Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Number of results: 65
- 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.
- Open-File Report 2010-1037: Turbidity on the Shallow Reef off Kaulana and Hakioawa Watersheds, North Coast of Kaho‘olawe, Hawai‘i
Measurements of Turbidity and Ancillary Data on Winds, Waves, Precipitation, and Stream flow Discharge, November 2005 to June 2008 The island of Kaho‘olawe has particular cultural and religious significance for native Hawaiians. Once known as Kanaloa, the island was a center for native Hawaiian navigation. In the mid-20th century, the island was used as a bombing range by the U.S. Navy, and that practice, along with the foraging by feral goats, led to a near-complete decimation of vegetation. The loss of ground cover led to greatly increased erosion and run-off of sediment-laden water onto the island’s adjacent coral reefs. Litigation in 1990 ended the U.S. Navy’s use of the island as a bombing range, and in 1994 the island was transferred to the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC), http://kahoolawe.hawaii.gov/. As a result of the litigation, the U.S. Navy began a 10-year clean-up effort that was the foundation for the present restoration effort by KIRC (Slay, 2009). The restoration effort is centered on revegetating the island, reducing erosion, and limiting run-off onto adjacent reefs. Restoration efforts to mitigate sediment runoff to streams and gulches by restoring native vegetation and minimizing erosion have focused on two watersheds, Kaulana and Hakioawa, on the northeast and northwest sides of the island, respectively. Stream flow and sediment gages were installed by the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Islands Water Science Center in each of the watersheds, and a weather station was established upland of the watersheds. For this study, turbidity monitors were installed on the insular shelf off the two watersheds to monitor the overall quality of reef waters and their changes in response to rain and stream flow discharge events.
- Holocene Core Logs and Site Statistics for Modern Patch-Reef Cores: Biscayne National Park, Florida
The objectives of this study were to sample living corals to understand the more recent (<200 years) changes in climate and environmental conditions of the area and to investigate the Holocene (in this case, <8,000 years in the Florida Keys) depositional history at progressively deeper patch-reef sites. This report provides statistics for the cores and core sites and a basic lithologic description of these Holocene cores.
- 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.
- Gulf of Mexico Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystem Studies, 2008–2011
DISCOVRE (DIversity, Systematics, and COnnectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems) is a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) program focused on deep-water coral ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. This integrated, multidisciplinary, international effort investigates a variety of topics related to unique and fragile deep-sea coral ecosystems from the microscopic level to the ecosystem level, including components of microbiology, population genetics, paleoecology, food webs, taxonomy, community ecology, physical oceanography, and mapping.
- USGS Coral Reef Studies
Coral Reef Studies conducted in Hawaii, Florida and California.
- Open-File Report 2008-1191: Geologic Resource Evaluation of Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Hawai‘i; Geology and Coastal Landforms
Geologic resource inventories of lands managed by the National Park Service (NPS) are important products for the parks and are designed to provide scientific information to better manage park resources. Park-specific geologic reports are used to identify geologic features and processes that are relevant to park ecosystems, evaluate the impact of human activities on geologic features and processes, identify geologic research and monitoring needs, and enhance opportunities for education and interpretation. These geologic reports are planned to provide a brief geologic history of the park and address specific geologic issues that link the park geology and the resource manager...
- Open-File Report 2008-1192: Geologic Resource Evaluation of Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Hawai‘i; Part I, Geology and Coastal Landforms
Geologic resource inventories of lands managed by the National Park Service (NPS) are important products for the parks and are designed to provide scientific information to better manage park resources. Park-specific geologic reports are used to identify geologic features and processes that are relevant to park ecosystems, evaluate the impact of human activities on geologic features and processes, identify geologic research and monitoring needs, and enhance opportunities for education and interpretation. These geologic reports are planned to provide a brief geologic history of the park and address specific geologic issues forming a link between the park geology and the resource manager...
- Transplanting Coral Fragments to Damaged Coral Reefs in a National Park - Planting the Seeds to Recovery?
