Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Number of results: 94
- Impacts and Predictions of Coastal Change during Hurricanes
Beaches serve as a natural barrier between the ocean and inland communities, ecosystems, and resources. These dynamic environments move and change in response to winds, waves, and currents. During a powerful hurricane, changes to beaches can be large, and the results are sometimes catastrophic. Lives are lost, communities are destroyed, and millions of dollars are spent on rebuilding. There is a clear need to identify areas of our coastline that are likely to experience extreme and devastating erosion during a hurricane. It is also important to determine risk levels associated with development in areas where the land shifts and moves with each landfalling storm. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides scientific support for hurricane planning and response. Using observations of beach changes and models of waves and storm surge, we are predicting how the coast will respond to hurricanes and identifying areas vulnerable to extreme coastal changes.
- Coastal Change on Gulf Islands National Seashore during Hurricane Gustav: West Ship, East Ship, Horn, and Petit Bois Islands
Hurricane Gustav made landfall on September 1, 2008, near Cocodrie, Louisiana, as a category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds near 170 km/hr. Hurricane-force winds, with speeds in excess of 119 km/hr, extended along 270 km of the Louisiana coastline, from Marsh Island to the central barrier islands. Tropical-storm-force winds (speeds > 63 km/hr) were felt across the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama. Within this area of high wind and associated storm surge and waves lie the Mississippi barrier islands of West Ship, East Ship, Horn, and Petit Bois, part of the National Park Service (NPS) Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS).
- EAARL Coastal Topography–Western Florida, Post-Hurricane Charley, 2004: First Surface
This DVD contains lidar-derived first-surface (FS) topography GIS datasets of a portion of the western Florida coastline beachface, acquired post-Hurricane Charley on August 16 and 18, 2004.
- Data Series 487: A Seamless, High-Resolution, Coastal Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for Southern California
A seamless, 3-meter digital elevation model (DEM) was constructed for the entire Southern California coastal zone, extending 473 km from Point Conception to the Mexican border. The goal was to integrate the most recent, high-resolution datasets available (for example, Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) topography, multibeam and single beam sonar bathymetry, and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) topography) into a continuous surface from at least the 20-m isobath to the 20-m elevation contour. This dataset was produced to provide critical boundary conditions (bathymetry and topography) for a modeling effort designed to predict the impacts of severe winter storms on the Southern California coast (Barnard and others, 2009). The hazards model, run in real-time or with prescribed scenarios, incorporates atmospheric information (wind and pressure fields) with a suite of state-of-the-art physical process models (tide, surge, and wave) to enable detailed prediction of water levels, run-up, wave heights, and currents. Research-grade predictions of coastal flooding, inundation, erosion, and cliff failure are also included. The DEM was constructed to define the general shape of nearshore, beach and cliff surfaces as accurately as possible, with less emphasis on the detailed variations in elevation inland of the coast and on bathymetry inside harbors. As a result this DEM should not be used for navigation purposes.
- Santa Barbara-Ventura Coastal Processes Study - USGS WCMG
Santa Barbara/Ventura Coastal Processes Study of the USGS Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team. Whereas coastal urban development and infrastructure are largely fixed with respect to location, shoreline and bluff positions can change substantially over time in response to natural processes. These natural coastal changes can damage or undermine urban structures, resulting in substantial property loss for federal, state, local and individual land owners. Urban development can also indirectly influence coastal change by interrupting natural supplies or transport of sediment in littoral cells. Thus, it is important to evaluate the rates, patterns and causes of coastal change to better manage sediment resources and predict change hazards in coastal urban settings. The Santa Barbara and Ventura County coast represents a littoral cell along the California coast extending from (at least) Point Conception to the Mugu submarine canyon. The beaches along this littoral cell are an important economic resource to the region, and there is evidence that shoreline and bluff erosion are impacting these beaches. Coastal change in the Santa Barbara/Ventura region is complicated, however, by the irregular coastline (there are numerous rocky headlands, river deltas and offshore reefs), variability in wave forcing, structures such as harbors, groins, piers, dams and landscape urbanization, variability in tectonic uplift, and limited information on littoral sediment sources. In response to the potential for coastal change, BEACON (Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment) and the City of Carpinteria have provided a combined $700K in funding for USGS WCMG to evaluate the coastal change patterns and processes along the Santa Barbara/Ventura County coast until the end of 2008.
- 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.
