Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Number of results: 48
- Open-File Report 2010-1172: Database of Recent Tsunami Deposits
This report describes a database of sedimentary characteristics of tsunami deposits derived from published accounts of tsunami deposit investigations conducted shortly after the occurrence of a tsunami. The database contains 228 entries...
- Ocean Acidification
This website highlights ongoing USGS research efforts in ocean acidification and carbon cycling in marine and coastal ecosystems in three different regions: polar, temperate, and tropical.
- Geological Impacts and Sedimentary Record of the February 27, 2010, Chile TsunamiLa Trinchera to Concepcion
The February 27, 2010, Chilean tsunami substantially altered the coastal landscape and left a permanent depositional record that may be preserved at many locales along the central coast of Chile. From April 24 to May 2, 2010, a team of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Chilean scientists examined the geological impacts of the tsunami at five sites along a 200-km segment of coast centered on the earthquake epicenter.
- 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.
- Open-File Report 2009-1195: Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in War-in-the-Pacific National Historical Park, Guam
Flow in and around coral reefs affects a number of physical, chemical and biologic processes that influence the health and sustainability of coral reef ecosystems. These range from the residence time of sediment and contaminants to nutrient uptake and larval retention and dispersal. As currents approach a coast they diverge to flow around reef structures, causing high horizontal and vertical shear. This can result in either the rapid advection of material in localized jets, or the retention of material in eddies that form in the lee of bathymetric features. The high complexity and diversity both within and between reefs, in conjunction with past technical restrictions, has limited our understanding of the nature of flow and the resulting flux of physical, chemical, and biologic material in these fragile ecosystems.
- Tsunami and Earthquake Research at the USGS
General information on how earthquakes generate tsunamis and summaries of tsunami research.
- 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
- Investigation of the M6.6 Niigata-Chuetsu Oki, Japan, Earthquake of July 16, 2007
The M6.6 mainshock of the Niigata Chuetsu Oki (offshore) earthquake occurred at 10:13 a.m. local time on July 16, 2007, and was followed by a sequence of aftershocks that were felt during the entire time of the reconnaissance effort. The mainshock had an estimated focal depth of 10 km and struck in the Japan Sea offshore Kariwa. Analysis of waveforms from source inversion studies indicates that the event occurred along a thrust fault with a NE trend. The fault plane is either a strike of 34 degrees with a dip of 51 degrees or a strike of 238 degrees with a dip of 41 degrees. Which of these two planes is associated with the mainshock rupture is unresolved, although attenuation relationship analysis indicates that the northwest-dipping fault is favored. The quake affected an approximately 100-km-wide area along the coastal areas of southwestern Niigata prefecture. The event triggered ground failures as far as the Unouma Hills, located in central Niigata approximately 50 km from the shore and the source area of the 2004 Niigata Chuetsu earthquake. The primary event produced tsunami run-ups that reached maximum runup heights of about 20 centimeters along the shoreline of southern Niigata Prefecture.
- U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1116
Antarctica, a vast region encompassing 13.2 million km2 (5.1 million mi2), is considered to be one of the most important scientific laboratories on Earth. During the past 60 years, the USGS, in collaboration and with logistical support from the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs, has sent 325 USGS scientists to Antarctica to work on a wide range of projects: 169 personnel from the NMD (mostly aerial photography, surveying, and geodesy, primarily used for the modern mapping of Antarctica), 138 personnel from the GD (mostly geophysical and geological studies onshore and offshore), 15 personnel from the WRD (mostly hydrological/glaciological studies in the McMurdo Dry Valleys), 2 personnel from the BRD (microbiological studies in the McMurdo Dry Valleys), and 1 person from the Director's Office (P. Patrick Leahy, Acting Director, 2005–06 austral field season). Three GD scientists and three NMD scientists have carried out field work in Antarctica 9 or more times: John C. Behrendt (15), who started in 1956–57 and published two memoirs (Behrendt, 1998, 2005), Arthur B. Ford (10), who started in 1960–61, and Gary D. Clow (9), who started in 1985–86; Larry D. Hothem (12), who began as a winter-over geodesist at Mawson Station in 1968–69, and Jerry L. Mullins (12), who started in 1982–83 and followed in the legendary footsteps of his NMD predecessor, William R. MacDonald (9), who started in 1960–61 and supervised the acquisition of more than 1,000,000 square miles of aerial photography of Antarctica. This report provides a record as complete as possible, of USGS and non-USGS collaborating personnel in Antarctica from 1946–2006, the geographic locations of their work, and their scientific/engineering disciplines represented. Postal cachets for each year follow the table of personnel and scientific activities in the exploration of Antarctica during those 60 years.