This research was conducted in the nearshore waters of Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Storm-produced fragments of the three fastest growing species of Caribbean coral (elkhorn, staghorn and finger corals) were collected from habitats inhospitable to survival and transplanted to other reefs (Trunk and Whistling Cay). Inert nylon cable ties were used to secure the fragments to the sea bottom (dead coral). At the beginning of the project, little was known about survival and growth of small coral colonies. Sixty transplanted and 75 control colonies were monitored for survival and growth for 5 years (1999-2004). Over 70 volunteers from Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and 5th and 6th grade classes from Pine Peace School monitored the colonies monthly (1999-2001).
- 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.
- EAARL Topography-Colonial National Historical Park
These Lidar-derived topography maps were produced as a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Florida Integrated Science Center (FISC) St. Petersburg, the National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring Program, Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Wallops Flight Facility. One objective of this research is to create techniques to survey coral reefs, barrier islands, and various nearshore coastal environments for the purposes of geomorphic change studies, habitat mapping, ecological monitoring, change detection, and event assessment. As part of this project, data from an innovative instrument under development at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, the NASA Experimental Airborne Advanced Research Lidar (EAARL) are being used. This sensor has the potential to make significant contributions in this realm for measuring subaerial and submarine topography wthin cross-environment surveys. High spectral resolution, water-column correction, and low costs were found to be key factors in providing accurate and affordable imagery to coastal resource managers.
- Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5101: The Coral Reef of South Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i—Portrait of a Sediment-Threatened Fringing Reef
In this landmark volume, U.S. Geological Survey researchers and their colleagues have developed and applied a remarkably integrated approach to the reefs of Moloka‘i, combining geology, oceanography, and biology to provide an in-depth understanding of the processes that have made these reefs grow and that now limit them. They have joined old fashioned natural history of marine animals and plants with study of the geological evolution of the island, hydrology, meteorology, and land-use history, to an arsenal of new methods of remote sensing, including aerial photography, laser ranging, infrared thermal mapping, seismic reflection, in-situ instrumentation to measure chemical parameters of water quality, and direct measurements of the physical driving forces affecting them—such as wave energy, currents, sedimentation, and sediment transport. They provide a level of documentation and insight that has never been available for any reef before.
- Open-File Report 02-158: Moloka‘i Fieldtrip Guidebook: Selected Aspects of the Geology, Geography, and Coral Reefs of Moloka‘i
This guidebook was compiled with the express purpose of describing the general geology of Moloka‘i and those locations with significance to the U.S. Geological Survey's study of Moloka‘i's coral reef, a part of the U.S. Department of Interior's "Protecting the Nation's Reefs" program. The first portion of the guidebook describes the island and gives the historical background. Fieldtrip stop locations are listed in a logical driving order, essentially from west to east. This order may be changed, or stops deleted, depending on time and scheduling of an individual fieldtrip.
- Open-File Report 2008-1295: Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, Part IV, Measurements of Waves, Currents, Temperature, Salinity, and Turbidity, June-September 2006
High-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made in Hanalei Bay, northern Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, during the summer of 2006 to better understand coastal circulation, sediment dynamics, and the potential impact of a river flood in a coral reef-lined embayment during quiescent summer conditions. A series of bottommounted instrument packages were deployed in water depths of 10 m or less to collect long-term, high-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity, and turbidity. These data were supplemented with a series of profiles through the water column to characterize the vertical and spatial variability in water column properties within the bay. These measurements support the ongoing process studies being conducted as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program’s Pacific Coral Reef Project; the ultimate goal is to better understand the transport mechanisms of sediment, larvae, pollutants, and other particles in coral reef settings. Information regarding the USGS study conducted in Hanalei Bay during the 2005 summer is available in Storlazzi and others (2006), Draut and others (2006) and Carr and others (2006). This report, the last part in a series, describes data acquisition, processing, and analysis for the 2006 summer data set.
- 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.