- Data Series 470: Terrestrial Lidar Datasets of New Orleans, Louisiana, Levee Failures from Hurricane Katrina, August 29, 2005
Hurricane Katrina made landfall with the northern Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, as one of the strongest hurricanes on record. The storm damage incurred in Louisiana included a number of levee failures that led to the inundation of approximately 85 percent of the metropolitan New Orleans area. Whereas extreme levels of storm damage were expected from such an event, the catastrophic failure of the New Orleans levees prompted a quick mobilization of engineering experts to assess why and how particular levees failed. As part of this mobilization, civil engineering members of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) performed terrestrial lidar topographic surveys at major levee failures in the New Orleans area. The focus of the terrestrial lidar effort was to obtain precise measurements of the ground surface to map soil displacements at each levee site, the nonuniformity of levee height freeboard, depth of erosion where scour occurred, and distress in structures at incipient failure. In total, we investigated eight sites in the New Orleans region, including both earth and concrete floodwall levee breaks. The datasets extend from the 17th Street Canal in the Orleans East Bank area to the intersection of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) with the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) in the New Orleans East area. The lidar scan data consists of electronic files containing millions of surveyed points. These points characterize the topography of each levee’s postfailure or incipient condition and are available for download through online hyperlinks. The data serve as a permanent archive of the catastrophic damage of Hurricane Katrina on the levee systems of New Orleans. Complete details of the data collection, processing, and georeferencing methodologies are provided in this report to assist in the visualization and analysis of the data by future users.
- USGS Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM)
The goal of the USGS Northern Gulf of Mexico project is to understand the evolution of coastal ecosystems on the Northern Gulf Coast, the impact of human activities on these ecosystems, and the vulnerability of ecosystems and human communities to more frequent and more intense hurricanes in the future.
- Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms
This project investigates the coastal impacts of hurricanes and extreme storms, such as Hurricanes Isabel (2003), Dennis (1999), Bonnie & Georges (1998), and winter storms, such as those associated with the 1997-98 El Niño.
- Hurricane Ike: Observations and Analysis of Coastal Change
Understanding storm-induced coastal change and forecasting these changes require knowledge of the physical processes associated with the storm and the geomorphology of the impacted coastline. The primary physical processes of interest are the wind field, storm surge, and wave climate. Not only does wind cause direct damage to structures along the coast, but it is ultimately responsible for much of the energy that is transferred to the ocean and expressed as storm surge, mean currents, and large waves. Waves and currents are the processes most responsible for moving sediments in the coastal zone during extreme storm events. Storm surge, the rise in water level due to the wind, barometric pressure, and other factors, allows both waves and currents to attack parts of the coast not normally exposed to those processes.
- Coastal Change During Hurricane Dennis 2005
Hurricane Dennis made landfall as a Category 3 storm on Santa Rosa Island in the Florida Panhandle on July 10, 2005. Exposed to some of the strongest winds, Santa Rosa Island suffered erosion, as well as severe overwash. A storm surge of 2 m was recorded near Navarre Beach. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are collaborating in a research project investigating coastal change that occurred as a result of Hurricane Dennis. The USGS acquired still oblique aerial photography both before and after hurricane landfall to better understand the impacts of extreme storms on coastal environments. On Tuesday, July 12, 2005, scientists conducted an aerial photographic survey of Santa Rosa Island, Florida, that was impacted by Hurricane Dennis. The photographs were compared to pre-Dennis photographs taken in July 2001 and after the landfall of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 to illustrate extreme coastal change. On Santa Rosa Island, the storm eroded dunes and beaches, and overwashed roads. In Navarre Beach, parking lots and roads were covered with sand and dune walkovers damaged or destroyed.
- Coastal Change During Hurricane Isabel 2003
Hurricane Isabel caused extensive erosion and overwash along the Outer Banks near Cape Hatteras, including the destruction of houses, the erosion of protective sand dunes, and the creation of island breaches. The storm eroded beaches and dunes in Frisco and Hatteras Village, southwest of the Cape. Overwash deposits covered roads and filled homes with sand. The most extensive beach changes were associated with the opening of a new breach about 500 m wide that divided into three separate channels that completely severed the island southwest of Cape Hatteras. The main breach, and a smaller one several kilometers to the south (not shown), occurred at minima in both island elevation and island width.