- U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1114
he U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mapping program in Antarctica is one of the longest continuously funded projects in the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). This is the 46th U.S. expedition to Antarctica in which USGS scientists have participated. The financial support from the National Science Foundation, which extends back to the time of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1956-57, can be attributed to the need for accurate maps of specific field areas or regions where NSF-funded science projects were planned. The epoch of Antarctic exploration during the IGY was being driven by science and, in a spirit of peaceful cooperation, the international scientific community wanted to limit military activities on the continent to logistical support.
- U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1113
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mapping program in Antarctica is one of the longest continuously funded projects in the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). This is the 53rd U.S. expedition to Antarctica in which USGS scientists have participated. The financial support from the National Science Foundation, which extends back to the time of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1956–57, can be attributed to the need for accurate maps of specific field areas or regions where NSF-funded science projects were planned. The epoch of Antarctic exploration during the IGY was being driven by science, and, in a spirit of peaceful cooperation, the international scientific community wanted to limit military activities on the continent to logistical support. The USGS, a Federal civilian science agency in the Department of the Interior, had, since its founding in 1879, carried out numerous field-based national (and some international) programs in biology, geology, hydrology, and mapping. Therefore, the USGS was the obvious choice for these tasks, because it already had a professional staff of experienced mapmakers and program managers with the foresight, dedication, and understanding of the need for accurate maps to support the science programs in Antarctica when asked to do so by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Public Laws 85-743 and 87-626, signed in August 1958 and in September 1962, respectively, authorized the Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior, through the USGS, to support mapping and scientific work in Antarctica. The USGS mapping and science programs still play a significant role in the advancement of science in Antarctica today. Antarctica is the planet's 5th largest continent [13.2 million km2 (5.1 million mi2)], it contains the world's largest (of two) remaining ice sheets, and it is considered to be one of the most important scientific laboratories on Earth. This report provides documentation of USGS scientific activities in the exploration of Antarctica during the 2002–03 field season.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Investigations Series Map I-2600-A
Changes in the area and volume of polar ice sheets are intricately linked to changes in global climate, and the resulting changes in sea level could severely impact the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet would cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m). The potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 65 m (Lythe and others, 2001) to 73 m (Williams and Hall, 1993). In addition to its importance, the mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is highly complex, responding differently to different conditions in each region (Vaughan, 2005). In a review paper, Rignot and Thomas (2002) concluded that the West Antarctic ice sheet is probably becoming thinner overall; although it is thickening in the west, it is thinning in the north. Thomas and others (2004), on the basis of aircraft and satellite laser altimetry surveys, believe the thinning may be accelerating. Joughin and Tulaczyk (2002), on the basis of analysis of ice-flow velocities derived from synthetic aperture radar, concluded that most of the Ross ice streams (ice streams on the east side of the Ross Ice Shelf) have a positive mass balance, whereas Rignot and others (2004) infer even larger negative mass balance for glaciers flowing northward into the Amundsen Sea, a trend suggested by Swithinbank and others (2003a,b, 2004). The mass balance of the East Antarctic ice sheet is thought by Davis and others (2005) to be strongly positive on the basis of the change in satellite altimetry measurements made between 1992 and 2003.
- El Niño Home Page
El Niño information with links to a broad range of topics such as Floods, Landslides, Coastal Hazards, Climate, News Releases.
