USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program
News Archive - stories from June 2014.
On June 20, 11 undergraduate summer interns and two staff, Krystal Harvey and Allison Gamble from Mote Marine Laboratory, toured the SPCMSC Center. The undergraduates are participating in the NSF–funded (National Science Foundation) REU program (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) at Mote, one of 33 participating centers across the nation. Four SPCMSC staff gave technical briefings during their 2-hour tour: Theresa Burress, Noreen Buster, Joe Long, and Chris Reich.
For more information about the REU program at Mote visit: http://mote.org/research/internships/research-experiences-for-undergraduates-reu-programposted: 2014-06-25
On June 16, SPCMSC researcher Joseph Long was interviewed by Leigh Spann from WFLA News Channel 8 to discuss the USGS model for predicting coastal change impacts during extreme storms. The interview, timed closely with the June 1 beginning of hurricane season, discussed the importance of both scenario-based and real-time forecasts of storm-induced coastal change hazards. Key findings from the recent USGS assessments of storm related erosion hazards along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts were also highlighted: "According to the USGS model, 71 percent of the U.S. Gulf Coast would see dune overwash with a Category 1 storm."
To see a print version of the interview, visit: http://www.wfla.com/story/25815480/researchers-find-gulf-coast-vulnerable-to-storm-surgeposted: 2014-06-25
The USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center is hosting 80 students who are attending USF St. Petersburg summer-camp programs. This summer, two camps from the University of South Florida (USF) St. Petersburg are sending students to USGS to learn about science. In addition to the original one-week 'Splash Camp' students who have been touring USGS each summer for several years, the USGS is also hosting 'Bridge to Success' students. The new program is a 6-week summer camp that provides hands-on STEM learning for local elementary school children. USGS camp guides this year include Kira Barrera, Theresa Burress, Noreen Buster, Kara Doran, Jen Flannery, Dale Griffin, and Caitlin Reynolds.
For more information about the 'Bridge to Success' program, visit: http://www.wusf.usf.edu/radio/program/university_beat/episode/2013-07/bridge_to_successposted: 2014-06-18
On June 5th, Nathaniel Plant met with Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI), for a field visit. A group then joined in a round-table discussion on the effects of climate change, sea-level rise, and storms. Jamestown, Virginia's historical sites are threatened by inundation and erosion, and the Secretary used this location to point out the need to address these and other climate-related issues. The field trip was led by National Park Service (NPS) staff at Jamestown, and included other USGS researchers, interior department staff, and the media. The round-table discussion included USGS and NPS scientists, non-governmental organizations, state and local government representatives, and other stakeholders.
To see a video summary of the visit, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ksBPmMM6ZUposted: 2014-06-11
On May 27, 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey launched a new crowdsourcing application called "iCoast—Did the Coast Change?." The iCoast application allows citizen scientists to identify changes to the coast from extreme storms by comparing aerial photographs taken before and after each storm. Crowdsourced data from iCoast will help USGS improve predictive models of coastal change and educate the public about the vulnerability of coastal communities to extreme storms. Development of the application was led by USGS Mendenhall Postdoc Fellow Sophia B. Liu in collaboration with Barbara Poore, Richard Snell, Nathaniel Plant, Hilary Stockdon, and Karen Morganposted: 2014-06-05
Dr. Lisa Robbins (St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center) attended the 2nd Advisory Board for the Ocean Acidification–International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC). This Centre, located in Monaco, was launched in 2012 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is aimed at communicating, promoting and facilitating global actions on ocean acidification (http://www.iaea.org/ocean-acidification). The Advisory Board has representatives from the SOLAS-IMBER Ocean Acidification Working Group (of which Robbins is a member), representatives of major OA programs and projects around the world (including IMBER, SOLAS, NOAA, IAEA, UK Ocean Acidification Programme, MedSea Project, and others), representatives from international organizations (UNEP, World Bank, IOC-UNESCO, EC-JRC, etc.), government and Foundations (Prince Albert I Foundation, NOAA, Monaco Foreign Affairs Dept.). The OA-ICC is a multinational research project funded by the U.S. Department of State and other UN member states. The 2nd advisory Board meeting was held at the IAEA in Monaco on May 27, 2014. Robbins is the lead on the task for Capacity Building for OA for students from developing nations (http://www.iaea.org/ocean-acidification/page.php?page=2197). This year, two OA capacity building workshops are planned, one in La Spieza, Italy, and one in Dichato, Chile. The U.S. Dept. of State will be hosting a conference June 16–17 on Our Oceans in which Ocean Acidification will be one of three major global concerns. Discussions will include on-going efforts for coordination of ocean acidification research, such as the OA-ICC is promoting.posted: 2014-06-05
Scientists from the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program and NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off Boston, MA are collaborating in a study that focuses on how the surficial geology of the Bank determines the distribution of sand lance fish (the major prey for whales, cod, haddock, other fish, and seabirds) on the Bank.