- Coastal Change During Hurricane Ivan 2004
Category 3 Hurricane Ivan came ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, on September 16, 2004. The barrier islands of the northern Gulf of Mexico near the Florida/Alabama border were exposed to the strongest winds. The communities of Gulf Shores, Pine Island and Orange Beach, AL, are, in places, very low lying with their dunes rising up only several meters. These dunes were unable to contain the 3-4 meter storm surge.
- Development of High-Resolution Digital Elevation Products along the Northern Gulf of Mexico Coast
- USGS Gulf Coast Science Conference and Florida Integrated Science Center Meeting: Proceedings with Abstracts, October 20-23, 2008, Orlando, Florida
Talks, posters, and abstracts from the USGS Gulf Coast Science Conference and Florida Integrated Science Center Meeting.
- 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.
- Coastal Processes: San Francisco Bight Coastal Processes Study - USGS WCMG
San Francisco Bight Coastal Processes Study of the USGS Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team. The USGS is conducting a study that documents and analyzes the processes that control the sand transport and sedimentation patterns of Ocean Beach, a National Park site within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This area encompasses a complicated coastal setting that is impacted by the tidal influence of San Francisco Bay, as well as the southwest and northwest Pacific swell. High-energy conditions at this site have restricted comprehensive field surveys in the past, but recent innovations in field techniques now make it possible to perform detailed analysis of the physical processes operating on high energy coastlines, such as Ocean Beach.
- Decision Support for Coastal Science and Management
The Decision Support for Coastal Science and Management project, sponsored by the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) is supporting the creation of new capabilities for the synoptic remote sensing of coastal-marine and terrestrial environments based on aircraft and satellite sensors. These coastal remote-sensing, mapping, and point-monitoring tools constitute a unique integrated package of instrumentation and software that may be deployed in support of appropriately timed and scaled zoning decisions by management authorities in order to conserve and sensibly exploit nearshore coastal and marine ecosystems.
- 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.
- EAARL First Return Topography—Fire Island National Seashore
Digital map atlas of lidar-derived topography maps for Assateague Island National Seashore
- EAARL Topography-Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS)-Florida
Digital atlas of lidar-derived bare earth topography maps for Gulf Islands National Seashore-Florida
- USGS-NPS-NASA EAARL Topography - Dry Tortugas National Park
This lidar-derived submarine topography map was produced as a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program, National Park Service (NPS) South Florida/Caribbean Network Inventory and Monitoring Program, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility. One objective of this research is to create techniques to survey coral reefs for the purposes of habitat mapping, ecological monitoring, change detection, and event assessment (for example: bleaching, hurricanes, disease outbreaks).
- Geomorphology and Depositional Sub-environments of Assateague Island MD/VA
Geomorphology and Depositional Sub-environments of Assateague Island MD/VA, Open File Report 2007-1388
- EAARL Topography–Gulf Islands National Seashore
Digital atlas of lidar-derived topography maps for Gulf Islands National Seashore-Mississippi
- Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5254: Sources, Dispersal, and Fate of Fine Sediment Supplied to Coastal California
We have investigated the sources, dispersal, and fate of fine sediment supplied to California coastal waters in a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the California Sediment Management Workgroup (CSMW). The purpose of this study was to document the rates and characteristics of these processes so that the State can better manage its coastal resources, including sediment.
- EAARL Topography - Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS)
Digital atlas of lidar-derived topography maps for Assateague Island National Seashore
- Vulnerability of National Park Service Beaches to Inundation During a Direct Hurricane Landfall: Fire Island National Seashore
The potential inundation of the beach system at Fire Island NS for Saffir-Simpson Category 1-4 hurricanes.
- Vulnerability of National Park Service Beaches to Inundation During a Direct Hurricane Landfall: Cumberland Island National Seashore
The potential inundation of the beach system at Cumberland Island NS for Saffir-Simpson Category 1-5 hurricanes.
- Vulnerability of National Park Service Beaches to Inundation During a Direct Hurricane Landfall: Cape Lookout National Seashore
The potential inundation of the beach system at Cape Lookout NS for Saffir-Simpson Category 1-5 hurricanes.
- USGS Professional Paper 1751: Systematic Mapping of Bedrock and Habitats along the Florida Reef Tract--Central Key Largo to Halfmoon Shoal
Systematic Mapping of Bedrock and Habitats along the Florida Reef Tract: Central Key Largo to Halfmoon Shoal (Gulf of Mexico) details the bio/geologic record in the Florida Keys from 325,000 years ago to the present.