- Florida Integrated Science Center (FISC) Coral Reef Research
The U.S. Geological Survey Florida Integrated Science Center (USGS–FISC) is conducting a coordinated Coral Reef Research Project beginning in 2009. Specific research topics are aimed at addressing priorities identified in the “Strategic Science for Coral Ecosystems 2007-2011” document (U.S. Geological Survey, 2007). Planned research will include a blend of historical, monitoring, and process studies aimed at improving our understanding of the development, current status and function, and likely future changes in coral ecosystems. Topics such as habitat characterization and distribution, coral disease, and trends in biogenic calcification are major themes of understanding reef structure, ecological integrity, and responses to global change.
- Coral Diseases Following Massive Bleaching in 2005 Cause 60 Percent Decline in Coral Cover and Mortality of the Threatened Species, Acropora Palmata, on Reefs in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Record-high seawater temperatures and calm seas in the summer of 2005 led to the most severe coral bleaching (greater than 90 percent bleached coral cover) ever observed in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) (figs. 1 and 2). All but a few coral species bleached, including the threatened species, Acropora palmata. Bleaching was seen from the surface to depths over 20 meters.
- USGS-NPS-NASA EAARL Submarine Topography-Northern Florida Keys
Digital map atlas of lidar-derived submarine topography maps for the Northern Florida Keys Reef Tract
- EAARL Submarine Topography-Florida Keys National Marine
Digital atlas of Lidar-derived submarine topography maps for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
- 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).
- USGS FS 2007-3065 --- Kellogg
Coral disease is a major cause of reef decline in the Florida Keys. Bacterium has been defined as the most common pathogen (disease-causing organism). Although much is being done to catalog coral diseases, map their locations, determine the causes of disease, or measure the rates of coral demise, very little research has been directed toward actually preventing or eliminating the diseases affecting coral and coral reef decline.
- 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.
- Systematic Mapping of Bedrock and Habitats along the Florida Reef Tract—Central Key Largo to Halfmoon Shoal (Gulf of Mexico)
This database-synthesis project was undertaken to examine these processes in depth and to capture and consolidate more than 60 years of geologic and biologic research conducted by the USGS and by others in a contiguous area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The goal was to produce a digitized regional database and comprehensive one-volume reference source for the area between central Key Largo and Halfmoon Shoal. This report is the result.
- 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 2005-1070: Moloka'i Benthic Habitat Mapping
In order to provide evidence of change in any ecosystem, one must first have a starting point, or "baseline" inventory of resources. Thematic maps providing this baseline inventory are an important tool in assessing change in coral reef ecosystems, allowing scientists to spatially document the location of corals, percentage of coral cover, and relative overall health of the system. In the last decade, scientists and managers have recognized the lack of thematic maps for coral reefs worldwide. In 1998, the President of the U.S. issued Executive Order 13089 establishing the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (CRTF). Comprised of several Federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the primary duty of the CRTF is mapping and monitoring of coral reefs in the U.S. and U.S. Trust Territories. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2005-1070 Version 1.0 Moloka'i Benthic Habitat Mapping By Susan A. Cochran-Marquez USGS Pacific Science Center Santa Cruz, CA Introduction In order to provide evidence of change in any ecosystem, one must first have a starting point, or "baseline" inventory of resources. Thematic maps providing this baseline inventory are an important tool in assessing change in coral reef ecosystems, allowing scientists to spatially document the location of corals, percentage of coral cover, and relative overall health of the system. In the last decade, scientists and managers have recognized the lack of thematic maps for coral reefs worldwide. In 1998, the President of the U.S. issued Executive Order 13089 establishing the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (CRTF). Comprised of several Federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the primary duty of the CRTF is mapping and monitoring of coral reefs in the U.S. and U.S. Trust Territories. Moloka'i is one of the main eight Hawaiian Islands (Figure 1). The south shore of Moloka'i is home to the most continuous fringing coral reef in U.S. waters...
- Open-File Report 2006-1125: Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, Hawaii, Part II, Tracking Recent Fluvial Sedimentation; Isotope Stratigraphy Obtained in Summer 2005
Delivery and dispersal of fluvial sediment in Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Hawaii, have important implications for the health of local coral reefs. The reef community in Hanalei Bay represents a relatively healthy ecosystem. However, the reefs are periodically stressed by storm waves, and increases in sediment and dissolved substances from the Hanalei River have the potential to cause additional stress. Increased turbidity and sedimentation on corals during Hanalei River floods that occur in seasons of low wave energy, when sediment would not be readily remobilized and advected out of the bay, could affect the health and sustainability of coral reefs and the many associated species.
