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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

California Seafloor Mapping Program

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Photo of Goleta Beach in southern California

Photo of USGS researchers with visiting KIGAM researchers.

USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center hosts visitors from Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources

From March 28-29, 2017, the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz hosted three research scientists from the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM). DrsNam-Hyung Koo, Gee Soo Kong, and M.H. Kang are very interested in USGS seafloor mapping and geohazards programs and products; in particular, the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of data relevant to earthquake hazard assessments. USGS hosts Sam Johnson, Jared Kluesner, and Danny Brothers shared their recent experiences and strategies in mapping active faults and submarine landslides, and learned about northwest Pacific basin tectonics and recent earthquakes in the Sea of Japan. The visit yielded many stimulating conversations, and follow-up communication is underway. Contact: Sam Johnson, sjohnson@usgs.gov, 831-460-7546

 

Photograph of marine geology enthusiasts at CGS conference.

Sam Johnson (third from right) and other marine-geology enthusiasts at CGS conference.

USGS seafloor-mapping expert Sam Johnson is keynote speaker at geological conference in South Africa

March 10, 2017

The Council for Geoscience, South Africa’s geological survey, invited research geologist Sam Johnson of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (Santa Cruz, California) to participate in a 1-day workshop and 2-day conference in Pretoria, South Africa. CGS recently launched the South African Nearshore Mapping Program and invited Johnson to share his insights as a leader of the California Seafloor Mapping Program. Johnson gave a presentation at the workshop on March 1 and opened the conference on March 2 with a keynote address: “The California Seafloor Mapping Program—History, Challenges, Applications, and Lessons Learned.” The workshop and conference produced many stimulating conversations on marine geology and mapping with scientists from CGS as well as other South African agencies and academic institutions. Follow-up communications are underway. Contact: Sam Johnson, sjohnson@usgs.gov, 831-460-7546

 

Screen capture of first page of manuscript.

2017 Summary Publication

March 9, 2017

This new publication summarizes the California Seafloor Mapping Program, which has produced one of the worlds largest and most comprehensive seafloor mapping datasets. The paper describes numerous specific applications and provides a model for development of comparable efforts elsewhere.

Johnson, S.Y., Cochrane, G.R., Golden, N.E., Dartnell, P., Hartwell, S.R., Cochran, S.A., and Watt, J.T., 2017, The California Seafloor Mapping Program - Providing science and geospatial data for California’s State Waters: Ocean and Coastal Management, v. 140, p. 88-104. [Download PDF] http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.02.004.

 

ChiSGS.

Seafloor Mapping completed in Santa Barbara Channel

February 24, 2017

Two new sets of maps and digital data have been published for the “Offshore of Gaviota” and “Offshore of Point Conception” map areas. These publications complete comprehensive coverage of the mainland State Waters in the Santa Barbara Channel, extending about 135 km from Port Hueneme to Point Conception. The mew maps document the offshore bathymetry, habitats, and geology of the western Santa Barbara Channel and provide important new insights on hydrocarbon seeps, submarine landslides, and sediment distribution. The publicly available maps address a large number of ocean and coastal management issues.

 

Chinese visitors and USGS hosts during a field trip stop at Cove Beach in Aņo Nuevo State Park. Photo by Stephen Hartwell, USGS.

Chinese visitors and USGS hosts during a field trip stop at Cove Beach in Año Nuevo State Park. Photo by Stephen Hartwell, USGS.

Chinese Coastal Scientists Exchange Ideas, Discuss Future Cooperation with USGS Hosts

September 2016

Eight scientists from the China Geological Survey (CGS) and affiliated organizations visited the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, on September 14 and 15, 2016. The Chinese visitors and their USGS hosts discussed their respective coastal research programs and possibilities for future cooperation. During a one-day workshop on September 14, scientists from both groups described research to address various coastal issues, including flooding, erosion, seafloor habitats, sediment movement, offshore earthquakes, and wetland loss. On September 15, the visitors learned more about USGS studies during a field trip to coastal areas north and south of Santa Cruz. Ms. Ping Yin, professor at Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology and coordinator of a new CGS coastal geology program, initiated the visit to further cooperation between CGS and USGS scientists. Contact: Sam Johnson, sjohnson@usgs.gov, 831-460-7546

 

Map shows unconsolidated sediment thickness in Monterey Bay.

Map of unconsolidated sediment thickness in Monterey Bay, excluding Monterey Canyon: There is a very large sediment deposit at the mouth of the Salinas River (blue and green colors), but otherwise the inner continental shelf is mostly underlain by bedrock (white) or has only a thin sediment cover (pink). The thickness of offshore sediment is an important factor in understanding and forecasting coastal erosion in this area, and in devising strategies for dealing with sea-level rise. Excerpt from USGS California State Waters Map Series — Offshore of Monterey Map Area, Sheet 9.

Briefing on seafloor mapping and coastal change hazards for Representative Sam Farr in Monterey, California

June 2016

On May 31, 2016, scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, spent two hours briefing Congressman Sam Farr (U.S. Representative for California central coast) on the center’s seafloor mapping and coastal-change-hazard studies. Congressman Farr requested a briefing after reading the USGS news release about newly published maps of the Monterey Bay seafloor. The briefing took place at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Main Office in Monterey, California. Bill Douros, Regional Director of West Coast Sanctuaries, and some MBNMS staff also attended. Contact: Sam Johnson, sjohnson@usgs.gov, 831-460-7546

 

Geophysicist Samuel Johnson checks out the new maps at the USGS Marine Geology Mapping center, Thursday, June 11, 2015, in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Geophysicist Sam Johnson checks out the new maps at the USGS Marine Geology Mapping center, Thursday, June 11, 2015, in Santa Cruz, California.