- Habitat and Hydrology: Assessing Biological Resources of the Suwannee River Estuarine System Open-File Report 2007-1382
Habitat and Hydrology: Assessing Biological Resources of the Suwannee River Estuarine System, Open File Report 2007-1382
- USGS Monterey Bay Science
USGS Monterey Bay Science - USGS research in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and coastal watersheds of central California
- 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.
- Science and the Storms: the USGS Response to the Hurricanes of 2005
This report is designed to give a view of the immediate response of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to four major hurricanes of 2005: Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Some of this response took place days after the hurricanes; other responses included fieldwork and analysis through the spring. While hurricane science continues within the USGS, this overview of work following these hurricanes reveals how a Department of the Interior bureau quickly brought together a diverse array of its scientists and technologies to assess and analyze many hurricane effects. Topics vary from flooding and water quality to landscape and ecosystem impacts, from geotechnical reconnaissance to analyzing the collapse of bridges and estimating the volume of debris. Thus, the purpose of this report is to inform the American people of the USGS science that is available and ongoing in regard to hurricanes. It is the hope that such science will help inform the decisions of those citizens and officials tasked with coastal restoration and planning for future hurricanes.
- 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
- Open-File Report 2007-1217 - Coastal Processes Study at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA: Summary of Data Collection 2004-2006
Ocean Beach in San Francisco, California, contains a persistent erosional section in the shadow of the San Francisco ebb tidal delta and south of Sloat Boulevard that threatens valuable public infrastructure as well as the safe recreational use of the beach. Coastal managers have been discussing potential mediation measures for over a decade, with little scientific research available to aid in decision making. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the Ocean Beach Coastal Processes Study in April 2004 to provide the scientific knowledge necessary for coastal managers to make informed management decisions. This study integrates a wide range of field data collection and numerical modeling techniques to document nearshore sediment transport processes at the mouth of San Francisco Bay, with emphasis on how these processes relate to erosion at Ocean Beach. The Ocean Beach Coastal Processes Study is the first comprehensive study of coastal processes at the mouth of San Francisco Bay.
- 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.
- Historical Changes in the Mississippi-Alabama Barrier Islands and the Roles of Extreme Storms, Sea Level, and Human Activities
Historical Changes in the Mississippi-Alabama Barrier Islands and the Roles of Extreme Storms, Sea Level, and Human Activities explores the causes of Mississippi-Alabama barrier island land loss and translocation.
- Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Tidal Wetlands
This project is investigating the loss of coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands in order to determine long-term change in wetlands and to provide a model for determining areas that are most vulnerable to loss because of combinations of human and natural impacts.
- USGS Circular 1198 - Beyond the Golden Gate - Oceanography, Geology, Biology, and Environmental Issues in the Gulf of the Farallones
The USGS began a major geologic and oceanographic study of the Gulf of the Farallones in 1989. This investigation, the first of several now being conducted adjacent to major population centers by the USGS, was undertaken to establish a scientific data base for an area of 3,400 square kilometers (1,000 square nautical miles) on the Continental Shelf adjacent to the San Francisco Bay region. The results of this study can be used to evaluate and monitor human impact on the marine environment.
- Open-File Report 2006-1293 - Reconnaissance Investigation of Caribbean Extreme Wave Deposits; Preliminary Observations, Interpretations, and Research Directions
his report presents an overview of preliminary geological investigations and recommended future research activities in the Caribbean region pertaining to coastal hazards with an emphasis on establishing tsunami risk for U.S. territories. Fieldwork was conducted in March 2006 on the islands of Bonaire, Puerto Rico, and Guadeloupe to evaluate the stratigraphic records of extreme wave deposits as possible indicators of paleotsunami recurrence. Morphological, sedimentological, and stratigraphic evidence indicate that shore-parallel coral rubble deposits composed of coarse clasts and sand that are 10s of meters wide and several meters thick are depositional complexes that have accumulated for a few centuries or millennia, and are not entirely the result of one or a few tsunamis as previously reported. The origins of boulder fields on elevated rock platforms of the Caribbean islands are more complicated than the origins of ridge complexes because boulder fields can be constructed by either storm waves or tsunamis. What is needed now for more conclusive interpretations is a systematic sedimentological approach to deposit analysis and a set of criteria for distinguishing between coarse clast storm and tsunami deposits. Assembling more field data from other Caribbean islands, analyzing stratigraphic deposits on Puerto Rico and Bonaire, and investigating boulder field deposits resulting from a historical tsunami can accomplish this. Also needed are improved sediment transport models for coarse clasts that can be used to estimate the competence and capacity of tsunamis and storms waves and to determine whether a deposit likely was created by a tsunami or extreme storm. Improved models may also be useful for reconstructing the magnitude of extreme wave events.
