and that practice, along with the foraging by feral goats, led to a near-complete decimation of vegetation. The loss of ground cover led to greatly increased erosion and run-off of sediment-laden water onto the island’s adjacent coral reefs. Litigation in 1990 ended the U.S. Navy’s use of the island as a bombing range, and in 1994 the island was transferred to the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC), http://kahoolawe.hawaii.gov/. As a result of the litigation, the U.S. Navy began a 10-year clean-up effort that was the foundation for the present restoration effort by KIRC (Slay, 2009). The restoration effort is centered on revegetating the island, reducing erosion, and limiting run-off onto adjacent reefs. Restoration efforts to mitigate sediment runoff to streams and gulches by restoring native vegetation and minimizing erosion have focused on two watersheds, Kaulana and Hakioawa, on the northeast and northwest sides of the island, respectively. Stream flow and sediment gages were installed by the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Islands Water Science Center in each of the watersheds, and a weather station was established upland of the watersheds. For this study, turbidity monitors were installed on the insular shelf off the two watersheds to monitor the overall quality of reef waters and their changes in response to rain and stream flow discharge events.
- Digital Data Series 55: Sea-Floor Images and Data from Multibeam Surveys in San Francisco Bay, Southern California, Hawaii, the Gulf of Mexico, and Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada
Accurate base maps are a prerequisite for any geological study, regardless of the objectives. Land-based studies commonly utilize aerial photographs, USGS 7.5-minute quadrangle maps, and satellite images as base maps. Until now, studies that involve the ocean floor have been at a disadvantage due to an almost complete lack of accurate marine base maps. Many base maps of the sea floor have been constructed over the past century but with a wide range in navigational and depth accuracies. Only in the past few years has marine surveying technology advanced far enough to produce navigational accuracy of 1 meter and depth resolutions of 50 centimeters. The Pacific Seafloor Mapping Project, U.S. Geological Survey, Western Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Menlo Park, California, U.S.A. in cooperation with the Ocean Mapping Group, University of New Brunswick, Canada is using this new technology to systematically map the ocean floor and lakes. This type of marine surveying, called Multibeam surveying, collects high-resolution bathymetry and backscatter data that can be used for a variety of basemaps, GIS coverages, and scientific visualization methods. This is an interactive CD-ROM that contains images, movies, and data of all the surveys the Pacific Seafloor Mapping Project has completed up to January 1999. Images and movies on this CD-ROM, such as shaded relief of the bathymetry, backscatter, oblique views, 3-D views, and Quicktime movies (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Lake Tahoe) help the viewer to visualize the multibeam data. This CD-ROM also contains ARC/INFO export (.e00) files and full resolution TIFF images of all the survey sites that can be downloaded and used in many GIS software.
- USGS Scientists in Samoa and American Samoa Studying Impacts of Recent Tsunami, October-November 2009
On September 29, 2009, a magnitude-8.0 submarine earthquake occurred at 6:48a.m. Samoa Standard Time approximately 190 km (120 mi) south of Samoa and triggered a tsunami that caused more than 100 deaths and widespread damage in Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga. Observers reported four tsunami waves that ranged from approximately 1.5 to 6 m high and reached as far as 1.5 km inland. A rapid-response team of USGS scientists is traveling to American Samoa to collect data that will be quickly degraded or destroyed by recovery activity and natural processes. USGS Western Coastal and Marine Geology (WCMG) oceanographer Bruce Jaffe arrived in Pago Pago, on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa, on October 4 and was joined later in the week by fellow WCMG scientists Bruce Richmond, Mark Buckley, Guy Gelfenbaum, Steve Watt, and Alex Apotsos. Oceanographer Walter Dudley of the University of Hawai‘i, Hilo, will work with the USGS team. The team will collect time-sensitive data to help them determine the height of tsunami waves at various sites and the distances the waves traveled inland. They will study the transport of sediment and other debris, look for and measure evidence of subsidence and uplift caused by the earthquake, document erosion caused by the tsunami waves, and make other observations critical to the better understanding of tsunami impacts and processes.
- USGS Coral Reef Studies
Coral Reef Studies conducted in Hawaii, Florida and California.
