USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Recent News - stories from the last 14 days.
Read more about the USGS research project: Remote Sensing Coastal Change.
The article "Quantifying uncertainty in Sr/Ca-based estimates of SST from the coral Orbicella faveolata"; has been accepted for publication in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology. The strontium to calcium ratio (Sr/Ca) in aragonitic skeletons of massive corals provides a proxy for sea surface temperature (SST) that can be used to reconstruct paleoclimates across decades, centuries, and, potentially, millennia. This study produced a new, regional-scale Sr/Ca-SST calibration for Orbicella faveolata using five modern Orbicella faveolata corals from Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA. This study also examined the sources of uncertainty that influence the robustness of the Sr/Ca paleothermometer and discovered that the precision of the O. faveolata paleothermometer is ~2 ℃ for decadal-scale comparisons and ~1 ℃ across multi-decadal timescales.
USGS personnel Jennifer Miselis (Research Geologist), BJ Reynolds (Engineering Technician), Nancy DeWitt (Geologist), Andy Farmer (CNT), Jake Fredericks (Hydrographic Technician), Mitch Lemon (Field Technician), Chelsea Stalk (CNT), Nesti Stathakopoulos (Oceanographer), and Hunter Wilcox (CNT) traveled to Fire Island National Seashore along the south shore of Long Island, New York, to conduct a geophysical survey in coordination with the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The objective of the field effort was to remeasure seafloor elevations and sub-seafloor geology in areas that were surveyed in 2014 in order to quantify change in shoreface sediment availability and flux, some of the first data of its kind. The bathymetry of Wilderness Breach, which has remained open since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, was also remapped to help better understand the post-storm morphological evolution of a natural inlet. Seafloor elevations were mapped using two personal watercraft (PWC) equipped with echosounders. Unlike the 2014 survey, when an amphibious vessel was used to map the shoreface geology, this survey was the first time SPCMSC researchers launched an Edgetech 512i from the beach using a wheeled sled and SPCMSC Research Vessel (R/V) Sallenger. The specialized sled was the result of a collaborative effort of the SPCMSC Marine Operations group and the survey could not have been completed without it. Over approximately 3 weeks and with incredible effort, the PWCs covered 715 km and the sled covered 330 km to successfully complete the field work.
Several undergraduate students who were awarded internships at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, through the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF REU) Program will visit the Saint Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC). Since their internship research is often focused on topics in biological oceanography, in addition to touring the facility, the students will learn about USGS research in coastal geology and the tools used to do that research. SPCMSC scientist Jennifer Miselis (Research Geologist) will host the students and provide an overview of coastal geological research. The SPCMSC Marine Operations group will stage equipment and vessels so the students can learn how geophysical data are acquired. Noreen Buster (Geologist) will provide an overview of sediment sampling and coring capabilities in the core laboratory. Finally, a panel comprised of Xan Fredericks (Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator), RC Mickey (Oceanographer), and Caitlin Reynolds (Geologist) will answer questions from the students regarding their career paths, USGS research, and what it's like to be a career scientist.