- Maps Showing the Stratigraphic Framework of South Carolina's Long Bay from Little River to Winyah Bay
South Carolina's Grand Strand is a heavily populated coastal region that supports a large tourism industry. Like most heavily developed coastal communities, the potential for property damage and lost revenues associated with coastal erosion and vulnerability to severe storms is of great concern. In response to these concerns, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium have chosen to focus upon the Grand Strand and immediately adjacent Long Bay as a portion of Phase II of the South Carolina/Georgia Coastal Erosion Study (SC/GCES).
- USGS Open-File Report 2004-1043: National Assessment of Shoreline Change: Part 1, Historical Shoreline Changes and Associated Coastal Land Loss Along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico
National Assessment of Shoreline Change: Part 1, Historical Shoreline Changes and Associated Coastal Land Loss Along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is a 44-page, full-color discussion of historical shoreline change and coastal land loss along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
- 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.
- Extracting Shorelines from NASA Airborne Topographic Lidar-Derived Digital Elevation Models
'Extracting Shorelines from NASA Airborne Topographic Lidar-Derived Digital Elevation Models' provides a detailed account of the methodology used for extracting digital shoreline data from lidar topographic surveys.
- Coastal Classification Mapping Project
A Coastal Classification Map describing local geomorphic features is the first step toward determining the hazard vulnerability of an area. The Coastal Classification Map series of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Project presents ground conditions such as beach width, dune elevations, overwash potential, and density of development. In order to complete a hazard vulnerability assessment, that information must be integrated with other information, such as prior storm impacts and beach stability.
- Coastal Classification Atlas - South Texas Coastal Classification Maps - Mansfield Channel to the Rio Grande
A Coastal Classification Map describing local geomorphic features is the first step toward determining the hazard vulnerability of an area. The Coastal Classification Maps of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Project present ground conditions such as beach width, dune elevations, overwash potential, and density of development. In order to complete a hazard vulnerability assessment, that information must be integrated with other information, such as prior storm impacts and beach stability. The Coastal Classification Maps provide much of the basic information for such an assessment and represent a critical component of a storm-impact forecasting capability. This CD covers the south Texas from Mansfield Channel to the Rio Grande.
- Coastal Classification Atlas - Central Texas Coastal Classification Maps - Aransas Pass to Mansfield Channel
A Coastal Classification Map describing local geomorphic features is the first step toward determining the hazard vulnerability of an area. The Coastal Classification Maps of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Project present ground conditions such as beach width, dune elevations, overwash potential, and density of development. In order to complete a hazard vulnerability assessment, that information must be integrated with other information, such as prior storm impacts and beach stability. The Coastal Classification Maps provide much of the basic information for such an assessment and represent a critical component of a storm-impact forecasting capability. This CD covers the central Texas from Aransas Pass to Mansfield Channel.
- Automated Extraction of Coastal Dune High and Dune Low from High Resolution Lidar Digital Elevation Models
An automated method of extracting dune high (Dhi) and dune low (Dlo) from lidar DEMs has been developed for use on the sandy Southeast and Gulf coasts of the United States. The method has been written into an Arc AML script that runs from a command line in ArcInfo Workstation, a popular GIS software product. The output are GIS ready Dhi and Dlo point shapefiles that include several attributes that can assist in post-processing editing as well as elevation.
- The Coastal Impact Assessment Tool (CIAT), Version 1.0, User's Manual - USGS Open-File Report 2005-1260
User's manual for The Coastal Impact Assessment Tool (CIAT), Version 1.0.
- Coastal Classification Atlas - Western Louisiana Coastal Classification Maps - Lower Mud Lake Entrance Channel to Sabine Pass
A Coastal Classification Map describing local geomorphic features is the first step toward determining the hazard vulnerability of an area. The Coastal Classification Maps of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Project present ground conditions such as beach width, dune elevations, overwash potential, and density of development. In order to complete a hazard vulnerability assessment, that information must be integrated with other information, such as prior storm impacts and beach stability. The Coastal Classification Maps provide much of the basic information for such an assessment and represent a critical component of a storm-impact forecasting capability. This CD covers the western Louisiana coast from the Lower Mud Lake Entrance Channel to Sabine Pass.