- National Seafloor Mapping and Characterization
Images of the sea floor off the coasts of California, Hawaii, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, and Washington; images of lake floor of Lake Michigan, Crater Lake, Lake Tahoe. Backscatter and swath bathymetry, regular and in 3-D view.
- Open-File Report 2008-1191: Geologic Resource Evaluation of Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Hawai‘i; Geology and Coastal Landforms
Geologic resource inventories of lands managed by the National Park Service (NPS) are important products for the parks and are designed to provide scientific information to better manage park resources. Park-specific geologic reports are used to identify geologic features and processes that are relevant to park ecosystems, evaluate the impact of human activities on geologic features and processes, identify geologic research and monitoring needs, and enhance opportunities for education and interpretation. These geologic reports are planned to provide a brief geologic history of the park and address specific geologic issues that link the park geology and the resource manager...
- Open-File Report 2008-1192: Geologic Resource Evaluation of Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Hawai‘i; Part I, Geology and Coastal Landforms
Geologic resource inventories of lands managed by the National Park Service (NPS) are important products for the parks and are designed to provide scientific information to better manage park resources. Park-specific geologic reports are used to identify geologic features and processes that are relevant to park ecosystems, evaluate the impact of human activities on geologic features and processes, identify geologic research and monitoring needs, and enhance opportunities for education and interpretation. These geologic reports are planned to provide a brief geologic history of the park and address specific geologic issues forming a link between the park geology and the resource manager...
- Open-File Report 2008-1190: Geologic Resource Evaluation of Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Hawai‘i; Part I, Geology and Coastal Landforms
Geologic resource inventories of lands managed by the National Park Service (NPS) are important products for the parks and are designed to provide scientific information to better manage park resources. Park-specific geologic reports are used to identify geologic features and processes that are relevant to park ecosystems, evaluate the impact of human activities on geologic features and processes, identify geologic research and monitoring needs, and enhance opportunities for education and interpretation. These geologic reports are planned to provide a brief geologic history of the park and address specific geologic issues forming a link between the park geology and the resource manager. The Kona coast National Parks of the Island of Hawai‘i are intended to preserve the natural beauty of the Kona coast and protect significant ancient structures and artifacts of the native Hawaiians. Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site (PUHE), Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park (KAHO), and Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park (PUHO) are three Kona parks studied by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Team in cooperation with the National Park Service. This report is one of six related reports designed to provide geologic and benthic-habitat information for the three Kona parks. Each geology and coastal-landform report describes the regional geologic setting of the Hawaiian Islands, gives a general description of the geology of the Kona coast, and presents the geologic setting and issues for one of the parks. The related benthic-habitat mapping reports discuss the marine data and habitat classification scheme, and present results of the mapping program.
- Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5101: The Coral Reef of South Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i—Portrait of a Sediment-Threatened Fringing Reef
In this landmark volume, U.S. Geological Survey researchers and their colleagues have developed and applied a remarkably integrated approach to the reefs of Moloka‘i, combining geology, oceanography, and biology to provide an in-depth understanding of the processes that have made these reefs grow and that now limit them. They have joined old fashioned natural history of marine animals and plants with study of the geological evolution of the island, hydrology, meteorology, and land-use history, to an arsenal of new methods of remote sensing, including aerial photography, laser ranging, infrared thermal mapping, seismic reflection, in-situ instrumentation to measure chemical parameters of water quality, and direct measurements of the physical driving forces affecting them—such as wave energy, currents, sedimentation, and sediment transport. They provide a level of documentation and insight that has never been available for any reef before.
- Open-File Report 02-158: Moloka‘i Fieldtrip Guidebook: Selected Aspects of the Geology, Geography, and Coral Reefs of Moloka‘i
This guidebook was compiled with the express purpose of describing the general geology of Moloka‘i and those locations with significance to the U.S. Geological Survey's study of Moloka‘i's coral reef, a part of the U.S. Department of Interior's "Protecting the Nation's Reefs" program. The first portion of the guidebook describes the island and gives the historical background. Fieldtrip stop locations are listed in a logical driving order, essentially from west to east. This order may be changed, or stops deleted, depending on time and scheduling of an individual fieldtrip.
