Coastal and Marine Geology Program
News stories for the last 30 days.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal Change Processes Project is conducting a field experiment on the inner continental shelf offshore of Fire Island, New York to study the coastal response to storms. Starting in early February 2014, scientists from the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, along with scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of South Carolina, deployed oceanographic equipment at nine sites in water depths of approximately 12 meters (40 feet), with one site farther offshore at a of approximately 25 meters (80 feet). An ocean buoy was deployed at this offshore site to measure surface waves and telemeter the data via an iridium connection for analysis.
The data are available as part of the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) program at http://cdip.ucsd.edu/
In addition to the scientists, the data are being used by the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Park Service, and locals such as surfers http://www.surfline.com/surf-reportThe buoy is expected to remain on site for several years.
On February 27, Florida Sea Grant announced that Stephanie Lawler is one of three scholarship winners from the Aylesworth Foundation for the Advancement of Marine Science. Stephanie is pursuing a Master's of Science in Marine Science at the University of South Florida (USF). Working with SPCMSC mircrobiologist Christina Kellogg, Stephanie's research is focusing on the microbial communities in deep sea corals, specifically looking at the bacteria associated with Anthothela grandiflora from the east coast of the United States. Ralph and Kitty Aylesworth, long-time members of the Florida fishing industry, established the Aylesworth Foundation in 1984. The award is for 65 percent of the annual official university or college cost up to $4000.
For more information about the Florida Sea Grant awards, see: https://www.flseagrant.org/news/2014/02/2014-aylesworth-winners-announced/
In a collaborative effort with NOAA-NGS (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration- National Geodetic Survey), the SPCMSC (St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center) lidar operations staff will map off the coast of St. Thomas, USVI, as well as near Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge. From approximately March 3–17, SPCMSC staff Wayne Wright, Chris Pali, Calvin Peacock, Virgil Rabine, Rudy Troche, and Christine Kranenburg (CNT (Cherokee Nations Technology) contractor) from both Salisbury, MD, and St. Petersburg, FL, offices will support mapping efforts for the USGS's EAARL-B (Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar) lidar system. One of the unique features of the EAARL-B system is its ability to map both exposed and submerged topography to provide a continuous map of near-shore environment. Based upon test flights over typical Caribbean coral reef environments, the original EAARL demonstrated penetration to greater than 25 m, and routinely mapped coral reefs ranging in depth from 0.5 to 20 m below the water surface. The new EAARL-B is expected to surpass its predecessor with nominal offshore visibility in the Virgin Islands normally peaking in March.
For more information about the EAARL lidar, visit: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/lsrm/tech/eaarl/
From March 10-14, Joe Long and P. Soupy Dalyander, researchers from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC), are collaborating with the Sediment Dynamics Laboratory at the Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS to observe how Surface Residual Balls (SRB's) are transported in the nearshore environment. SRB's are sand-oil agglomerates that were formed/deposited in coastal environments following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. These measurements are the first of their kind and will be taken in a large-scale flow tank to observe if, how, and when SRBs move due to steady and oscillatory currents.
In early February, the E/V Nautilus docked in the Port of St. Petersburg, less than 0.8 km from the SPCMSC Center, for an overhaul of its complex data and communication systems. Led by Robert Ballard of the Ocean Exploration Trust, the Nautilus is on a mission to do sea-floor mapping of the submerged United States territories. The crew of 47 is expected to depart St. Petersburg in April or May for mapping in the Pacific Ocean. Ballard and the USGS have a long history of cooperation, from his early days in the mid-1970's at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to a 2013 cooperative study of Geohazards off Puerto Rico looking at cyclicity of offshore landslide deposits.
For information about the E/V Nautilus's current stay in St. Petersburg, see: http://tbo.com/pinellas-county/starting-from-st-pete-explorers-nautilus-will-map-pacific-20140208/
To see a 1979 USGS Field Metadata sheet about a cruise to the East Pacific Rise, visit: http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/infobank/m/m179np/html/m-1-79-np.meta.html
In early February, Peter Betzer brought the attention of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, Inc., to the SPCMSC energy report. This report is a testimonial to possibilities in sustainable and cost-efficient business practices. The Downtown Partnership considers the energy-saving efforts implemented by David Brett, leasing company agent, and Frank Derkovitz, SPCMSC facilities engineer, a noteworthy achievement in management. The SPCMSC Campus is a federally leased facility that includes the renovated historic Studebaker Building. The report was also shared with newly elected Mayor of St. Petersburg, FL, Rick Kriseman.
The USGS Excellence in Leadership Award is granted annually to recognize an individual, or group of individuals, for outstanding acts, services, or achievements that exemplify and support the USGS goal of developing a leadership-centered culture throughout the bureau.
The Hydroacoustics Working Group earned the award for its leadership and skill in transforming how stream flow measurements are made using acoustic Doppler technology.
Marinna Martini and Brandy Armstrong, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center staff, are members of the Hydroacoustics Working Group.>
On February 12, Christopher Reich announced that he has officially taken over as the Facilities and Marine Operations Manager for the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC). One of Chris's first actions is to offer the motorboat safety course, Marine Operator's Certification Course (MOCC) for new staff who need to be certified and for others to be recertified. For local staff, Chris can be reached in Room A254, or from outside the building via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From February 23–28, four scientists from SPCMSC Center, P. Soupy Dalyander, Joseph Long, Christina Kellogg, and David Zawada will be giving talks, presenting posters, and co-chairing sessions at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. USF–USGS Graduate Assistantship awardee Kaitlyn Lizza is also a lead author. The meeting is co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Association for Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and The Oceanography Society (TOS).