- Open-File Report 2007-1047: Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World--Online Proceedings for the Tenth International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences
The International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences (ISAES) is held once every four years to provide an international forum for presenting research results and new ideas and for planning future Antarctic geoscience research projects. This Tenth ISAES coincides with the International Polar Year (IPY; 50th Anniversary of the International Geophysical Year) and has been structured to showcase the great breadth of geoscience research being done in Antarctic regions by more than more than 100 institutions located in over 30 countries. The science program of the Symposium encompasses six broad themes that cover key topics on evolution and interactions of the geosphere, cryosphere and biosphere and their cross-linkages with past and historic paleoclimates. Emphasis is also on deciphering the climate records in ice cores, geologic cores, rock outcrops and those inferred from climate models. New technologies for the coming decades of geoscience data collection are also highlighted. Ten keynote presentations at the symposium outline the foundation for the research sessions of the symposium and the structure of the Online Proceedings and Proceedings Book for the Tenth ISAES.
- Open-File Report 2006-1247: High-resolution chirp seismic reflection data acquired from the Cap de Creus shelf and canyon area, Gulf of Lions, Spain in 2004
This report consists of high-resolution chirp seismic reflection profile data from the northern Gulf of Lions, Spain. These data were acquired in 2004 using the Research Vessel Oceanus (USGS Cruise ID: O-1-04-MS). The data are available in binary and JPEG image formats. Binary data are in Society of Exploration Geologists (SEG) SEG-Y format and may be downloaded for further processing or display. Reference maps and JPEG images of the profiles may be viewed with your Web browser.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Investigations Series Map I-2600-D
Changes in the area and volume of polar ice sheets are intricately linked to changes in global climate, and the resulting changes in sea level may severely impact the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet could cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m). The potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 65 m (Lythe and others, 2001) to 73 m (Williams and Hall, 1993). In spite of its importance, the mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is poorly known; it is not known for certain whether the ice sheet is growing or shrinking. In a review paper, Rignot and Thomas (2002) concluded that the West Antarctic part of the Antarctic ice sheet is probably becoming thinner overall; although it is thickening in the west, it is thinning in the north. Joughin and Tulaczyk (2002), on the basis of analysis of ice-flow velocities derived from synthetic aperture radar, concluded that most of the Ross ice streams (ice streams on the east side of the Ross Ice Shelf) have a positive mass balance, whereas Rignot and others (in press) infer even larger negative mass balance for glaciers flowing northward into the Amundsen Sea, a trend suggested by Swithinbank and others (2003a,b, 2004). The mass balance of the East Antarctic part of the Antarctic ice sheet is unknown, but thought to be in near equilibrium." Posted: 2005-05-02
- Tsunamis and Earthquakes - 2005 Sri Lanka Tsunami Study - USGS WCMG
USGS Western Coastal and Marine Geology was part of an international team that studied sediment deposits in Sri Lanka from the tsunami generated by the magnitude 9.0 Sumatra earthquake on December 26, 2004
- Tsunamis and Earthquakes - Tsunami Generation from the 2004 Sumatra Earthquake - USGS WCMG
Discussion of the tsunami generated by the magnitude 9.0 Sumatra earthquake on December 26, 2004
- Bering Sea GLORIA Imagery
GLORIA sidescan sonar imagery of the Bering Sea, Alaska showing index map and downloadable quadrangles of sea-floor imagery.
- Marine Invasive Species, Didemnum lahillei, a colonial tunicate; ascidian; sea squirt, Home Page
Distribution, biology, and marine habitat impacts of the highly invasive colonial tunicate Didemnum lahillei
- Antarctica - The Dynamic Heart of It All - USGS Fact Sheet
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has worked in Antarctica for nearly 50 years, starting in 1947 with geophysical and geologic surveys and in 1957 with topographic mapping. Today the USGS also does marine, airborne, and satellite studies, as well as mapping and coring of the ice sheet, as part of the U.S. Antarctic Program. USGS scientific leadership is a cornerstone for international Antarctic cooperation, and data and information gathered by USGS researchers are important to the development of U.S. policy regarding the Antarctic.
- Lake Baikal - A Touchstone for Global Change and Rift Studies - USGS Fact Sheet
The Lake Baikal rift system is a modern analogue for formation of ancient Atlantic-type continental margins. It tells us the first chapter in the story of how continents separate and ultimately develop into ocean basins like the Atlantic Ocean.
- Isla del Coco Fishes
Isla del Coco Fishes is the first synthesis of scientific information about the remote Isla del Coco National Park (Costa Rica). The book, written in Spanish and English, contains descriptions and color photographs of more than half of the 271 fish species known from Isla del Coco, arranged in phylogenetic order. Many of the species are new records for the island and/or the eastern tropical Pacific.