- Open-File Report 2006-1085: Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, Part I, Measurements of waves, currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity; June - August, 2005
High-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made in Hanalei Bay, northern Kaua’i, Hawaii, during the summer of 2005 to better understand coastal circulation and sediment dynamics in coral reef habitats.
- Open-File Report 2006-1147: Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i, Hawaii, Part III, Studies of Sediment Toxicity
In this study purple-spined sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata) fertilization and embryological development porewater toxicity tests were used to evaluate the sediments collected from the coastal environment around Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Hawaii. These tests have been used previously to assess the bioavailability of contaminants associated with sediments in the vicinity of coral reefs.
- Microbial Ecology in Reef Sediments of Biscayne National Park
'Microbial Ecology in Reef Sediments of Biscayne National Park' is a 4-page discussion of bacterial communities as a critical component of the coral reef ecosystem.
- Open-File Report 2005-1068: Measurements of waves, currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity in Honolua Bay, Northwest Maui: 2003-2004
High-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made in Honolua Bay, northwest Maui, Hawaii, during 2003 and 2004 to better understand coastal dynamics in coral reef habitats. Measurements were acquired through two different collection methods. Two hydrographic survey cruises were conducted to acquire spatially-extensive, but temporally-limited, three-dimensional measurements of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity in the winter and summer of 2003. From mid 2003 through early 2004, a bottom-mounted instrument package was deployed in a water depth of 10 m to collect long-term, single-point high-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity. The purpose of these measurements was to collect hydrographic data to learn how waves, currents and water column properties such as water temperature, salinity and turbidity vary spatially and temporally in a near-shore coral reef system adjacent to a major stream drainage. These measurements support the ongoing process studies being conducted as part of the (USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program's Coral Reef Project; the ultimate goal is to better understand the transport mechanisms of sediment, larvae, pollutants and other particles in coral reef settings. This report, the final part in a series, describes data acquisition, processing and analysis.
- 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.
- Research Projects - Integrated Geologic Studies of Coral Reefs: Impacts from Land-Based Pollution and Sea Level Rise
Description of research project.
- Tsunamis and Earthquakes - 2005 Sumatra 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.
- Pulley Ridge
Pulley Ridge is a 100+ km-long series of N-S trending, drowned, barrier islands on the southwest Florida Shelf approximately 250 km west of Cape Sable, Florida. The ridge has been mapped using multibeam bathymetry, submarines and remotely operated vehicles, and a variety of geophysical tools. The ridge is a subtle feature about 5 km across with less than 10 m of relief. The shallowest parts of the ridge are about 60 m deep. Surprisingly at this depth, the southern portion of the ridge hosts an unusual variety of zooxanthellate scleractinian corals, green, red and brown macro algae, and typically shallow-water tropical fishes.
- Open-File Report 03-482: Long-term measurements of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity off Kahana, West Maui: 2001-2003
Long-term (15 months), high-resolution measurements of currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made off West Maui, Hawaii, in 2001-2003 to better understand coastal dynamics in coral reef habitats.
- Open-File Report 03-430: 2003 Hydrographic Survey Cruises A-3-03-HW and A-4-03-HW Report on the spatial structure of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity along Western Maui
Two multi-day hydrographic survey cruises were conducted to acquire spatially extensive, high-resolution three-dimensional measurements of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made off West Maui in the winter and summer of 2003 to better understand coastal dynamics in coral reef habitats.
- Open-File Report 2004-1287: Flow and Particulate Dynamics During the 2003 Summer Coral Spawning Season
High-resolution measurements of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made over the course of three months off West Maui in the summer and early fall of 2003 to better understand coastal dynamics in coral reef habitats.
- 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.
- 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.
