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Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center

Coastal Processes

CoSMoS: San Francisco Bay

In progress, due summer 2014

Location map of  San Francisco Bay work.

Above: San Francisco Bay study area

CoSMoS is set up within the San Francisco Bay as an extension of Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF) work and is scheduled for release in summer of 2014. San Francisco Bay is geographically and bathymetrically complex, necessitating many alterations to the methods used on Northern California’s outer coast.

Changes for implementation within San Francisco Bay include:

  • Incorporating vertical land motion and marsh accretion
  • Projecting freshwater discharges for the Sacremento-San Joaquin Delta and principal tributaries through the 21st century
  • Incorporating in-bay wind waves generated from high-resolution downscaled Global Climate Models (GCMs)
  • Adding the effect of ocean swell penetration in the central bay
  • Robust flooding uncertainty determined as part of the product suite

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Above: Animation of modeled South San Francisco Bay water level during an extreme high-tide event (king tide). m, meters; MSL, mean sea level. [Read disclaimer.]

Graphic showing extreme winds direction.

Above: Direction of extreme winds (black arrows, wind speed greater than 24 meters/second [m/s]) that produce maximum locally generated waves throughout San Francisco Bay (color shading). h, wave height. [See a larger version; and read disclaimer.]


  • Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium
  • Coravai
  • NOAA Coastal Services Center
  • Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
  • National Park Service
  • Point Blue Conservation Science
  • San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR)
  • USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center


Inundated areas shown should not be used for navigation, regulatory, permitting, or other legal purposes. The U.S. Geological Survey provides these data “as is” for a quick reference, emergency planning tool but assumes no legal liability or responsibility resulting from the use of this information.

The suggestions and illustrations included in these images are intended to improve coastal-flood awareness and preparedness; however, they do not guarantee the safety of an individual or structure. The contributors and sponsors of this product do not assume liability for any injury, death, property damage, or other effects of coastal flooding.

Use of trade names in this report is for identification purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey.


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Site designed, created, and maintained by: Laura Zink Torresan
Questions to: Patrick Barnard
Page Last Modified: 12 March 2014 (lzt)