Surveys Reveal Deposition of Sediment Released by Dam Removal in Washington State
The USGS Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center is leading surveys along the Elwha River delta in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Washington, to map coastal effects of sediment released during the largest dam removal in U.S. history. According to field-operations leader Andrew Stevens, bathymetric surveys from personal watercraft show that more than 5 meters of new sediment has been deposited on a large area near the Elwha River mouth during winter 2012-13, when initial discharge of sand from dam removal occurred. David Finlayson, Gerry Hatcher and Pete Dal Ferro are still surveying the region with high-tech sonar and camera systems deployed from the research vessel Snavely. (Jon Warrick, Santa Cruz, CA, email@example.com, 831-460-7569)
Learn more about how our science is supporting the Elwha River Restoration Project: http://www.usgs.gov/elwha
Interactive Online Tool for Assessing Climate-Change Impacts Along North–Central California Coast
USGS scientists, in collaboration with NOAA and PRBO Conservation Science (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory), recently released the beta version of an interactive tool for assessing climate-change impacts along the north-central California coast (Half Moon Bay to Bodega Bay), at http://data.prbo.org/apps/ocof/. The new Climate Impacts Tool—part of the Our Coast Our Future (OCOF) project to provide natural-resource managers and others with science-based decision-support tools—incorporates the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) developed by USGS and Deltares (an independent Dutch research institute) to assess the dual impacts of sea-level rise and severe storms. The USGS team members are now planning to apply the CoSMoS system for a similar purpose along shorelines in San Francisco Bay and southern California. (Patrick Barnard, Santa Cruz, CA, firstname.lastname@example.org, 831-460-7556)
Scientists from Four USGS Science Centers Collaborate in Study of Coastal Groundwater Exchange in Hood Canal, Washington
This interdisciplinary approach, drawing on experts in geochemistry, hydrology, geology, and oceanography, is the central theme of the USGS Coastal Aquifer Project (CAPII), which was recently restructured by Peter Swarzenski (USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center), Kevin Kroeger (USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center), and Christopher G. Smith (USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center) to align with current USGS science strategies and opportunities. Read more...
South Korean Geoscientists Visit the USGS in Menlo Park and Santa Cruz, California
USGS emeritus geophysicist Jonathan Childs in Menlo Park and USGS geologist James Hein in Santa Cruz hosted scientists from the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM). The scientists were introduced to a range of USGS studies, including microbiology, radiometric dating, analytical labs, data-processing operations, the NetQuakes seismograph network, deep-sea mineral investigations, and more. Read more...
Strategic IODP Planning Workshop for Ultra-Deep Drilling into Arc Crust
Two USGS geologists—Amy Draut of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, and Erin Todd of the Alaska Science Center in Anchorage—were among 58 international scientists who gathered in Kona, Hawai'i, from September 17 to 21, 2012, for a planning workshop on "Ultra-Deep Drilling into Arc Crust" by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP; formerly the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program). Read more...
Training to Use New Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) Scanner in Santa Cruz, California
A newly acquired terrestrial lidar (light detection and ranging) scanner was the focus of training at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, in December 2012. USGS technicians and scientists learned how to operate the new instrument during a 4-day workshop organized by Deputy Center Director for Marine Operations George Tate and geographer Joshua Logan. Read more...
Remembering Asbury "Abby" Sallenger—Architect of the USGS Coastal Program
USGS scientist and renowned coastal-hazards expert Asbury "Abby" Sallenger, 63, died at home on the evening of February 5. He was a distinguished research scientist, a skilled communicator, and a mentor throughout his career. Seen as a leader in scientific response to coastal storms, Sallenger served as the voice of the USGS on hurricanes and coastal change since the USGS stood up its first scientific storm-response team in the mid-1990s. Read more...
Middlebury College Research Vessel Named for Retired USGS Scientist David Folger
The research vessel (R/V) David Folger, a 48-foot hydrofoil catamaran, is the newly dedicated research vessel for Middlebury College in Vermont. It will explore the waters of Lake Champlain while offering a state-of-the-art oceanographic platform for undergraduate students to learn the basics of marine research. Read more...
A Passion for Educational Outreach—Profile of USGS Geologist Carol Reiss
USGS geologist Carol Reiss of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, gave her 99th educational-outreach presentation to a group of local fourth graders on December 17, 2012. Carol took the students on "geology field trips" around the facility's large conference room, where they saw rocks and fossils that Carol had collected from sites around the world, including Hawai'i, California, Mount St. Helens, Mount Everest, and the Juan de Fuca spreading ridge at the bottom of the North Pacific Ocean. Read more...