- Open-File Report 2008-1295: Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, Part IV, Measurements of Waves, Currents, Temperature, Salinity, and Turbidity, June-September 2006
High-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made in Hanalei Bay, northern Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, during the summer of 2006 to better understand coastal circulation, sediment dynamics, and the potential impact of a river flood in a coral reef-lined embayment during quiescent summer conditions. A series of bottommounted instrument packages were deployed in water depths of 10 m or less to collect long-term, high-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity, and turbidity. These data were supplemented with a series of profiles through the water column to characterize the vertical and spatial variability in water column properties within the bay. These measurements support the ongoing process studies being conducted as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program’s Pacific Coral Reef Project; the ultimate goal is to better understand the transport mechanisms of sediment, larvae, pollutants, and other particles in coral reef settings. Information regarding the USGS study conducted in Hanalei Bay during the 2005 summer is available in Storlazzi and others (2006), Draut and others (2006) and Carr and others (2006). This report, the last part in a series, describes data acquisition, processing, and analysis for the 2006 summer data set.
- Open-File Report 2007-1219: Science and Management in the Hanalei Watershed, A Trans-Disciplinary Approach
The results of recent studies in the Hanalei watershed are impressive, both in content and breadth. Funded, directed, and/or conducted by investigators from many disciplines from local organizations (the Hanalei Watershed Hui), the University of Hawai‘i, the State of Hawai‘i (Department of Health, Department of Land and Natural Resources), and Federal organizations (U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency), their sum total have contributed markedly to our understanding of processes in the watershed. There has been an overwhelming amount of information that has been collected in the Hanalei Bay Watershed from Mt. Waialeale to the far reefs in just the past 5 years. This workshop was initiated to document our collective understanding, better integrate our results, and identify the salient issues that remain to be studied.
- Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5128: Submarine ground-water discharge and fate along the coast of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Island of Hawai'i--Part 2
Submarine ground-water discharge and fate along the coast of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Island of Hawai'i--Part 2, Spatial and temporal variations in salinity, radium-isotope activity, and nutrient concentrations in coastal waters, December 2003-April 2006
- Open-File Report 2004-1447: A Preliminary Assessment of Geologic Framework and Sediment Thickness Studies Relevant to Prospective US Submission on Extended Continental Shelf
A compilation of marine seismic reflection and refraction profile data and derivative sediment thickness studies in the United States 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone and beyond that would be relevant to a submission for extended continental shelf under the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS Article 76).
- Open-File Report 2008-1215: Winds, Waves, Tides, and the Resulting Flow Patterns and Fluxes of Water, Sediment, and Coral Larvae off West Maui, Hawaii
A series of recent studies has focused on the flow patterns and particle fluxes along the coast of West Maui, Hawaii, USA, from Honolua south to Puumana. From those studies a relatively good understanding has emerged of the physical processes that influence the relative amount of suspended sediment in nearshore waters and the circulation patterns that transport sediment and coral larvae along the coast and between islands. This report is a synthesis of our existing knowledge on the nature of flow and transport off West Maui.
- USGS Open-File Report 2007-1310: Submarine Ground Water Discharge and Fate Along the Coast of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Hawai'i; Part I; Time-Series Measurements of Currents, Waves, Salinity and Temperature: November, 2005-July, 2007
The impending development for the west Hawai‘i coastline adjacent to Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park (KAHO) may potentially alter coastal hydrology and water quality in the marine waters of the park. Water resources are perhaps the most significant natural and cultural resource component in the park, and are critical to the health and well being of six federally listed species. KAHO contains ecosystems of brackish anchialine pools, two 11-acre fishponds, and 596 acres of coral reef habitats, all fed by groundwater originating upslope. The steep gradients on high islands, combined with typically porous substrates and high rainfall levels at upper elevations, make these settings especially vulnerable to shifts in submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and its entrained nutrients and pollutants. Little is known about the magnitude, rate, frequency, and variability of SGD and its influence on contaminant loading to Hawaiian coastal environments. Recent studies show that groundwater flux through the park is vital to many ecosystem components including anchialine ponds and wetland biota. The function of these ecosystems may be vulnerable to