- Coastal Classification Atlas - Northwestern Panhandle of Florida Coastal Classification Maps - St. Andrew Bay Entrance Channel to Perdido Pass
A Coastal Classification Map describing local geomorphic features is the first step toward determining the hazard vulnerability of an area. The Coastal Classification Maps of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Project present ground conditions such as beach width, dune elevations, overwash potential, and density of development. In order to complete a hazard vulnerability assessment, that information must be integrated with other information, such as prior storm impacts and beach stability. The Coastal Classification Maps provide much of the basic information for such an assessment and represent a critical component of a storm-impact forecasting capability. This CD covers Northwest Panhandle of Florida Coastal Classification Maps from St. Andrew Bay Entrance Channel to Perdido Pass.
- The National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS Compilation of Vector Shorelines and Associated Shoreline Change Data for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico - USGS Open File Report 2004-1089
The Coastal and Marine Geology Program of the U.S. Geological Survey has generated a comprehensive database of digital vector shorelines and shoreline change rates for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. These data, which are presented herein, were compiled as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Assessment of Shoreline Change Project.
- 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.
- High-Energy Storms Shape Puerto Rico - USGS Fact Sheet
Geologists have known for many years that damage inflicted by hurricanes on coastal areas may be less important for the long-term evolution of a coast than the effects of less intense, but more frequent, storm events. Indeed, high-energy storms may be needed to maintain the health of delicate marine ecologies in the coastal environment. Marine geologists of the U.S. Geological Survey working in Puerto Rico are confident that the long-term effects of Hurricane Hugo on the coastal environment are minimal, though the economic damage was significant. Detailed oceanographic studies are needed to define the sediment budget of the nearshore areas of Puerto Rico and to provide baseline information for studying storm effects.
- 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.
- The Lake Pontchartrain Basin: Louisiana's Troubled Urban Estuary - USGS Fact Sheet
Scientific studies recently begun by the U.S. Geological Survey suggest that several key natural processes and human-induced environmental factors are directly affecting the health of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin, one of America's largest estuaries. An increased knowledge of the critical geologic and estuarine processes affecting the Basin is essential for its management, improving environmental conditions, and mitigating future problems in the region. Such baseline information is of immediate value to planners and decision makers involved in the task of reversing the Basin's environmental degradation and restoring its water and habitat qualities.
- Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary Geological Processes and Framework - USGS Fact Sheet
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will move its Pacific Marine Geology program to a new location at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) and we are excited about our role in the marine sciences community around Monterey Bay. There is much to learn in the region, not only as a result of new opportunities in the Marine Sanctuary, but also that knowledge gained here may be transferred to our studies of similar environments in other parts of the world.
- Sand and Gravel Resources of Puerto Rico - USGS Fact Sheet
The sand and gravel resources of Puerto Rico contribute significantly to the economy of the island as they are crucial ingredients in construction and recreation. Despite newly-imposed regulations prohibiting mining of beach sands, the strength of the associated underground economy is sufficiently strong to limit enforcement of the regulations. Consequently, beaches are eroding quickly causing significant damage to the environment and delicate ecosystems. New resources of sand and gravel would allow beaches to be nourished and construction activities to be supplied.
- Coastal Classification Atlas - West-Central Florida Coastal Classification Maps - Anclote Key to Venice Inlet
A Coastal Classification Map describing local geomorphic features is the first step toward determining the hazard vulnerability of an area. The Coastal Classification Maps of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Project present ground conditions such as beach width, dune elevations, overwash potential, and density of development. In order to complete a hazard vulnerability assessment, that information must be integrated with other information, such as prior storm impacts and beach stability. The Coastal Classification Maps provide much of the basic information for such an assessment and represent a critical component of a storm-impact forecasting capability. This web site covers West-Central Florida from Anclote Key to Venice Inlet.
- Coastal Classification Atlas - Southwestern Florida Coastal Classification Maps - Venice Inlet to Cape Romano
A Coastal Classification Map describing local geomorphic features is the first step toward determining the hazard vulnerability of an area. The Coastal Classification Maps of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Project present ground conditions such as beach width, dune elevations, overwash potential, and density of development. In order to complete a hazard vulnerability assessment, that information must be integrated with other information, such as prior storm impacts and beach stability. The Coastal Classification Maps provide much of the basic information for such an assessment and represent a critical component of a storm-impact forecasting capability. This web site covers Southwestern Florida from Venice Inlet to Cape Romano.