Lizza, K. E., Zawada, D. G., Hine, A. C., Comparison of the Historical and Current Distribution of Acropora Cervicornis in Relation to Climatic Parameters and Habitat Characteristics: 2/26 Poster 2941
Dalyander, P.S., Butman, B., Patterns of Storm Driven Wave-induced Bottom Shear Stress on the U.S. East Coast Continental Shelf: 2/27 Poster 299
Kellogg, C. A., Gray, M. A., Bacterial Diversity and Biogeography of the Cold-water Gorgonian Primnoa Resedaeformis in Norfolk and Baltimore Canyons: 2/27 Poster 617
Zawada, D. G., Mazel, C. H., Unsupervised Classification of Caribbean Coral Reef Organisms and Substrates Based on Fluorescence Spectra: 2/27 Poster 2477
Long, J. W., Plant, N. G., Dalyander, P. S., Thompson, D. M., A Method for Constructing Wave Time-series at Inshore Locations Using Model Scenarios: 2/28 Friday 8:00AM
For more information on the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting, visit: http://www.sgmeet.com/osm2014/default.asp
On Feb 26th, SPCMSC Research Ecologist Ilsa Kuffner will speak as part of a Florida Adapts, an internal Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) training program on climate change effects on Florida marine ecosystems. The training is a follow-on to the 2011 FWC Climate Change Certification of Completion. At least 44 people are expected to attend the training session. Ilsa's presentation, one of three 25-minute talks, is titled "Climate Change and Florida's Coral Reefs." The talks will be held in the Florida Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) Building in St. Petersburg, FL from 12:30 pm–2:30 pm.
From March 11–18, SPCMSC Oceanographer Dave Zawada will be leading a research team to Crocker Reef off Islamorada in the Florida Keys, the CREST-II study site. The team of 3 will be downloading six months of temperature and irradiance data from an array of instrumented-moorings, as well as changing batteries and performing necessary maintenance. Other SPCMSC staff on the team are Nate Smiley and Chris Moore. CREST stands for the Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies project and involves a blend of process and monitoring activities relevant to understanding the health and resilience of shallow water reef environments.
For an overview of the CREST project, visit: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/crest/
Six volunteers from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) participated as judges during the Pinellas Regional Science and Engineering Fair held at Seminole Middle School on Saturday, February 8, 2014 (See Highlight of 2014-01-22). Science fair judges interviewed students and evaluated more than 200 projects submitted by middle and high school students in a variety of categories. USGS participants evaluated projects in the environmental science and the earth and space science categories, nominating projects for 'Best in Fair' as well as for the upcoming State Science Fair competition which will be held in Lakeland, Florida. Scientists and staff participating in the 2014 Fair included Kira Barrera, Theresa Burress, Dale Griffin, Christian Haller, Jack Kindinger, and Ellen Raabe.
On February 7, a new lab space created to house the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center’s (SPCMSC) new Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) was shown to the staff in an impromptu Open House. Over 30 staff members came to see the 320 sq. ft. space, which was made into a lab out of existing hallways and unused lab space by facilities engineer Frank Derkovitz. Molly McLaughlin, lab manager, supervised the construction and organized the Open House. The GC/MS will initially be operated by newly-arrived SPCMSC geochemist, Julie Richey, to analyse biomarker proxy signals for environmental change in lacustrine, coastal, and deep sea sediments.
On February 18 at 1 pm in the Normile Conference Room, Neil Ganju, an oceanographer from the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC), will speak on "High-resolution observations and numerical modeling to evaluate estuarine habitat resilience: Recent work from the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center." Neil will present an overview of his work on the following three projects:
On February 21, SPCMSC Coastal Geologist Cheryl Hapke is presenting an overview of USGS efforts related to coastal resiliency for a meeting at the USACE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Headquarters on G St. in Washington, D.C. Other agencies participating in the meeting on coastal resilience include various branches of the USACE, National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Homeland Security, and the National Science Foundation.
On February 6, USGS announced the publication of an analysis of a computer model to track the movement of sand/oil mixtures from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The article, "Dalyander, P.S., Long, J.W., Plant, N.P., and Thompson, D.M., Assessing mobility and redistribution patterns of sand and oil agglomerates in the surf zone" was published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin. In addition, the USGS press release cited the outputs of the modeling results in an Open-File Report, OFR 2012-1234. This effort has been a unique opportunity to leverage Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) expertise to inform a complex, time-sensitive, and applied problem. Knowledge gaps identified in this project provide future research opportunities for better response to oil spills and other applied problems in the nearshore.
To read the Marine Pollution Bulletin article, visit: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X14000058
An additional reference to the possible range of oil mat formation, has been published as Appendix D of the Operational Science Advisory Team Report III (OSAT3) report: http://www.restorethegulf.gov/release/2014/01/15/operational-science-advisory-team-report-iii
The USGS press release can be viewed at: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3795&from=rss_home
The jetyak is a relatively inexpensive vehicle that can execute various scientific missions in coastal waters. In August 2013, the scientists used it to map the floor of a shallow cove in the Connecticut River estuary with both downward-looking and sidescan sonar and to measure current profiles (current velocities at various heights above the seafloor) with an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP).
To view the Sound Waves article, visit The “Jetyak”—Autonomous Kayak Performs Shallow-Water Surveys