changes in groundwater flow stemming from natural changes (climate and sea level) and land use (groundwater pumping and contamination). Oki and others (1999) showed that increased groundwater withdrawals for urban development since 1978 likely decreased groundwater flux to the coast by 50%. During this same time, the quality of groundwater has been vulnerable to increases in contaminant and nutrient/fertilizer additions associated with industrial, commercial and residential use upslope from KAHO (Oki and others, 1999). High-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature and salinity were collected in the marine portion of the park from November, 2005, through July, 2006, to establish baseline information on the magnitude, rate, frequency, and variability of SGD. These data are intended to help researchers and resource managers better understand the hydrodynamics of the oceanographic environment in the park’s coastal waters as it pertains to the pathway of SGD and associated nutrient and contaminant input to the park’s coral reef ecosystem. Measurements were made of the oceanographic environment (waves, tides, currents, salinity and temperature) using hydrodynamic techniques to characterize and quantify the distribution, input and throughput of freshwater and associated nutrient/contaminant within the near shore environment of KAHO through the emplacement of a series of bottom-mounted instruments deployed in water depths less than 15 m. This study was conducted in support of the National Park Service (NPS) by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program’s Coral Reef Project. These measurements support the ongoing studies of the Coral Reef Project to better understand the transport mechanisms of sediment, larvae, nutrients, pollutants and other particles on Pacific coral reefs. Subsequent reports will address the spatial and temporal variability in groundwater input and the associated nutrient flux in the park’s waters
- USGS Coastal Change Hazards
USGS Coastal Change Hazards - Focuses on hurricanes, tsunamis, sea-level rise, shoreline erosion, wetland destruction, and other issues relevant to coastal zone management and disaster preparedness.
- Coastal and Marine Knowledge Bank
An initiative to develop and present a national-scale, interdisciplinary scientific framework for marine environments, the coastal zone, and coastal watersheds
- U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-1248, Coastal Vulnerability Assessment of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park to Sea-Level Rise, Title Page
A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in Hawaii. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, historical shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean significant wave height. The rankings for each input variable were combined, and an index value calculated for 500-meter grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park consists of carbonate sand beaches, coral rubble, rocky shoreline, and mangrove wetland areas. The areas within Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park that are likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise based on this analysis are areas of unconsolidated sediment and highest wave energy.
- Data Series 289: Sedimentary Properties of Shallow Marine Cores Collected in June and September 2006, Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, Hawai'i
Sedimentary facies, short-lived isotopes [...], and magnetic properties of sediment cores in Hanalei Bay, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, were used to assess sediment sources and patterns of deposition associated with seasonal flooding of the Hanalei River. Sediment cores were collected from the seafloor in June and September of 2006 to supplement similar data collected during the summer of 2005.
- El Niño Home Page
El Niño information with links to a broad range of topics such as Floods, Landslides, Coastal Hazards, Climate, News Releases.
- National Assessment of Shoreline Change Project
Beach erosion is a chronic problem along most open-ocean shores of the United States. As coastal populations continue to grow, and community infrastructures are threatened by erosion, there is increased demand for accurate information regarding past and present shoreline changes. There is also need for a comprehensive analysis of shoreline movement that is regionally consistent. To meet these national needs, the Coastal and Marine Geology Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting an analysis of historical shoreline changes along open-ocean sandy shores of the conterminous United States and parts of Alaska and Hawaii. A primary goal of this work is to develop standardized methods for mapping and analyzing shoreline movement so that internally consistent updates can periodically be made to record shoreline erosion and accretion.
- National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards
The National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards is a multi-year undertaking to identify and quantify the vulnerability of U.S. shorelines to coastal change hazards such as the effects of severe storms, sea-level rise, and shoreline erosion and retreat. It will continue to improve our understanding of processes that control these hazards, and will allow researchers to determine the probability of coastal change locally, regionally, and nationally. The Assessment will deliver these data and assessment findings about coastal vulnerability to coastal managers, other researchers, and the general public.
