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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

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Recent News - stories from the last 14 days.

For information about a story, contact Ann Tihansky (202) 208-3342.

Major faults in the vicinity of Paicines, California, about 50 kilometers east of Monterey Bay. Shaded box shows area where the San Andreas and Calaveras faults intersect.Integrated Geologic and Geophysical Study of the San Andreas-Calaveras Fault Junction Reveals 3D Geometry and Connectivity

USGS research geophysicist Janet Watt and colleagues published an article in Tectonics ( on their use of potential-field, geologic, geodetic, and seismicity data to study fault geometry and slip transfer through the 60-kilometer-long junction of California’s San Andreas and Calaveras faults. Among the major findings: (a) seismically active cross faults connect the two faults at depth, suggesting that through-going earthquake rupture is possible and that the steeply dipping Calaveras fault zone should be considered in future seismic-hazard analyses; (b) serpentinite and related rocks are widespread within the fault junction, which may help explain why the two faults creep in the junction. The study highlights the need for 3D characterization of fault geometry at deep intersections of major faults that do not intersect at the Earth’s surface. For more information, contact Janet Watt,, 831-460-7565.

posted: 2014-11-21

Ocean acidification: the new threat for marine ecosystemsUSGS Senior Scientist helped lead first Latin American Ocean Acidification (OA) Workshop

USGS St Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center scientist, Dr. Lisa Robbins, participated as an instructor and co-organizer (as lead in the Capacity Building component of the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) for the first Latin–American Ocean Acidification (LAOCA) Workshop November 10-15, 2014 held in Dichato, Chile. The workshop was sponsored by the OA-ICC and the Universidad de Concepción, Institute de Musels, Chile. Attending the workshop were 20 students from around Latin America including Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Columbia. The course was taught by Robbins and Drs. Sam Dupont (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Helen Findley (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK), Andrew Dickson (Scripps, California), Jose Martin Hernandez-Ayon (Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Mexico), Cristian Vargas (Universidad de Concepción) and Nelson Lagos (Chile). One of the goals of this short course was to provide researchers in this new field of ocean acidification information on the "best practices" in the field. Robbins provided information on the CO2-system chemistry of ocean acidification and how to measure it using different techniques and the use of carbon calculators. In a separate mini symposium held at the University of Concepción, Robbins' powerpoint talk focused on setting up scientific networks and the framework associated with the study of OA.

For more information about the LAOCA workshop, visit:

posted: 2014-11-20

Graphic of the coccidioidomycosis cycle in humansUSGS scientist helps CDC staff locate source of airborne microbe

From 11/15 to 11/23, USGS microbiologist Dale Griffin will do fieldwork in Tucson, Arizona, with staff from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help locate the source of coccidioidomycosis, or Valley Fever. Even though the fungus is known to be transported airborne, it has never been captured from in-situ air samples. Dale was chosen for his experience in collecting microbe samples from African Dust that travels across the Atlantic Ocean (see Soundwaves article, March 2002). The initial CDC sampling program will be in and around Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson.

posted: 2014-11-20

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