Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Number of results: 44
- Southern California Coastal Hazards - USGS WCMG
Southern California Coastal Hazards Study of the USGS Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team
- Fact Sheet 2009-3077: U.S. Geological Survey Western Region; Santa Barbara Channel Coastal and Ocean Science
USGS coastal and ocean science in the Western United States and the Pacific integrates scientific expertise in geology, water resources, biology, and geography. Operating from 10 major science centers in the Western Region, the USGS is addressing a broad geographic and thematic range of important coastal and marine issues. In California, the Santa Barbara Channel represents one area of focus. The Santa Barbara Channel area extends from the steep Santa Ynez Mountains on the north to the Channel Islands and adjacent continental shelf on the south and from Point Conception east to the Hueneme submarine canyon. This dynamic landscape, characterized by diverse ecosystems and both urban and rural populations, faces increasing environmental stress due to development, climate change, and natural hazards. The USGS has a long history of work in this area, providing information on a range of coastal-zone-management issues to local, State, and Federal stakeholders. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Interior have specific land- and natural-resource-management responsibilities in the Santa Barbara Channel associated with the Channel Islands National Park (National Park Service), petroleum production and infrastructure in Federal waters (Minerals Management Service), and endangered species recovery (Fish and Wildlife Service). The Santa Barbara Channel is also the location of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and other important marine protected areas.
- USGS Coral Reef Studies
Coral Reef Studies conducted in Hawaii, Florida and California.
- Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5116: Topographic Change Detection at Select Archeological Sites in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 2006–2007
Topographic change of archeological sites within the Colorado River corridor of Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) is a subject of interest to National Park Service managers and other stakeholders in the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program. Although long-term topographic change resulting from a variety of natural processes is typical in the Grand Canyon region, a continuing debate exists on whether and how controlled releases from Glen Canyon Dam, located immediately upstream of GCNP, are impacting rates of site erosion, artifact transport, and the preservation of archeological resources. Continued erosion of archeological sites threatens both the archeological resources and our future ability to study evidence of past cultural habitation. Understanding the causes and effects of archaeological site erosion requires a knowledge of several factors including the location and magnitude of the changes occurring in relation to archeological resources, the rate of the changes, and the relative contribution of several potential causes, including sediment depletion associated with managed flows from Glen Canyon Dam, site-specific weather patterns, visitor impacts, and long-term climate change. To obtain this information, highly accurate, spatially specific data are needed from sites undergoing change. Using terrestrial lidar data collection techniques and novel TIN- and GRID-based change-detection post-processing methods, we analyzed topographic data for nine archeological sites. The data were collected using three separate data collection efforts spanning 16 months (May 2006 to September 2007). Our results documented positive evidence of erosion, deposition, or both at six of the nine sites investigated during this time interval. In addition, we observed possible signs of change at two of the other sites. Erosion was concentrated in established gully drainages and averaged 12 cm to 17 cm in depth with maximum depths of 50 cm. Deposition was concentrated at specific locations outside of drainages but generally was spread over larger areas (tens to hundreds of square meters). Maximum depths of deposition averaged 12 cm to 15 cm and reached as much as 35 cm. Overall, we found that the spatial distribution and magnitudes of surface change are specific to each site and that a thorough understanding of the geomorphology, weather, and sand supply is requisite for a complete understanding of the data. Additional work in combining these results with site-specific weather, hydrology, and geomorphology data will assist in the development of working models for determining the causes of the documented topographic changes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 - Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS)
Digital atlas of lidar-derived topography maps for Assateague Island National Seashore
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2400: Map Showing Seacliff Response to Climatic and Seismic Events, Seabright Beach, Santa Cruz County, California
The coastal cliffs along much of the central California coast are actively retreating. Large storms and periodic earthquakes are responsible for most of the documented sea cliff slope failures. Long-term average erosion rates calculated for this section of coast do not provide the spatial or temporal data resolution necessary to identify the processes responsible for retreat of the sea cliffs where episodic retreat threatens homes and community infrastructure. Research suggests that more erosion occurs along the California coast over a short time scale, during periods of severe storms or seismic activity, than occurs during decades of normal weather or seismic quiescence.
- Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2399: Map Showing Seacliff Response to Climatic and Seismic Events, Seacliff State Beach, Santa Cruz County, California
The 1.2 km stretch of Seacliff State Beach included in this study is a portion of a continuous section of sea cliffs that extend 3 km from New Brighton State Beach in the north to Aptos Creek in the south. The cliffs at Seacliff State Beach are protected from waves by a seasonally dependent, variable-width sandy beach backed by a seawall. Waves only reach the base of the cliffs during extreme storms that occur on the order of once every several decades. Therefore, the sea cliff failures and resulting cliff retreat that occur along this stretch of coast are primarily a result of terrestrial processes (overland flow, groundwater flow, and seismic shaking).
- Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2398: Map Showing Seacliff Response to Climatic and Seismic Events, Depot Hill, Santa Cruz County, California
Map Showing Seacliff Response to Climatic and Seismic Events, Depot Hill, Santa Cruz County, California
- Coasts of Colombia
Due to the complex geologic history of the northwestern part of South America, the Colombian coasts include a variety of coastline types, ranging from high-relief, steep-plunging cliffs typical of igneous and metamorphic massifs, to low, sandy barrier islands and extensive mangrove swamps characteristic of deltaic areas of both coasts.
- Coral Microbial Ecology
Coral microbial ecology is the study of the relationship of coral-associated microorganisms to each other, the coral host, and to their environment.
- 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.
- Coastal Erosion of Southern Lake Michigan - USGS Fact Sheet
Geological Survey studies the geologic processes at work in the Great Lakes region because they have direct bearing on the use, management, development, and preservation of the shoreline. It is important to understand how these processes shape our daily lives. About 15 percent of the United States' and 50 percent of Canada's population live along or near the 9,000-kilometer-long coastline of the Great Lakes. About 83 percent of the shoreline is privately-owned with property values as high as $10,000 per linear foot of lakefront.
- Investigating Climate Change of Western North America - USGS Fact Sheet
The strength and position of the California Current drives the climate of the western United States. When global climate changed, the California Current should have been affected in such a way that evidence of change should be seen in 'proxy' data. If we can see how oceans respond to climate change, we can then infer how the atmosphere has reacted through time. The U.S. Geological Survey is examining a variety of proxy data from western North America and the eastern North Pacific Ocean that might give climate models added validity.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fact Sheet 020-98: Popular Beach Disappears Underwater in Huge Coastal Landslide--Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
In February 1995, a 1,600-foot stretch of popular beach at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore suddenly slid into the waters of northeastern Lake Michigan. The National Park Service (NPS) immediately requested the assistance of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in evaluating the hazard at the lakeshore. To protect the public, USGS and NPS scientists are conducting studies that will help predict when the landslide-prone area will move again
- Coral Mortality and African Dust
Why have coral reefs that are bathed in clear oceanic waters throughout much of the Caribbean suffered algal infestation, coral diseases, and near extinction of herbivorous sea urchins from the 1970s through early 1990s? The best known factors detrimental to coral reefs do not apply for many of the affected reefs where human population is low.
- 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.
- 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.
- Coastal Ocean Modeling at the USGS Woods Hole Field Center
Animations (short movies) showing simulations of Coastal water Circulation as numerically modeled using a large amount of empirical environmental data in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and Cape Cod Bay. These include tidal pumping of Boston Harbor; a comparison of the distribution of effluent from the (former) sewage outfall in Boston Harbor and the present 9-mile-long tunnel outfall outside the harbor; seasonal water movements in Massachusetts Bay; and an illustration of changes in dry land areas during post-glacial relative sea-level rise from 14000 years ago to the present.
- Geologic History of Cape Cod Massachusetts
Cape Cod is a sandy peninsula built mostly during the ice age and juts into the Atlantic Ocean like a crooked arm. Geologists are interested in Cape Cod because it was formed, by glaciers, very recently in terms of geologic time and because of the ever changing shore as the Cape adjusts to the rising sea. This is an online version of USGS geologist Robert Oldale's popular circular.
- 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
- National Coastal Assessment
The coastal margin of the US is among the most densely populated, developed, property valued, tax generating, income generating, and recreational valued region of the US. The dynamic natural processes and human-induced changes within this margin are poorly understood yet result in a highly mobile coastal zone that is subject to rapid (decadal or less) change. The goal of this project is to develop a GIS based inventory of scientific data including those variables known to contribute to coastal change.
- Coastal-Change and Glaciological Maps of Antarctica
Changes in the area and volume of the two polar ice sheets in Antarctica (fig. 1) and Greenland are intricately linked to changes in global climate and could result in sea-level changes that would severely affect the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Melting of the West Antarctica part of the Antarctic ice sheet alone could cause a worldwide sea-level rise of approximately 8 m. The use of a number of different sensor data sets allow determination of coastal change in Antarctica over 15-20 years for the MSS and TM images and over as much as 32 years where Argon and ERS images exist, such as the Antarctic Peninsula. Cooperation with other Antarctic mapping groups now includes scientists from Italy, Russia, Norway, Canada, Australia, Argentina, and Germany.
- 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.