- Open-File Report 2005-1070: Moloka'i Benthic Habitat Mapping
In order to provide evidence of change in any ecosystem, one must first have a starting point, or "baseline" inventory of resources. Thematic maps providing this baseline inventory are an important tool in assessing change in coral reef ecosystems, allowing scientists to spatially document the location of corals, percentage of coral cover, and relative overall health of the system. In the last decade, scientists and managers have recognized the lack of thematic maps for coral reefs worldwide. In 1998, the President of the U.S. issued Executive Order 13089 establishing the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (CRTF). Comprised of several Federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the primary duty of the CRTF is mapping and monitoring of coral reefs in the U.S. and U.S. Trust Territories. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2005-1070 Version 1.0 Moloka'i Benthic Habitat Mapping By Susan A. Cochran-Marquez USGS Pacific Science Center Santa Cruz, CA Introduction In order to provide evidence of change in any ecosystem, one must first have a starting point, or "baseline" inventory of resources. Thematic maps providing this baseline inventory are an important tool in assessing change in coral reef ecosystems, allowing scientists to spatially document the location of corals, percentage of coral cover, and relative overall health of the system. In the last decade, scientists and managers have recognized the lack of thematic maps for coral reefs worldwide. In 1998, the President of the U.S. issued Executive Order 13089 establishing the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (CRTF). Comprised of several Federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the primary duty of the CRTF is mapping and monitoring of coral reefs in the U.S. and U.S. Trust Territories. Moloka'i is one of the main eight Hawaiian Islands (Figure 1). The south shore of Moloka'i is home to the most continuous fringing coral reef in U.S. waters...
- Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5254: Geologic Resource Evaluation of Pu‘ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Hawai‘i
In cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has mapped the underwater environment in and adjacent to three parks along the Kona coast on the island of Hawai‘i. This report is the second of two produced for the NPS on the geologic resource evaluation of Pu‘ukohola Heiau National Historic Site (PUHE) and presents benthic habitat mapping of the waters of Kawaihae Bay offshore of PUHE. See Part I (Richmond and others, 2006) for an overview of the regional geology, local volcanics, and a detailed description of coastal landforms in the park.
- Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5258: Geologic Resource Evaluation of Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, Hawai'i, Part II
In cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has mapped the underwater environment in and adjacent to three parks along the Kona coast on the island of Hawai‘i. This report is the second of two produced for the NPS on the geologic resource evaluation of of Pu‘uhonua O H?naunau National Historical Park (PUHO) and presents the results of benthic habitat mapping of the offshore waters for PUHO. See Part I (Richmond and others, 2006) for an overview of the regional geology, local volcanics, and a detailed description of coastal landforms in the park.
- Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5256: Benthic Habitats and Offshore Geological Resources of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Hawai'i
Kaloko-Honok?hau National Historical Park (KAHO) is one of three National Park lands located along the western coast of the Island of Hawai‘i and the only one to include submerged lands and marine resources within its official boundaries. The park was established in 1978 and is 1,160 acres in size, including 596 acres of marine area. The submerged lands are currently managed by the State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR-DAR). Marine resources located within KAHO include coral reef and habitat for many marine animals, including the green sea turtle and a variety of fish and invertebrates. In addition, many archeological, cultural, and recreational resources are located within the marine realm of the park. Potential threats and stressors to the modern marine environment include ground-water and surface-water contamination, invasive plants and algae, fishing pressure and use of monofilament gill nets (which can ensnare marine life or become tangled on reefs and be left behind as fishing debris), and visitor use impacts, such as scuba diving and snorkeling. Illegal dumping, oil releases, boat groundings, and other physical damage to reef resources are potential threats from users of the nearby harbor. Special issues of concern for the park include establishing baseline conditions of the offshore resources before the development of adjacent coastal lands. Until this study, only a general knowledge of the distribution of benthic habitats and the characteristics of the offshore region of Kaloko-Honok?hau National Historical Park was available. In 2003, a collaborative project between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program and the National Park Service (NPS) was initiated to develop detailed benthic-habitat classification maps for the marine lands within and adjacent to the park. The intent of this project is to provide baseline maps and a Geographic Information System (GIS) database and description of the biological and geological resources of these marine lands in order to facilitate the management, interpretation, and understanding of park resources. A benthic-habitat classification map was created for the park using existing color aerial photography, Scanning Hydrographic Operational Airborne Lidar Survey (SHOALS) bathymetric data, georeferenced underwater video, and still photography. Individual habitat polygons were classified using five basic attributes: (1) major structure or substrate, (2) dominant structure, (3) major biologic cover on the substrate, (4) percentage of major biological cover, and (5) geographic zone. Additional information regarding geology, morphology, and coral species were also noted.