International Atomic Energy Agency Working Group on Using Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Hazard Assessments for Nuclear Power Plants
USGS oceanographer Bruce Jaffe participated in the second consultancy meeting of an International Atomic Energy Agency working group, Jan. 22-23, in Vienna. The goal of this group is to provide an intelligible technical document on using geologic histories of earthquakes and tsunamis in hazard assessments for nuclear power plants. Users are "embarking countries" seeking to develop nuclear power programs. (Bruce Jaffe, Santa Cruz, CA, 831-460-7542)
Multi-Agency Workshop on Improving Extreme Flood Event Hazard Assessment
USGS researchers from across the Bureau joined specialists from other federal agencies, contractors, industry, academia, and other subject-matter experts at a workshop, Jan. 29-31, in Rockville, MD at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission headquarters. The goal of the meeting was to develop probabilistic hazard assessment methods for a wide range of flood hazards and for use in probabilistic risk assessments of critical infrastructures. Other agencies represented included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Bureau of Reclamation. For more information, contact Eric Geist at 650-329-5457.
Reducing the Risk of Environmental Health Disasters in the Pacific
USGS oceanographer Bruce Jaffe presented information on tsunami hazards in the Pacific region at a Centers for Disease Control workshop on "Reducing the Risk of Environmental Health Disasters in the Pacific." The workshop, Feb. 4-6, in Honolulu, HI brought together 50 invited participants, including health executives, public health officials, and subject-matter experts. The goals were to investigate and report disaster hazards and vulnerabilities facing Pacific islanders, and to identify and prioritize opportunities for disaster risk reduction in Pacific Island countries and territories. For more information, contact Bruce Jaffe at 831-460-7542.
Deep-Ocean Mineral Deposits as Source of Critical Metals
USGS scientists James Hein, Kira Mizell, and Tracey Conrad, with colleague Andrea Koschinsky of Jacobs University Bremen (Germany), just published "Deep-ocean mineral deposits as a source of critical metals for high- and green-technology applications: comparison with land-based resources" in the June 2013 issue of Ore Geology Reviews. Ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts and nodules on the ocean floor are enriched in rare and critical metals and rare-earth elements, many of which are essential for high-tech, green-tech, emerging-tech, and energy applications. The authors compare the grades and tonnages of nodules and crusts in two areas of the Pacific Ocean with global terrestrial reserves and resources. They also discuss differences between terrestrial and marine impacts and mine characteristics. Deep-ocean mineral deposits will not replace land-based mining but will offer an additional source of raw materials to meet increasing demands. (James Hein, Santa Cruz, CA, 831-460-7419)
Pacific Northwest Seagrasses and Climate Change
PCMSC geochemist Renee Takesue was one of the organizers of the workshop “The Future of Pacific Northwest Seagrasses in a Changing Climate”, held January 23-25, 2013, in Friday Harbor, Washington. The goal of the workshop—cosponsored by USGS, Washington Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington Sea Grant—was to determine impacts of climate change on Pacific Northwest seagrasses and implications for seagrass research and restoration. Seagrasses provide critical habitat for fish, birds, and invertebrates and serve as indicators of nearshore ecosystem health. Washington State had set a target of increasing seagrass habitat in Puget Sound by 20% by the year 2020. The workshop was attended by scientists and resource managers from universities, the Northwest Indian College, and state and federal agencies. (Renee Takesue, Santa Cruz, CA, 831-460-7594)
Pacific Northwest Seagrasses and Climate Change
USGS geochemist Renee Takesue, of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, is one of the organizers of the workshop “The Future of Pacific Northwest Seagrasses in a Changing Climate”, to be held January 23-25, 2013, in Friday Harbor, Washington. The goal of the workshop—cosponsored by USGS, Washington Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington Sea Grant—is to determine impacts of climate change on Pacific Northwest seagrasses and implications for seagrass research and restoration. Seagrasses provide critical habitat for fish, birds, and invertebrates and serve as indicators of nearshore ecosystem health. Washington State had set a target of increasing seagrass habitat in Puget Sound by 20% by the year 2020. The workshop will be attended by scientists and resource managers from universities, the Northwest Indian College, and state and federal agencies. (Renee Takesue, Santa Cruz, CA, 831-460-7594)
Tsunami Source Working Group—Assessing Tsunami Hazards
Twelve members of the Tsunami Source Working Group gathered for the group's monthly meeting on January 8, 2013, at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, CA. The meeting, open to all, was also videostreamed to a conference room in Menlo Park, CA. Bruce Richmond and Bruce Jaffe (PCMSC) presented information on California paleo-tsunami field studies, Guy Gelfenbaum (PCMSC) described Alaska paleo-tsunami field studies, Amy Draut (PCMSC) discussed subduction-zone and accretion processes, and group leader Walter Mooney (Earthquake Hazards) led a discussion on directions for future investigation and the use of tsunami-source information to assess tsunami hazards to U.S. coasts. (Guy Gelfenbaum, Santa Cruz, CA, 831-460-7417)
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