USGS - science for a changing world

Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Coastal Processes

Research Projects

These USGS research projects made major contributions to the studies of San Francisco Bay sand and mud.


San Francisco Bay Coastal SystemSan Francisco Bay Coastal System

The objective of this project is to identify the physical processes and anthropogenic influences that have resulted in significant morphological changes to the San Francisco Bay Coastal System at a range of spatial and temporal scales. This, in turn, will aid in the assessment of the future impact of sea level rise, climate change, and sediment management practices on the beaches, tidal wetlands, and submarine resources. The project's development reflects the importance of an integrated, system-wide approach toward understanding sediment transport pathways from the delta mouth to the shelf.

San Francisco Bight Coastal Processes StudySan Francisco Bight Coastal Processes Study

The USGS is conducting a study that documents and analyzes the processes that control the sand transport and sedimentation patterns of Ocean Beach, a National Park site within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This area encompasses a complicated coastal setting that is impacted by the tidal influence of San Francisco Bay, as well as the southwest and northwest Pacific swell. High-energy conditions at this site have restricted comprehensive field surveys in the past, but recent innovations in field techniques now make it possible to perform detailed analysis of the physical processes operating on high energy coastlines, such as Ocean Beach.

Our Coast Our FutureOur Coast Our Future (web site hosted by PRBO)

Our Coast Our Future (OCOF) is a collaborative, user-driven project focused on providing San Francisco Bay Area coastal resource and land use managers and planners locally relevant, online maps and tools to help understand, visualize, and anticipate vulnerabilities to sea level rise and storms within the bay and on the outer coast from Half Moon Bay to Bodega Bay.

Coastal Storm Modeling System: CoSMoSCoastal Storm Modeling System: CoSMoS

The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) is a dynamic modeling approach that has been developed by the United States Geological Survey in order to allow more detailed predictions of coastal flooding due to both future sea level rise and storms integrated with long-term coastal evolution (i.e., beach changes and cliff/bluff retreat) over large geographic areas (100s of kilometers). CoSMoS models all the relevant physics of a coastal storm (e.g.,tides, waves, and storm surge), which are then scaled down to local flood projections for use in community-level coastal planning and decision-making. Rather than relying on historic storm records, CoSMoS uses wind and pressure from global climate models to project coastal storms under changing climatic conditions during the 21st century.

California Seafloor Mapping ProgramCalifornia Seafloor Mapping Program

The California Seafloor Mapping Program (CSMP) is a cooperative program to create a comprehensive coastal/marine geologic and habitat base map series for all of California's state waters. CSMP focus is to fund ship-based collection of high-resolution sonar data, the undersea equivalent of satellite remote sensing data in terrestrial mapping.

Marine Geomorphology, Evolution, and HabitatsMarine Geomorphology, Evolution, and Habitats

The National Seafloor Mapping and Benthic Habitat Studies Project: Pacific strives to produce maps and geologic information that are useful for marine resource management. The project utilizes traditional data collected by the Program including sampling, bottom video, sidescan sonar, and multibeam sonar data. The project develops new methods of combining these data to produce habitat and surficial geology maps.

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Page Last Modified: 23 December 2015 (lzt)