- Open-File Report 2004-1101: Catalog of research activity numbers and associated Publication Numbers, OF2004-1102 thru 1188 - USGS WCMG
Home page for DVD-Video disc set of seafloor transects during USGS research cruises in the Pacific Ocean
- USGS Open-File Report 2005-1027, An Operational Mean High Water Datum for Determination of Shoreline Position from Topographic Lidar Data, Title Page
.The National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards Project of the U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology Program, is using lidar mapping technology to determine shoreline position for the Nation's open ocean coasts with sandy beaches. The lidar mapping provides elevations relative to the NAVD88 fixed vertical datum. The shorelines determined from lidar-derived beach profiles are defined as an operational Mean High Water (MHW) contour, and therefore the elevation of the MHW tidal datum must be known relative to NAVD 88. The elevation of the MHW tidal datum varies relative to NAVD 88 along the coast as a function of the local tide range and mean tide level. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tide station data were studied and compiled to tabulate MHW, Mean Higher High Water, and Mean Tide Level elevations along the East, West, and Gulf Coasts. In all, 136 tide stations were chosen: 93 along the East Coast, 19 along the West Coast, and 24 along the Gulf Coast. Although open coast tide stations were preferable for determining MHW, some stations that were not fully on the open coast were used to fill gaps where few or no open coast stations were available. The East, Gulf, and West coastlines were divided into "MHW Zones". These zones are sections of coast to which one MHW elevation is assigned. This operational MHW elevation, which is the average of MHW from all tide stations in the zone, is the elevation used for all lidar shorelines derived within that zone. Twenty-seven zones were created in all: twenty on the East Coast, three on the Gulf Coast, and four on the West Coast.
- USGS Coastal and Marine Geology - usSEABED
usSEABED provides data on sediment and rock distributions in the waters off the United States.
- Open-File Report 2006-1125: Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, Hawaii, Part II, Tracking Recent Fluvial Sedimentation; Isotope Stratigraphy Obtained in Summer 2005
Delivery and dispersal of fluvial sediment in Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Hawaii, have important implications for the health of local coral reefs. The reef community in Hanalei Bay represents a relatively healthy ecosystem. However, the reefs are periodically stressed by storm waves, and increases in sediment and dissolved substances from the Hanalei River have the potential to cause additional stress. Increased turbidity and sedimentation on corals during Hanalei River floods that occur in seasons of low wave energy, when sediment would not be readily remobilized and advected out of the bay, could affect the health and sustainability of coral reefs and the many associated species.
- Open-File Report 2006-1085: Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, Part I, Measurements of waves, currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity; June - August, 2005
High-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made in Hanalei Bay, northern Kaua’i, Hawaii, during the summer of 2005 to better understand coastal circulation and sediment dynamics in coral reef habitats.
- Open-File Report 2006-1147: Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, Hawaii, Part III, Studies of Sediment Toxicity
In this study purple-spined sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata) fertilization and embryological development porewater toxicity tests were used to evaluate the sediments collected from the coastal environment around Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Hawaii. These tests have been used previously to assess the bioavailability of contaminants associated with sediments in the vicinity of coral reefs.
- Research Projects - National Seafloor Mapping and Benthic Habitat Studies: Pacific
Geophysical characterization of the coastal sea floor to identify benthic fish and shellfish habitat. Areas include Glacier Bay, Alaska and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, National Park, and Southern California State Fish Preserves.
- Open-File Report 2005-1069: Coastal Change Rates and Patterns: Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Hawai’i
A collaborative project between the U.S. Geological Survey's Coastal and Marine Geology Program and the National Park Service (NPS) has been developed to create an inventory of geologic resources for National Park Service lands on the Big Island of Hawai’i. The NPS Geologic Resources Inventories are recognized as essential for the effective management, interpretation, and understanding of vital park resources. In general, there are three principal components of the inventories: geologic bibliographies, digital geologic maps, and geologic reports. The geologic reports are specific to each individual park and include information on the geologic features and processes that are important to the management of park resources, including ecological, cultural and recreational resources. This report summarizes a component of the geologic inventory concerned specifically with characterizing the coastal geomorphology of the beach system within Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park (NHP) and describes an analysis that utilizes georeferenced and orthorectified aerial photography to understand the spatial and temporal trends in shoreline change from 1950 to 2002. In addition, spatial patterns of beach change were examined and a beach stability map was developed. Both the shoreline change rates and the beach stability map are designed to help Park personnel effectively manage the valuable park resources within the context of understanding natural changes to the KAHO beach system.