- Online Mini-Documentary Movie - Fishes of Isla del Coco, Coasta Rica
Fishes of Isla del Coco, Costa Rica is an six minute movie featuring the antics of 22 species of fishes, one species of marine mammal and a few invertebrate species that inhabit the nearshore waters of Isla del Coco. Small butterflyfishes and angelfishes clean large sharks and rays; remoras harass divers, mobulas and each other; guineafowl puffers interact in curious ways; groupers and trumpetfishes eye an octopus; barnacle blennies daringly leap from their homes to feed; and bottlenose dolphins herd jacks into a baitball as a prelude to feeding.
- African Dust Carries Microbes Across the Ocean: Are They Affecting Human and Ecosystem Health? - USGS Open File Report 03-028
A four-page full-color discussion of how atmospheric transport of dust from northwest Africa to the western Atlantic Ocean region may be responsible for a number of environmental hazards, including the demise of Caribbean corals; red tides; amphibian diseases; increased occurrence of asthma in humans; and oxygen depletion (eutrophication) in estuaries.
- USGS Professional Paper 1386-J
Landsat images, together with aerial photographs, selected maps, and other data, have been used to provide a baseline of mid-1970's glacierization in Canada, the conterminous United States, and México
- USGS Fact Sheet 130-02: Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World
Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World
- USGS Fact Sheet 017-02: Coastal-Change and Glaciological Maps of the Antarctic Peninsula
Coastal-Change and Glaciological Maps of the Antarctic Peninsula
- Lava-Cooling Operations During the 1973 Eruption of Eldfell Volcano, Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland, U.S.Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-724, by Richard S. Williams,Jr., Editor
In order to protect public and private property from being destroyed by lava flows, various plans and actual attempts have been made in the past on volcanoes to stop or divert lava flows. The most extensive ever attempted, however, were the lava-cooling operations on Heimaey, Iceland, and the two excellent accounts of the operations that were published in Icelandic by a geophysicist, Thorbjörn Sigurgeirsson, and two engineers, Valdimar Kr. Jónsson and Matthías Matthíasson, are translated into English in this open-file report.
- Icelandic-English Glossary of Selected Geoscience Terms. R Williams; USGS Open-file Report 95-807
A Glossary of Icelandic geoscience terms, and discussion of their etymology within the Icelandic language.
- Online Mini-Documentary Movie - The Effects of Globally Transported African and Asian Dust on Coral Reef and Human Health
"The Effects of Globally Transported African and Asian Dust on Coral Reef and Human Health" is an eight minute mini-documentary featuring biologist Ginger Garrison, geologist Gene Shinn, chemist Chuck Holmes, and microbiologist Dale Griffin as they explain the deterioration of Caribbean coral health over the past several decades, and how unlocking the key role of trans-Atlantic dust transport has opened the door to understanding the effects and implications of this global phenomenon. Narrated by geologist Terry Edgar.
- USGS TerraWeb for Kids!
Satellite and sonar images, remote sensing education, and activities just for KIDS!
- 1998 Earthquake Hazards Investigation in Puget Sound, Washington
Seismic hazards investigation in Puget Sound to provide public information for mitigating a potential earthquake disaster in the Pacific Northwest.
- USGS Open-File Report 01-216, Bouguer Gravity Anomaly Map of the Dead Sea Fault System Title Page
Bouguer Gravity Anomaly Map of the Dead Sea Fault System, Jordan and Israel, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-216
- 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.
- Education and Outreach Information
Helpful information about Activities at the USGS Western Region Coastal and Marine Geology Team.
- About Gas Hydrates and a USGS gas hydrate project
Questions and answers about submarine gas hydrates: an ice-like crystalline solid formed of water and gas that is found in places under the sea floor and has important implications to techniques of deep-sea drilling and future energy supplies.
- Antarctic Seismic Data Library System (SDLS)
The Antarctic Seismic Data Library System provides open access worldwide to Antarctic multichannel seismic-reflection data collected by many countries to study the structure of the earth's crust of Antarctica.
- Coasts in Crisis - Corals, Wetlands, and Hurricanes
Educational background information on corals, wetlands, and hurricanes, and why we study them.