Left to right: CMGP web design team Laura Torresan, Jolene Gittens, Andrea Toran, Ann Tihansky (team lead), and Greg Miller (web developer/programmer).
The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) website (http://marine.usgs.gov/) has won a USGS 2015 Shoemaker Award for Communication Product Excellence in the Internet Product category. This award recognizes products that effectively convey complex scientific concepts to non-science audiences. The re-designed website offers science, data, and news from the three Coastal and Marine Geology Science Centers. The design team — coordinator Ann Tihansky (Coastal and Marine Geology Program), Jolene Gittens (St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center), Greg Miller (Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center [WHCMSC]), Andrea Toran (WHCMSC), and Laura Torresan (Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center [PCMSC]) — will be celebrated at the USGS Honor Awards ceremony in Reston, Virginia, on May 3. Laura Torresan also was on the team that won a 1998 Shoemaker Award for what is now the PCMSC web site.
Methanotrophic mussels with rockling fish. Image Credit: Atlantic Canyons: Pathways to the Abyss, BOEM/NOAA OER/USGS.
USGS scientists and collaborators from more than a dozen research institutions will receive the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) 2015 Excellence in Partnering Award on February 23, 2016, at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans. The award recognizes the research team’s Atlantic Canyons: Pathways to the Abyss project. The team received another major award in January 2014, when Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell presented them with the DOI Partners in Conservation Award. USGS scientists on the team studied underwater canyon geology, oceanography, ecology, and biology.
For more information, contact principal investigators Amanda Demopoulos (project chief), firstname.lastname@example.org, 352-264-3490;
Nancy Prouty, email@example.com, 831-460- 7526;
Cheryl Morrison, firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-724-4464; or
Christina Kellogg, email@example.com, 727-502-8128.
3-D perspective view of shaded relief bathymetry offshore Chenega village. Shaded patches of seafloor depict areas that experienced dramatic changes in water depth between 1957 and 2014. Read more in the USGS Newsroom.
Minutes after the 1964 magnitude-9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake began shaking, a series of tsunami waves swept through the village of Chenega in Prince William Sound, destroying all but two of the buildings and killing 23 of the 75 inhabitants. Fifty years later, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey revealed the likely cause of the tsunami, a large set of underwater landslides. The scientists used detailed seafloor images not only clear up a decades-old mystery, but also underscore the tsunami hazard that submarine landslides can pose in fjords around the world where communities and ports are commonly located.
Read the entire News Release from February 1, 2016.
Survey team on fantail of research vessel (R/V) Solstice: James Weise (Alaska Department of Fish and Game [ADFG]), Pete Dartnell (USGS), Dave Anderson (ADFG), Rob Wyland (USGS), John Crowfts (ADFG), and Peter Haeussler (USGS). Kneeling, left to right: Danny Brothers (USGS) and Gerry Hatcher (USGS). [Read more]
A team of USGS scientists—Danny Brothers, Pete Dartnell, Gerry Hatcher, and Rob Wyland from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center and Peter Haeussler from the Alaska Science Center (see photo, above)—led multibeam bathymetry and multichannel seismic-reflection surveys along the northernmost offshore section of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault, between Cross Sound and Icy Point.
Read the entire article in the Sound Waves newsletter.
Left, Cordell Johnson drilling and coring the interior of the bluff to ground-truth geophysical methods. Right, a core section filled mostly with ice. [Read more]
In September 2015, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) surveyed rapidly eroding permafrost bluffs on Barter Island, a remnant of low-elevation tundra on Alaska’s Arctic coast. Warming air and sea temperatures in the Arctic are leading to longer periods of permafrost thaw and ice-free conditions during the summer months, which can weaken the coastal bluffs and increase their vulnerability to storm surge and wave impacts. The 2015 survey is part of a long-term effort to document seasonal to decadal coastal-bluff change on the island’s north coast.
Read the entire article in the Sound Waves newsletter.
Pete Dal Ferro deploying the bubbler system from an inflatable vessel. [Read more]
In November 2015, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted an experiment using in-house equipment to image artificially created gas plumes offshore of Santa Cruz, California. The experiment is part of our preparation for a 2016 survey of California’s Santa Barbara Basin, where we plan to map the seafloor, image sediment layers beneath the seafloor, and detect and map seafloor seeps. One of the goals of the upcoming Santa Barbara Basin study is to better understand the relationship between sub-seafloor fluid flow, faults, and submarine landslides.
Read the entire article in the Sound Waves newsletter.
USGS research vessel Parke Sanvely and USGS scientist operating a personal watercraft equipped with echosounders used for mapping the nearshore region. [Larger version]
Scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center plan to survey the mouth, beach, and nearby seafloor of the Elwha River in Washington, February 15–19, 2016. The survey will continue to document changes triggered by the 2011–2014 removal of two large dams upstream. Scientists on the research vessel Parke Snavely will map the seafloor using swath sonar. Others, on smaller vessels, will map close to shore and about 1 kilometer up the river using echosounders. Scientists onshore will survey the beach using backpack GPS receivers. A crew on the research vessel Frontier will collect sediment samples to measure grain-size. Similar surveys, conducted regularly since 2004, recorded major changes to the area.