- Open-File Report 2005-1068: Measurements of waves, currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity in Honolua Bay, Northwest Maui: 2003-2004
High-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made in Honolua Bay, northwest Maui, Hawaii, during 2003 and 2004 to better understand coastal dynamics in coral reef habitats. Measurements were acquired through two different collection methods. Two hydrographic survey cruises were conducted to acquire spatially-extensive, but temporally-limited, three-dimensional measurements of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity in the winter and summer of 2003. From mid 2003 through early 2004, a bottom-mounted instrument package was deployed in a water depth of 10 m to collect long-term, single-point high-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity. The purpose of these measurements was to collect hydrographic data to learn how waves, currents and water column properties such as water temperature, salinity and turbidity vary spatially and temporally in a near-shore coral reef system adjacent to a major stream drainage. These measurements support the ongoing process studies being conducted as part of the (USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program's Coral Reef Project; the ultimate goal is to better understand the transport mechanisms of sediment, larvae, pollutants and other particles in coral reef settings. This report, the final part in a series, describes data acquisition, processing and analysis.
- Research Projects - Integrated Geologic Studies of Coral Reefs: Impacts from Land-Based Pollution and Sea Level Rise
Description of research project.
- Open-File Report 03-482: Long-term measurements of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity off Kahana, West Maui: 2001-2003
Long-term (15 months), high-resolution measurements of currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made off West Maui, Hawaii, in 2001-2003 to better understand coastal dynamics in coral reef habitats.
- Open-File Report 03-430: 2003 Hydrographic Survey Cruises A-3-03-HW and A-4-03-HW Report on the spatial structure of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity along Western Maui
Two multi-day hydrographic survey cruises were conducted to acquire spatially extensive, high-resolution three-dimensional measurements of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made off West Maui in the winter and summer of 2003 to better understand coastal dynamics in coral reef habitats.
- Open-File Report 2004-1287: Flow and Particulate Dynamics During the 2003 Summer Coral Spawning Season
High-resolution measurements of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made over the course of three months off West Maui in the summer and early fall of 2003 to better understand coastal dynamics in coral reef habitats.
- Marine Aggregate Resources and Processes
The Marine Aggregates (Sand and Gravel Assessment) Project has developed and is implementing a scientifically rigorous series of regional studies mapping the seafloor sedimentary character and assessing marine sand and gravel resources around the United States. Results of the regional assessments will ultimately comprise a national assessment of marine sand and gravel. This study is responding to increasing demand for web-accessible GIS-type data and interpreted geologic map information on the sedimentary character of the seafloor and aggregate resources suitable for beach nourishment and coastal restoration, as well as seafloor sediment texture information for benthic habitat mapping and sediment transport studies.
- Effects of Major Storms on Pacific Islands - USGS Fact Sheet
Tropical storms of various kinds are as much a depositional event as an erosional event. Much attention is given to the destructive aspects of major storms because of the loss of life and property, but little is known about their beneficial effects to coastal accretion. While we can usually measure and map the instantaneous effects of a tropical storm, we can only speculate about the long-term effects. Geologic mapping by the U.S. Geological Survey in areas prone to storm effects can give us opportunities to minimize losses by identifying locations most likely to suffer.
- Hurricane Impacts on the Coastal Environment - USGS Fact Sheet
In terms of insured losses, Hurricane Andrew is the most severe catastrophe in the Nation history. Prior to the arrival of Andrew, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Louisiana Geological Survey (LGS), acquired an extensive body of information and data on the behavior and long-term erosion of Louisiana barrier islands. As a result, we have a clear understanding of pre-storm conditions in this area; Andrew provided an opportunity to learn in detail the impact of a very large storm on Louisiana coastal environment.
