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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Recent News

Recent News - stories from the last 14 days.

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

USGS Researchers study the balance between reef growth and erosion on a Florida Keys reef

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



photograph of USGS physical scientist, Lee-Gray BozeMeet USGS' newest laboratory!

Proven under Pressure: USGS Advances Capabilities for High-Pressure Seafloor Samples Containing Gas Hydrate

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



Methane seeps emanating from the seafloor behind authigenic carbonate rock (formed as a result of microbially-mediated processes) on the upper continental slope (~450 meters) on the Virginia margin.Could Subsea Methane Hydrates Be a Warming "Tipping Point"?

Dr. Carolyn Ruppel of Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, lead author of a recent paper in Reviews of Geophysics, answers questions about the potential for subsea methane hydrates to contribute to global warming.

posted: 2017-04-14



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