- Coastal Classification Atlas - Eastern Panhandle of Florida Coastal Classification Maps - Lighthouse Point to St. Andrew Bay Entrance Channel
A Coastal Classification Map describing local geomorphic features is the first step toward determining the hazard vulnerability of an area. The Coastal Classification Maps of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Project present ground conditions such as beach width, dune elevations, overwash potential, and density of development. In order to complete a hazard vulnerability assessment, that information must be integrated with other information, such as prior storm impacts and beach stability. The Coastal Classification Maps provide much of the basic information for such an assessment and represent a critical component of a storm-impact forecasting capability. This CD covers Eastern Panhandle of Florida Coastal Classification Maps from Lighthouse Point to the St. Andrew Bay Entrance Channel.
- An Overview of Coastal Land Loss: With Emphasis on the Southeastern United States
In states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, vast areas of coastal land have been destroyed since the mid 1800s as a result of natural processes and human activities. The physical factors that have the greatest influence on coastal land loss are reductions in sediment supply, relative sea level rise, and frequent storms, whereas the most important human activities are sediment excavation, river modification, and coastal construction. As a result of these agents and activities, coastal land loss is manifested most commonly as beach/bluff erosion and coastal submergence.
- 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.
- Natural Disasters - Forecasting Hurricane Occurrence
Events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and tornadoes are natural disasters because they negatively impact society, and so they must be measured and understood in human-related terms. At the U.S. Geological Survey, we have developed a new method to examine fatality and dollar-loss data, and to make probabilistic estimates of the frequency and magnitude of future events. This information is vital to large sectors of society including disaster relief agencies and insurance companies.
- Geology and Human Activity in the Florida Keys - USGS Fact Sheet
Live corals on the east side of the Florida Keys are mysteriously dying and algae are taking over that eco-niche. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) studies and mapping of the Keys and the reef tract suggest that a number of natural factors, combined with effects of human activity, may contribute to the corals' demise. A complete geological study of this ecosystem would provide the kind of information environmental managers need to determine the extent of damage to reefs resulting from human activity.
- Coral Mortality and African Dust Photo Gallery - Four Decades of Change
Photographs of corals in the Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary in Florida illustrate the notable changes that have occurred over the past four decades.
- Environmental Atlas of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin - USGS Open File Report 02-206
The Environmental Atlas of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin provides citizens, planners, managers, educators, scientists and other professionals with a multidisciplinary and integrated source of information on Lake Pontchartrain and its surrounding Basin.
- Geomorphic Classification Of Coastal Land Loss Between 1932 And 1990 In The Mississippi River Delta Plain, Southeastern Louisiana
A 34x45 inch Poster (pdf) on changes in part of the low-lying Mississippi delta over a 58 year period.
- Sidescan-Sonar Imagery of the Shoreface and Inner Continental Shelf, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
The geologic framework and surficial morphology of the shoreface and inner shelf off Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, were mapped using high-resolution sidescan-sonar, bathymetric, and seismic-reflection surveying techniques, a suite of over 200 diver-vibracores, and extensive sea-floor observations by divers. The inner shelf is a sediment-starved, active surface of marine erosion; modern sediments, where present, form a thin, patchy veneer blanketing Tertiary and Quaternary units.
- Lake Pontchartrain, LA, Geochemistry
Geology, geologic history, sediments, circulation, satellite imagery, of Lake Pontchartrain, LA, and a sediment database and geochemical assessment of the Lake.
- Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: Preliminary Results for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Coast
This report estimates relative vulnerability to sea-level rise of different coastal environments in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. This initial classification is based on coastal geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of sea-level rise, wave and tide characteristics, and historical shoreline change rates.
- Coral Reefs in Honduras: Status after Hurricane Mitch - Online Mini-Documentary Movie
"Coral Reefs in Honduras: Status after Hurricane Mitch" is an eight minute mini-documentary featuring geologist Bob Halley describing the USGS response in the wake of Hurricane Mitch to assess the impact of the storm on Caribbean coral reefs off Honduras. Narrated by geologist Terry Edgar.
- 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.