- Seafloor Studies of Mamala Bay, Honolulu, Hawaii: USGS Fact Sheet
Disposal of dredge spoils in the near offshore area, coupled with the rapid growth of Honolulu and other nearby municipalities, has placed increased stress on the environment of Mamala Bay. No satisfactory bathymetric map of the seafloor had existed, and little information has been compiled about the effects of these activities to determine whether modifications to the operation and management of the designated dump sites and sewage outfall locations were necessary.
- U.S. Coral Reefs—Imperiled National Treasures | USGS Fact Sheet 025-02
Coral reefs are home to 25% of all marine species. However, the tiny colonial animals that build these intricate limestone masses are dying at alarming rates. If this trend continues, in 20 years the living corals on many of the world’s reefs will be dead and the ecosystems that depend on them severely damaged. As part of the effort to protect our Nation’s extensive reefs, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are working to better understand the processes that affect the health of these ecologically and economically important ecosystems.
- New Mapping Techniques Help Assess the Health of Hawai'i's Coral Reefs
| USGS Fact Sheet 084-01
More than 60% of coral reefs in U.S. waters are found in the extended Hawaiian Island chain. These complex and diverse marine ecosystems are not only ecologically important but also provide hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Hawai‘i’s economy. Elsewhere in the world, corals are dying at unprecedented rates, and the reefs of Hawai‘i may also be at risk. To monitor and protect these reefs and to help understand what is threatening coral-reef habitats worldwide, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other scientists are using new techniques to create detailed maps of Hawai‘i’s coral reefs.
- Exposing the Sea Floor: High-Resolution Multibeam Mapping Along the U.S. Pacific Coast, USGS Fact Sheet 013-00
- USGS Fact Sheet 095-02: Vulnerability of U.S. National Parks to Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Change
Vulnerability of U.S. National Parks to Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Change
- Hawaiian Islands GLORIA Imagery
GLORIA sidescan sonar imagery of the Hawaiian Islands, showing index map and downloadable quadrangles of sea-floor imagery.
- Remote Sensing Applications to Coral Reef Environments
The main goal of this project is to investigate and analyze remotely sensed image data to determine their applicability for detecting and mapping the location of live and dead reef areas, density of coral cover, and the major type of coral present, as well as algae, silt/mud, and carbonate sand cover.
- USGS TerraWeb for Kids!
Satellite and sonar images, remote sensing education, and activities just for KIDS!
- Global Inventory of Natural Gas Hydrate Occurance
This updated global inventory reports on natural gas hydrate recovered from 20 places worldwide and includes 79 places where the presence of gas hydrate has been inferred from geophysical, geochemical, or geological evidence.
- Open-File Report 00-124: Hawaiian Disposal Sites, USGS WCMG
Acoustic Mapping of the Regional Seafloor Geology in and Around Hawaiian Ocean Dredged-Material Disposal Sites
- Education and Outreach Information
Helpful information about Activities at the USGS Western Region Coastal and Marine Geology Team.
- GLORIA Imagery of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the USA
USGS research using GLORIA sidescan sonar to map the sea floor within the 200-mile wide Exclusive Economic Zone.
- Mamala Bay Dredge Disposal Studies
Fate of Dredge Disposal Material and Polluted Sediment, Offshore Honolulu, Hawaii
- High-Resolution Multibeam Survey off Honolulu, Hawaii
AGU Abstract on sonar mapping survey of seafloor off Honolulu Hawaii
- Coasts in Crisis - Corals, Wetlands, and Hurricanes
Educational background information on corals, wetlands, and hurricanes, and why we study them.
- Pacific Science (1997), vol. 51, no. 1:54-75 - Sea-Floor Geology of a Part of Mamala Bay, Hawaii
Journal article discussing mapping survey off Honolulu Hawaii including sidescan sonar images, 3.5-kHz profiles, video and still visual images, and box-core samples
- OFR 95-839: Sediment Chemistry and Biological Sampling off Honolulu
Cruise Report of mapping dredge disposal area off Honolulu, Hawaii
- OFR 95-17: Acoustic Mapping of Disposal Sites off Honolulu
Final report in series of analyses studying environmental impact of dredge-material disposal offshore of Honolulu
- Bottom Characteristics of an Ocean Disposal Site off Honolulu, Hawaii
ESRI Conference Presentation Using Time-based Navigational Trackline Data Managed by Routes and Events