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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Technology and Tools

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) conducts integrated mapping of the coastal and marine environment to define offshore hazards and sediment processes, support habitat and resource management, and monitor change. CMGP is an innovator in mapping and laboratory analyses, whose expertise is sought by other governmental agencies, educational institutions, and private companies. In turn, we seek collaborative research and development opportunities with similar groups to continually correct and perfect the data collection tools, analytical techniques, and technologies utilized in our coastal and marine studies.

Maps and Mapping Technologies

mapping schematicCoastal and Marine Geology Program Lidar Coordination: Lidar Coordination supports the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology goal of understanding coastal and marine environments through technology, tools, data and mapping products, as well as collaborative opportunities

Advanced Remote Sensing Methods for Coastal Science and Management: characterizing and classifying features on the seafloor using data collected by both airborne and underwater instrumentation; ATRIS, topographic complexity, coral fluorescence

California Seafloor Mapping Program: comprehensive coastal and marine geologic and habitat base map series for all of California's State waters

Coastal and Marine Geology Program Interactive Maps: portal to published GIS-related data and maps

Louisiana Sedimentary and Environmental Database: database incorporates a wide range of data types (sediment-sample logs and analyses, geophysical profiles, raster-image basemaps, logbooks, etc.) that are integrated with spatial data

Mapping Systems: surficial, sub-bottom, and littoral mapping; sampling (Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center)

More Mapping Systems: surficial, sub-bottom, and littoral mapping; sampling (Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center)

Maps of America's Submerged Lands: provides links to some of the many USGS publications that contain maps and the digital data used to create them


scientist at work in a USGS laboratoryCarbon Analytical Lab: utilizes state of the art methods and instrumentation for quantifying carbon system parameters in aqueous samples

Core and Sediment Processing Labs: the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center stores, processes, and analyzes seafloor cores and sediment samples in Santa Cruz, California

Gas Hydrate Physical Property Research: USGS conducts and participates in marine and shore-based field studies to quantify how the properties and behavior of sediment change in response to gas hydrate formation

More laboratories: sediment geochemistry laboratory and clean room at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center


hand-held digital still camera used on beaches and underwater by diversCMGTooL: software for processing, analyzing, and visualizing time-series oceanographic data

CO2calc: A User-Friendly Seawater Carbon Calculator for Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS (iPhone): user-friendly, stand-alone application for the calculation of carbonate system parameters

Grain Size from Digital Images of Sediment: hardware and software for rapid mapping of bed-sediment grain size

Data Modeling and Visualization

Screenshot of COAWST modeling tool.Coastal and Marine Geology Video and Photograph Portal: Explore Thousands of Coastal and Seafloor Images along U.S. Coasts

Coastal Change Hazards Portal: visualize data and knowledge about storms, shoreline change, and seal-level rise

Coastal Ocean Modeling: apps, tools, and models

Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS): generate real-time forecasts of water levels, wave heights, coastal erosion and flooding for a period of up to 3 days in advance; simulates a number of historical storms and hypothetical scenarios

COAWST: study coastal change using a coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment transport modeling system

Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF): provides sea-level rise and storm scenarios for the entire coast of California and the San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay Basic Tide Model: run a basic depth-averaged (2DH) Deltares Delft3D astronomic tide model for San Francisco Bay

Seafloor Stress and Sediment Mobility: estimate wave current, bottom stress, and sediment movement

Instruments and Equipment

USGS scientists in the field with the backpack SASW equipment.Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR): uses radio waves to map the internal structure of the ground

Multi-sensor whole core logging system (MSCL) - measures geophysical properties of unsplit sediment cores

Sediment Transport Instrumentation Facility - deploys oceanographic moorings and tripods

Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves (SASW) - seismic tools useful for evaluating the stiffness characteristics of soil deposits

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Page Last Modified: November 22, 2017 @ 11:29 AM (LZT)