USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program
News Archive - stories from April 2017.
Dr. Lauren Toth (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) is leading a research expedition to the Florida Keys to assess the balance between reef growth and erosion at Hen & Chickens Reef. This research will follow up on a previous study by Toth, Ilsa Kuffner (Research Marine Biologist, SPMSC), and Harold Hudson (retired NOAA-FKNMS) that measured rates of bioerosion at Hen & Chickens using an experiment set up by Hudson nearly two decades ago. Toth and her team—Hunter Wilcox (CNT contractor at SPMSC), Elizabeth Whitcher (M.S. candidate at Florida Institute of Technology), and Robert Fidler (Ph.D. candidate at Florida Institute of Technology)—aim to develop a more complete picture of the balance between reef growth and erosion at this site by developing a survey-based carbonate budget. This CREST research project will provide important new insights into the drivers of reef erosion in the Florida Keys.posted: 2017-04-27
The pressure cores will be analyzed in the newly-inaugurated USGS Hydrate Pressure Core Analysis Laboratory (HyPrCAL)at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center. This facility is the first in the U.S. to be designed for and dedicated to the analysis of pressure cores. USGS scientists will use HyPrCAL to conduct geotechnical, electrical, and hydraulic measurements on hydrate-bearing pressure cores and to complete benchtop testing of methane production from gas hydrates.
The USGS Gas Hydrates Project is a leading international gas hydrates research program focused on energy resource, environmental, and geohazard issues.posted: 2017-04-17
The USGS has released 2016 lidar-derived topobathymetric data for Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia. The survey, flown in September 2016, post-Hurricane Hermine (USGS field activity number [FAN] 16CNT03: https://coastal.er.usgs.gov/data-release/doi-F7NP22NH/), was a repeat effort of the survey flown post-Hurricane Joaquin in November 2015 (FAN 2015-344-FA: https://coastal.er.usgs.gov/data-release/doi-F70P0X4G/). The CMGP's National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project uses lidar-derived data to quantify the vulnerability of shorelines to coastal change hazards, such as severe storms, sea-level rise, and shoreline erosion and retreat.posted: 2017-04-13
University of Hawaiʻi Ph.D. candidate, Elizabeth (Beth) Lenz, will arrive in April to work with Ilsa Kuffner (USGS Research Marine Biologist) on the Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies (CREST) project. Beth received a Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP) award to complete the study "Adding Coral Physiology and Genetic Metrics to USGS Calcification Monitoring on Florida Keys Reefs." The GRIP program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide opportunities for NSF Graduate Fellows to enhance their professional development by engaging in mission related research experiences with partner agencies across the federal government. Beth will be visiting SPCMSC for one month this spring, during which she will join Kuffner's field expedition to the Florida Keys, and again for several months next fall to process her samples in the laboratory. Beth's work will expand the understanding of reef resilience at the reef sites where USGS conducts calcification monitoring by incorporating novel, additional data on the reproductive status and symbionts of the coral colonies being monitored. Her data will allow USGS to test the hypothesis that seawater temperature, bleaching history, and/or symbiont type affect coral fecundity and growth rate.posted: 2017-04-06
Cheryl Hapke (Center Director, SPCMSC) was interviewed by Channel 13 Fox News meteorologist Mike Bennett. The interview, which was filmed on site at Pass-a-Grille, St Pete Beach, is for a special on rising seas which is scheduled to be aired in May as part of a series on preparing for this year's hurricane season. Topics discussed included rising sea levels in Florida, including the Tampa Bay area, as well as the importance of barrier islands and their effects in dampening storm surge. As sea levels grow higher, storm surges would cause more erosion and more flooding in places that may not have flooded before. Bennett also asked if the Tampa Bay area could see nuisance flooding such as Miami is already experiencing.posted: 2017-04-06