Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center
We conduct multidisciplinary scientific research in the coastal and offshore areas of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and other US Pacific Islands; and in other waterways of the United States.
USGS Scientist Honored by U.S. Coral Reef Task Force
USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center emeritus geologist Michael E. Field (at right, in the photo shown here, with Curt Storlazzi) received the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) 2013 Outstanding Scientific Advancement of Knowledge award for his “outstanding leadership in developing the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program’s Pacific Coral Reef Project…to better understand the influences of natural processes and impacts of human activities on coral reef health.” Presented on Nov. 15 at a USCRTF meeting in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the award commends Field and his team for continuing “to provide the foundational science helping to preserve and protect the biodiversity, health, and social and economic value of coral reef ecosystems.” The USCRTF, established in 1998 by former President Clinton, includes leaders of 12 Federal agencies, 7 U.S. States, Territories, Commonwealths, and 3 Freely Associated States. For more information, contact Curt Storlazzi, 831-460-7521.
Marine Geology Special Issue on Sediment Transport and Geomorphic Evolution in the San Francisco Bay Coastal System
The San Francisco Bay coastal system—encompassing the lower San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta, San Francisco Bay, and the adjacent outer Pacific coast—is marked by strong waves and tidal currents, intricate estuarine circulation and sediment-transport patterns, and a long history of human influence. A special issue of Marine Geology, edited by USGS scientists and released November 1, 2013, is the first compilation focused on sediment transport in this complex system. The volume’s 21 papers—12 of them authored by scientists at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center—advance fundamental understanding of sediment-related coastal/estuarine processes through state-of-the-art investigations of sand provenance, circulation patterns, geomorphic change, and transport of fine sediment in one of the most altered estuarine systems in the world.
View the special issue's table of contents here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00253227/345
Visit the "San Francisco Bay Sand & Mud" web site.
For more information, contact Patrick Barnard, 831-460-7556.
National Geographic Map of Undersea Minerals
USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center scientist James Hein contributed to a foldout map of worldwide undersea minerals published in the November 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine. The article, “Mapping a New America,” describes the history and exploration of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The U.S. EEZ and territorial waters are the largest in the world at 4,690,000 square miles, 24 percent larger than the land area of the United States. Dr. Hein and National Geographic staff worked together over several months to ensure the accuracy of the map before publication. For more information, contact James Hein at email@example.com or 831-460-7419.
Impacts of Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change on Department of Defense Installations on Pacific Ocean Atolls
Scientists from the USGS Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center will gather field data on U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) in the Republic of the Marshall Islands from October 27-November 15 as part of a joint USGS, NOAA, and University of Hawaii study focused on Pacific atolls that house Department of Defense (DOD) installations. The study will assess the impacts of sea-level rise and storm-wave inundation on infrastructure and freshwater under various sea-level rise and climatic scenarios. DOD will use the findings to develop climate-change adaptation plans for infrastructure and associated water resources. The findings will also be useful to Pacific island nations already threatened by sea-level rise and changing climate. For more information, contact Curt Storlazzi, firstname.lastname@example.org, 831-460-7521.
Over the past decade, there has been a notable change in seafloor-bottom type along west Maui, Hawaiʻi. Nearshore areas, once dominated by corals, are now mostly overgrown by algae, suggesting a local nutrient imbalance that warrants further investigation... Read more...
Scientists cannot predict when a great earthquake producing a trans-Pacific tsunami will occur, but thanks to new tools being developed by Federal and State agencies, scientists can now offer more accurate insight into the likely impacts of such tsunamis. This knowledge can lead officials and the public to reduce the risk of future tsunamis that hit California.
The USGS is a key partner in the California Seafloor Mapping Program: a large, unique, and historically ambitious collaboration between State and Federal agencies, academia, and the private sector to create a comprehensive base-map series for all of California’s ocean waters. Scientists are collecting sonar data, video and photographic imagery, seismic surveys, and bottom-sediment data to create a series of maps of seafloor bathymetry, habitats, geology, and more, in order to inform coastal managers and planners, government entities, and researchers. With the new maps, decision makers and elected officials can better design and monitor marine reserves, evaluate ocean energy potential, understand ecosystem dynamics, recognize earthquake and tsunami hazards, regulate offshore development, and improve maritime safety. Read more...
The results of a workshop prompted by extreme flooding during the 2011 Japanese tsunami have been published by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). To address flooding events such as this one, with extremely low probabilities but extremely severe consequences, the NRC held a "Workshop on Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment." The workshop was organized and conducted by the NRC in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Read more...
Please join us at our Santa Cruz, CA Science Center for scientific talks and presentations given by local scientists and researchers.
Cover Story: Deepwater Gas Hydrate Deposits in the Gulf of Mexico
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