Page Valentine and Dann Blackwood (USGS) and Dave Wiley (Sanctuary Science Coordinator) have been conducting day trips from the Sanctuary office in Scituate, MA using the Sanctuary’s vessel RV Auk to collect sediment samples and video imagery of the seabed and the sand lance. The sediment samples will document the preferred substrate of the sand lance and are necessary to the USGS’ ongoing geological mapping of the seabed in the Sanctuary region.
Contact: Page Valentine, firstname.lastname@example.org: 2014-06-05
Discover a wealth of curricular ideas, scientific data, maps, and other resources to support biology, geography, geology, geospatial data, and hydrology!
To see the complete USGS Education Resources Handout, go to http://education.usgs.gov/docs/USGSEducResources.pdfposted: 2014-06-05
On June 30 and July 1, 2014, the USGS Gas Hydrates Project will host researchers from the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science (AIST) and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) to finalize results on the collaborative analysis of special sediment cores that were obtained in the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan in preparation for the first-ever deepwater gas hydrate production test in March 2013. In January 2013, researchers from the USGS, AIST, JOGMEC, and Georgia Institute of Technology spent two weeks at AIST’s facilities in Sapporo, Japan to measure the physical properties and the amount of gas contained in hydrate-bearing sediment cores recovered from the Nankai Trough with a pressure coring system.
Gas hydrate is a naturally-occurring combination of methane and water that forms “methane ice” in sediments, and it is only stable at intermediate pressure and low temperature conditions. The pressure coring technology maintains recovered seafloor sediments at sufficient pressure to prevent the gas hydrate from breaking down in the laboratory. The USGS contribution to the January 2013 pressure core analyses was operation of the Instrumented Pressure Testing Chamber (IPTC), a device that can measure the seismic, strength, and electrical properties of hydrate-bearing sediments. The IPTC was originally built at Georgia Tech and is now maintained by the USGS Gas Hydrates Project to support US and international gas hydrates drilling programs. During their visit, the Japanese researchers will also tour the Gas Hydrates Laboratory and meet with other members of the Gas Hydrates Project about future collaborations.
Contact William Waite, email@example.com: 2014-06-04
From June 20-30 2014, the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) Gas Hydrates Project will characterize ocean-atmosphere methane flux along the Svalbard continental margin with an analytical system that includes two cavity ring-down spectrometers. This margin contains hundreds of methane seeps; some known to be emitting methane into the water column from the dissociation of seafloor gas hydrate. While there is concern that this methane could reach the atmosphere where it acts as a powerful greenhouse gas, measurements of the sea-air methane flux for this region are lacking.
Collaborating with researchers from the Centre of Excellence at the University of Tromso, Norway (CAGE or the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment, and Climate), we will continuously record the concentration of CO2 and CH4 and the carbon isotopic signature of these dissolved gases in the near-surface waters aboard the R/V Helmer Hanssen. We will also use a unique, USGS-designed air intake system to measure these same gases in the atmospheric marine boundary layer at three different elevations. When combined with environmental parameters, the near-surface methane data can be used to determine ocean-atmospheric methane fluxes. Partners from the University of Tromso, the Norwegian MOCA (Methane emissions from the Arctic Ocean to the Atmosphere) and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany will provide complementary data from the seafloor, water column and atmosphere that will allow us to comprehensively characterize the sources, flux and fate of methane in this dynamic methane system.
Contact: John Pohlman firstname.lastname@example.org: 2014-06-03