- U.S. Coral Reefs—Imperiled National Treasures | USGS Fact Sheet 025-02
Coral reefs are home to 25% of all marine species. However, the tiny colonial animals that build these intricate limestone masses are dying at alarming rates. If this trend continues, in 20 years the living corals on many of the world’s reefs will be dead and the ecosystems that depend on them severely damaged. As part of the effort to protect our Nation’s extensive reefs, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are working to better understand the processes that affect the health of these ecologically and economically important ecosystems.
- New Mapping Techniques Help Assess the Health of Hawai'i's Coral Reefs
| USGS Fact Sheet 084-01
More than 60% of coral reefs in U.S. waters are found in the extended Hawaiian Island chain. These complex and diverse marine ecosystems are not only ecologically important but also provide hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Hawai‘i’s economy. Elsewhere in the world, corals are dying at unprecedented rates, and the reefs of Hawai‘i may also be at risk. To monitor and protect these reefs and to help understand what is threatening coral-reef habitats worldwide, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other scientists are using new techniques to create detailed maps of Hawai‘i’s coral reefs.
- 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
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.
- Chemical Pollutants and Toxic Effects on Benthic Organisms, Biscayne Bay: A Pilot Study Preceding Florida Everglades Restoration - USGS Open File Report 02-308
This report is a printable four-page publication outlining the research project work to identify the distribution of pollutants and their effects in the Biscayne Bay, Florida. Findings will be used to assist in planning Everglades restoration and to aid in understanding recent change in local coral reef health.
- Chemical Pollutants and Toxic Effects on Benthic Organisms, Biscayne Bay, Florida
Through the study of benthic foraminifera in Florida's Biscayne Bay, this project seeks to identify the distribution of pollutants and their effects in the bay. Findings will be used to assist in planning Everglades restoration and to aid in understanding recent change in local coral reef health.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remote Sensing Applications to Coral Reef Environments
The main goal of this project is to investigate and analyze remotely sensed image data to determine their applicability for detecting and mapping the location of live and dead reef areas, density of coral cover, and the major type of coral present, as well as algae, silt/mud, and carbonate sand cover.
- USGS TerraWeb for Kids!
Satellite and sonar images, remote sensing education, and activities just for KIDS!
- Navassa Island: A Photographic Tour
Several thematic photographic tours of the Caribbean island of Navassa, compiled from photographs taken by USGS geologists Dr. Robert Halley and Don Hickey during their trip to the island as part of the Caribbean Quest expedition sponsored by the Discovery Channel.
- Mamala Bay Dredge Disposal Studies
Fate of Dredge Disposal Material and Polluted Sediment, Offshore Honolulu, Hawaii
- High-Resolution Multibeam Survey off Honolulu, Hawaii
AGU Abstract on sonar mapping survey of seafloor off Honolulu Hawaii
- 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.
- Coasts in Crisis - Corals, Wetlands, and Hurricanes
Educational background information on corals, wetlands, and hurricanes, and why we study them.
- A Giant Sediment Trap in the Florida Keys
Aerial photography, high resolution seismic profiling, coring and jet probing have revealed a large sediment-filled sinkhole in the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo, Florida. The 600-m-diameter feature straddles coral reef and carbonate-sand facies and contains >55 m of marine lime sand and aragonite mud.
- Pacific Science (1997), vol. 51, no. 1:54-75 - Sea-Floor Geology of a Part of Mamala Bay, Hawaii
Journal article discussing mapping survey off Honolulu Hawaii including sidescan sonar images, 3.5-kHz profiles, video and still visual images, and box-core samples
- OFR 95-839: Sediment Chemistry and Biological Sampling off Honolulu
Cruise Report of mapping dredge disposal area off Honolulu, Hawaii
- OFR 95-17: Acoustic Mapping of Disposal Sites off Honolulu
Final report in series of analyses studying environmental impact of dredge-material disposal offshore of Honolulu
- Bottom Characteristics of an Ocean Disposal Site off Honolulu, Hawaii
ESRI Conference Presentation Using Time-based Navigational Trackline Data Managed by Routes and Events