USGS seafloor maps featured in Santa Cruz Sentinel

April 2016

New seafloor maps from Monterey Bay north to Pigeon Point are the subject of a front-page article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel published April 9, 2016. The latest maps released by the California Seafloor Mapping Program reveal complex details of the ocean floor, including new seafloor faults and unexpected patches of bare bedrock. The short faults could be sources of small earthquakes, and the bare patches suggest that the region has less offshore sand than previously thought for replenishing sand eroded from beaches. Read the article, and learn more about the maps in a USGS news release.

For more information, contact Sam Johnson, sjohnson@usgs.gov, 831-460-7546.

 

Map of the bathymetry of Monterey Canyon and the Soquel Canyon tributary.

Bathymetry of Monterey Canyon and the Soquel Canyon tributary: Monterey Canyon is one of the largest and deepest submarine canyons in the world, reaching depths of 1,520 m (5,000 ft) at the State Waters boundary. Upwelling through the canyon provides nutrients for the highly productive marine ecosystem of Monterey Bay. Excerpt from USGS California State Waters Map Series—Monterey Canyon and Vicinity Map Area, Sheet 1.

New Maps Illuminate Monterey Bay Area Seafloor

March 2016

Six new sets of maps reveal the diverse and complex range of seafloor habitats along 130 kilometers (80 miles) of the central California coast from the Monterey Peninsula north to Pigeon Point. The publicly available maps can be used by a large stakeholder community to understand and manage California’s vast and valuable marine resources.

Read the rest of the USGS Newsroom State/Local News Release, posted March 29th, 2016.

 

Screenshot from the video of the news piece on KION-TV.

Clip from the KION-TV story video.

TV story on earthquake hazards tied to new offshore maps

March 2016

KION-TV in Salinas, California, interviewed USGS research geologist Sam Johnson about new California Seafloor Mapping Program (CSMP) maps for the Monterey Bay region. Several maps highlight the San Gregorio fault, which is capable of a magnitude 7 earthquake. CSMP is a cooperative program to create comprehensive coastal and marine bathymetric, geologic, and habitat base maps for all of California’s State Waters. CSMP has released more than 230 map sheets with a digital database, covering 30 percent of the coast, with more maps under development. The 1:35 video is online.

For more information, contact Sam Johnson, sjohnson@usgs.gov, 831-460-7546.

 

Photograph from the portal, of a sunflower sea star on the seafloor.

Photograph of the seafloor off the California coast shows coarse sand, shells and a sunflower sea star. This photograph supports the California Seafloor Mapping Program, a cooperative program established in 2007 initiated by state and federal agencies, academia and private industry. Data collected during this project reveal the seafloor offshore of the California coast in unprecedented detail and provide an ecosystem context for the effective management of this precious marine resource. Photo Credit: USGS

USGS Science Feature: Gifts from the Sea

December 2015

The USGS has completed the second phase of releasing thousands of photos and videos of the seafloor and coastline through their Coastal and Marine Video and Photography Portal.

Most of these marine and coastal scenes have never been seen before or mapped at this level of detail. A more accurate perspective of these areas helps coastal managers make important decisions that range from protecting habitats to understanding hazards and managing land use.

This USGS portal is unique, due to the sheer quantity and quality of data presented. It is the largest database of its kind, providing detailed and fine-scale representations of the coast and seafloor. The “geospatial context” is also unique, with maps that display imagery in the geographic location where the images were recorded.

Read the rest of the USGS Science Feature titled, "Gifts from the Sea," posted December 21st, 2015.

 

Map of sediment thickness in state waters offshore of San Francisco.

Map of sediment thickness in state waters (from shoreline out 3 nautical miles) offshore of San Francisco. From “California State Waters Map Series—Offshore of San Francisco, California.”

New Maps Reveal Seafloor off San Francisco Area

August 2015

Three new sets of maps detail the offshore bathymetry, habitats, geology, and submarine environment of the seafloor off the coast of San Francisco, Drakes Bay, and Tomales Point. Critical for resource managers, the maps are part of the California Seafloor Mapping Program series of maps published by the USGS with support from the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and 15 other state and federal partners. The maps are designed to be used by a large stakeholder community and the public to manage and understand California’s vast and valuable marine resources.

Read the entire Sound Waves article.

 

Seafloor character map offshore of San Francisco and Vicinity.

Seafloor character map of the San Francisco Region. This is a type of habitat map that classifies the seafloor based on surface hardness and roughness. Such maps are used in various types of ecosystem assessments and seafloor zoning, such as delineation or monitoring of marine protected areas.

New Maps Reveal Seafloor off San Francisco Area

May 2015

Three new sets of maps detail the offshore bathymetry, habitats, geology and submarine environment of the seafloor off the coast of San Francisco, Drakes Bay, and Tomales Point.

Read the entire USGS Newsroom Press Release from May 21st, 2015.

 

Perspective view of bathymetry offshore of California.California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program Workshop

October 2014

Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Santa Cruz

On October 22 and 23, the USGS, California Ocean Protection Council, and NOAA co-hosted two workshops on the California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program (CSCMP) at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz. These workshops provided the large CSCMP "workforce" with a great opportunity to present an update on all that has been accomplished, and to receive important feedback on how CSCMP should proceed in the future to best fit diverse stakeholder needs. Approximately 45 to 50 participants attended each workshop, with representation from 32 different entities including 9 State agencies, 8 federal agencies, 5 academic or research institutions, 3 regional associations, 3 non-governmental organizations, and 7 private-sector companies. The breadth of interests and expertise in the room led to some enthusiastic and stimulating discussions. Read the summary of some of the more salient points recorded.

For more information, contact Guy Cochrane or Sam Johnson.

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