Visit the web page USGS Science to Support the Elwha River Restoration Project.
Severe coastal bluff erosion, along the southern end of Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California. This storm damage occurred during the 2009-2010 El Niño, which, on average, eroded the shoreline 55 meters that winter. Photo taken on January 20, 2010 by Jeff Hansen, USGS.
Although the U.S. Geological Survey doesn’t directly study or forecast the weather (our sister agency, NOAA, and its National Weather Service do), the USGS studies and documents the effects and impacts of long-term climate changes and weather phenomena across the U.S. and globally. In particular, the USGS monitors streamflow, floods, landslides, erosion, sea-level rise, and many other earth processes that affect communities and that are often affected by El Niño weather patterns. USGS closely monitors these effects to assist the NWS in its responsibilities for hazard warnings and to assist communities across the country in their preparation, response, and recovery activities.
Learn more about USGS El Niño studies in this article featured as a Top Story in the USGS Newsroom.
USGS oceanographer Dan Hoover (Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center) was interviewed by Charles Clifford of KRON4-TV for a story about coastal-cliff erosion that could occur on beaches in and near San Francisco, California, during El Niño storms this winter. Hoover met Clifford on January 12, 2016, at Mussel Rock Park in Daly City. He explained that wave energy typically increases by about 20 percent during an El Niño winter, and storm waves combined with high tides could reach the base of cliffs and cause erosion. He noted that bluffs on different beaches differ in the geology and hydrology that affect how they will fail, making them challenging to study. The interview, broadcast that night, can be viewed at:
For more information, contact Dan Hoover, firstname.lastname@example.org, 831-460-7544.
Perspective view offshore of the Big Sur coast. The steep slope beside the Hosgri fault results from uplift along the fault, which is part of the strike-slip fault system that forms the boundary in California between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates.
Sam Johnson of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center and David Schwartz and Lind Gee of the Earthquake Science Center were interviewed January 13, 2016, by KION, the CBS TV affiliate out of Salinas, California, for a program on earthquake hazards in central California. Johnson was interviewed about offshore faults and seafloor imaging. Schwartz discussed earthquake probabilities and forecasting and how a large earthquake could impact the state and the central coast. Gee described how the USGS monitors earthquakes in California. The story aired February 7 after the Super Bowl.
For more information, contact Sam Johnson, email@example.com, 831-460-7546.
USGS scientist deploying seismic equipment from Research Vessel Parke Snavely in San Pablo Bay, CA.
New USGS mapping shows that two earthquake faults, the Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults, may be directly connected deep beneath San Pablo Bay, a northern extension of San Francisco Bay, California. Such a connection could increase total fault-rupture length and resultant shaking during an earthquake. USGS research geophysicist Janet Watt, who led the mapping effort, was interviewed by San Francisco Chronicle science editor David Perlman on December 15 at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, where she presented the new findings. Perlman’s article, published December 31st, led to additional interviews of Watt and her colleagues by CBS/KPIX television, KCBS radio, the Marin Independent Journal, KRON-4 television, Talk 910 AM radio, USA Radio Network News, Univision, KTSF Channel 26, the Contra Costa Times, and the San Jose Mercury News.
For more information, contact Janet Watt, firstname.lastname@example.org, 831-460-7565.
Stephanie Ross (USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center and Science Applications for Risk Reduction [SAFRR]) was the USGS coordinator for a National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) workshop, February 1-2, 2016, in Boulder, Colorado. NOAA’s NTHMP provides a customer-based, grass-roots approach to tsunami-hazard assessment and mitigation. The workshop’s goal was to improve collaboration between NTHMP and USGS to provide better tsunami-preparedness products for coastal communities. Topics included: identification and cataloging of tsunami sources (potential earthquakes and landslides); standardized tsunami sources for scenario calculations; and tsunami-vulnerability assessments. About 30 USGS participants and 30 participants from other federal agencies and tsunami-vulnerable states and territories attended the workshop, scheduled just before the NTHMP annual meeting. Stephanie Ross and Nate Wood (USGS Western Geographic Science Center) are the USGS representatives to NTHMP.
For more information see http://nws.weather.gov/nthmp/2016annualmeeting/ or contact Stephanie Ross, email@example.com, 650-329-5326.
Patrick Barnard presents the initial results from the new CoSMoS 3.0 model for Southern California. Photo by Holly Rindge, USC Sea Grant.
On January 21, 2016, USGS research geologist Patrick Barnard discussed initial hazard maps that show potential flooding in the Orange County region from a 100-year storm combined with four scenarios of sea-level rise. The maps are generated by the latest version of the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS 3.0), a USGS-led modeling system that projects coastal flooding and erosion due to both sea-level rise and storms driven by climate change. Many California agencies are using CoSMoS data to plan for coastal impacts from El Niño storms. The webinar “Sub-Regional Coastal Storm Modeling Results: Orange County” was broadcast live on January 21 and is now available as an archived recording.
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