- Coral Reefs in Honduras: Status after Hurricane Mitch - USGS Open File Report 01-133
In response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, the United States Geological Survey performed a study to determine the impact the storm had on the coral reef systems of Cayos Cochinos and Roatan, Honduras.
- Mapping Coastal Change Hazards
An illustrated discussion of coastal change hazards and the work that the U.S. Geological Survey is doing to map and understand these hazards.
- A Photo Gallery of Florida's Big Bend Tidal Wetlands
This collection offers a thematic tour of Florida's Big Bend tidal wetlands, covering aspects of the flora, fauna, and geology of this mosaic of tidal marsh, coastal forest, and winding tidal creeks.
- Sea-level Rise and Coastal Forests on the Gulf of Mexico - Open File Report 99-441
Sea-level Rise and Coastal Forests on the Gulf of Mexico is a 127-page report discussing the effects of sea-level rise and storm impacts on coastal forests of the Gulf of Mexico. Separate chapters are devoted to non-mangrove and mangrove forests. Information on the responses of individual tree species to increased salinity and flooding is included.
- Potential San Francisco Bay Landslides During El Nino
EL Nino - Actual and Potential Landslides in San Francisco Bay Area including fly-bys, photos, maps and animations
- Hurricane Dennis Impact Studies
Includes pre/post-storm topographic change data derived from lidar mapping of the coast, as well as a set of oblique aerial photography of affected barrier islands on the North Carolina coast.
- Observations of Impacts Caused by Hurricane Bonnie, August 1998, on the North Carolina Coast
A comparison of pre- and post-storm lidar topographic mapping of sections of the North Carolina coastline in response to Hurricane Bonnie.
- Preliminary Mapping of Overwash from Hurricane Fran, September 5, 1996, Cape Fear to Bogue Inlet, North Carolina - Open File Report 96-674
On September 5, 1996, Hurricane Fran, a category 3 hurricane, made landfall on the North Carolina coast at Cape Fear. Two days later, the U.S. Geological Survey flew an aerial survey of the coast north of landfall to document coastal erosion caused by this storm
- Duck '97 Fundamental Nearshore Processes Research
Predictive models of nearshore hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and beach evolution perform poorly. This effort will provide data sufficiently complete to support model development and verification.
- Coastal Erosion from El-Nino Winter Storms - Oblique Aerial Photography
USGS acquired baseline precision-located oblique still and video photography coverage of over 1000 km of coastline from the west coast of the U.S. in October, 1997, in anticipation of storms generated by the El-Niño warming of the Pacific Ocean. A follow-up mission was completed in April, 1998 after the storm season.
- Coastal Erosion Along the U.S. West Coast During the 1997-98 El Nino: Expectations and Observations
This survey of 1200 km of representative reaches of the U.S. west coast both prior to and following the 1997-98 El Niño winter storms includes an interactive display of the mapped changes in coastal topography due to erosion, deposition, and landslides.
- Hurricane Bonnie Impact Studies
Hurricane Bonnie, a Category 3 storm, made landfall on August 26, 1998 in southern North Carolina near Cape Fear very close to landfall of both Hurricanes Bertha and Fran in 1996. These pages include pre/post-storm topographic change data derived from lidar mapping of the coast, as well as a set of oblique aerial photography of affected barrier islands on the North Carolina coast.
- Hurricane Georges Coastal Impacts - Pre/Post-Storm Oblique Aerial Photography
This set of oblique aerial photogrpahy covers three areas impacted by Hurricane Georges in September, 1998 - Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys, and Gulf Coast barrier islands off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
- 1995 West Coast Flood Deposits
STRATAFORM Project aims to understand the coastal margin stratigraphy and collect information on past climate change and sea level fluctuation along the California coast, as well as information relating to pollutant transport.
- 1982-83 El Niño Coastal Erosion: San Mateo County, CA
Coastal Erosion caused by El Nino storms in San Mateo County, California
- Coasts in Crisis - Corals, Wetlands, and Hurricanes
Educational background information on corals, wetlands, and hurricanes, and why we study them.
- Fecal Pellets in Effluent-Affected Sediment on the Palos Verdes Margin
AGU abstract on pollution offshore of Los Angeles CA
- Hurricane Fran Impact Studies
On September 5, 1996, Hurricane Fran, a category 3 hurricane, made landfall on the North Carolina coast at Cape Fear. These pages include overwash data as well as a set of pre/post-storm oblique aerial photography of affected barrier islands on the North Carolina coast.