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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Home Page Features: 2014

These are the featured images from news and articles about our Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. For the full "scoop", please click the image.

December 2014

Photos of Wallerconcha sarae, left, and of USGS chief scientist Brian Edwards with USGS researcher Andy Stevenson collecting samples from the gravity corer.

New Bivalve Species Discovered in Arctic Ocean Sediment

A new species of bivalve mollusk (clams, mussels, oysters, and their kin) was discovered more than 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) below the Arctic Ocean surface off northern Alaska.
Shaded relief bathymetry draped draped by slope gradient, warm colors indicate steep slope, cool colors indicate gentle slope.

Mapping Fault Deformation and Large Submarine Landslides Off Southern California

To better understand offshore earthquake and tsunami hazards, USGS scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center and the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center ran a multichannel seismic survey off southern California in late November.
Chrysogorgia sp. coral being collected on October 15, 2011, at a depth of 1,094 meters or 3,600 feet in the Gulf of Mexico from the vessel Holiday Chouest using the Schilling ultra-heavy-duty remotely operated vehicle. Image was acquired with an AquaPix AquaSLR digital still camera held by the ROV manipulator arm. Photo courtesy of Penn State Professor of Biology Charles Fisher.

Extreme Longevity and Slow Growth Rates of Deep-Sea Corals in Area Affected by Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Highlight Vulnerability

USGS scientists Nancy Prouty and Amanda Demopoulos and academic colleagues published “Growth rates and ages of deep-sea corals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill” in Deep-Sea Research II in November 2014.
Figure 1 from USGS Tectonics paper on the junction between the San Andreas and Calaveras faults, reprinted in a KQED blog about the paper. Red lines are active faults; yellow dots are earthquake locations; H marks the town of Hollister.

3D Study of Fault Junction Featured on KQED Science Blog

A recent Tectonics paper by USGS scientists studying the junction between California’s San Andreas and Calaveras faults was featured in a KQED Science Blog. Blog author Andrew Alden described how USGS geophysicist Janet Watt and colleagues combined geologic and geophysical data to develop a 3D picture, or model, of the fault junction.
The Free-Ascending Tripod being deployed in the South China Sea from the vessel Aquilla on April 19, 2014.

Free-Ascending Tripod Brings Data from the Deep Seafloor of the South China Sea

Data and discoveries from this project will be at the forefront of deepwater marine-geology research for the region and probably for the world. Practical applications include choosing favorable sites for undersea cables and other infrastructure.
Kingsley Odigie, currently a UCSC/USGS Postdoctoral Scholar, takes groundwater-well measurements before deploying a CTD probe at the Younger Lagoon Reserve in Santa Cruz, California, in December 2012.

Postdocs Contributing to Climate-Change Studies at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Three new postdoctoral researchers (including Kingsley Odigie, pictured here) have joined the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California. Their efforts support the Climate Change Impacts to the U.S. Pacific and Arctic Coasts project.
Carmel River near Carmel on March 4, 2014. The site was on the verge of going dry again.

Coastal Streams in Central California Reflect the Region’s Drought

In some periods, less rain falls and water is scarce. We are now in one of those periods: 2013 was the driest calendar year on record for the state of California, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to declare a drought state of emergency on January 17, 2014.
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission biologist Patricia McGregor and USGS micropaleontologist Mary McGann process sediment samples from San Francisco Bay onboard the SFPUC motor vessel Rincon Point. The San Francisco skyline is visible in the background.

USGS Scientist Participates in National Geographic’s BioBlitz 2014

Last March, more than 300 professional scientists, 2,700 school children, and countless citizen scientists participated in BioBlitz 2014—an attempt to find and identify as many plants and animals as possible within a 24-hour period in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, located near San Francisco, California.

Twenty Years of Ask-A-Geologist

Ask-A-Geologist questions per month, June 2013 through May 2014.

Since October 4, 1994, the USGS Ask-A-Geologist project has answered Earth science questions for roughly 60,000 people. We get questions from young children, students, teachers, professionals, and the general public, who enjoy getting answers directly from USGS scientists.
Lighthouses located near Coastal and Marine Geology Program science centers.

USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program Science Centers Team Up

Pictured here, USGS PCMSC Engineering Technician Tim Elfers, far left, and USGS colleagues complete a beach launch of instrumented personal watercraft at Fire Island.

Field Investigations at Fire Island, New York, to Better Understand Hurricane Sandy’s Impacts and Support Studies of Coastal Resilience

Personal-watercraft and GPS surveys were conducted by USGS personnel from SPCMSC and from the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California (PCMSC).

November 2014

Map showing major faults in the vicinity of Paicines, California, about 50 kilometers east of Monterey Bay. Shaded box shows area where the San Andreas and Calaveras faults intersect.

Integrated Geologic and Geophysical Study of the San Andreas-Calaveras Fault Junction Reveals 3D Geometry and Connectivity

USGS research geophysicist Janet Watt and colleagues published an article in Tectonics on their use of potential-field, geologic, geodetic, and seismicity data to study fault geometry and slip transfer through the 60-kilometer-long junction of California’s San Andreas and Calaveras faults.
This is a new species of white coral, found in an area known as The Football. Most likely it is closely related to gorgonian corals. Credit: NOAA.

USGS Part of Multiagency Investigation that Discovered New Coral Species off California

Exploration of California’s offshore areas north of Bodega Head, by a consortium of federal and state marine scientists, included PCMSC geophysicist Guy Cochrane. Discoveries included a new species of deep-sea coral and a nursery area for catsharks and skates. Photo, courtesy of NOAA.
Underwater photograph showing the name of the sunken barge Umpqua, taken by MBARI from their remotely-operated vehicle or ROV.

Shipwreck Discovered During Sampling Cruise in Monterey Bay, California

Scientists with the USGS and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) discovered a sunken barge during a weeklong sampling cruise in Monterey Bay, where they are studying sediment transport and natural hazards, including the offshore San Gregorio fault zone.
Bathymetry and geology maps at Point Reyes, California.

Workshops on the California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program

The USGS, the California Ocean Protection Council, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration co-hosted two workshops on the California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.
Photo of scientist surveying the nearshore amongst the pelicans and seagulls.

Mapping Changes in Beach Landscapes along Northern Monterey Bay, California

USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center scientists surveyed local beaches and the nearby ocean bottom to compile a three-dimensional map of how beaches change in northern Monterey Bay.

October 2014

Photo of extreme event threatening erosion of the coast in Carpinteria.

USGS to Participate in Inter-Agency Sea-Level Rise Panel Discussion

Patrick Barnard will serve as a subject matter expert in an Inter-Agency Sea-Level Rise Panel Discussion hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Photo of the floor of the South China Sea at 1900 meters.

Tripod Brings Data from Deep Seafloor of South China Sea

The Free Ascending Tripod (FAT) designed and built at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center was recovered in late September after spending 5 months on the floor of the South China Sea collecting data with acoustic and optical instruments.
Photo of scientists deploying instrumentation off stern of boat.

BOEM-Funded Mapping for Proposed Wind Farm Offshore Oregon

USGS PCMSC scientists, with collaborator from Oregon State University, mapped the seafloor in an area off Coos Bay, Oregon, under consideration for construction of a floating wind-energy facility.
Photo of scientist remotely maneuvering camera system over seafloor.

New USGS Benthic Observation Sled High-Definition Seafloor Video Camera System

The “BOB Sled,” developed by personnel at the USGS PCMSC Marine Facility, can acquire video and other data as much as 700 meters (2,300 feet) below the sea surface.
Illustration showing coastal defense.

Coastal Defense Tool Wins United Nations Award

The Coastal Defense app allows users to identify areas at risk of coastal erosion and inundation from waves, sea-level rise, and storm surge; examine the role of coastal habitats—such as tidal wetlands—in attenuating wave height and energy; and determine adaptation strategies that incorporate natural as well as man-made protections. For example, shown here, healthy tidal marsh (upper panel) reduces storm-wave heights, allowing levee to protect property. Degraded tidal marsh (lower panel) allows storm waves to erode and overtop levee.
Congresswoman Lois Capps speaks of the importance of climate change research at the Santa Barbara Coastal Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment Workshop at Goleta City Hall on October 1.

USGS Talk on Applying Climate-Change Science to Coasts

On October 1, 2014, Congresswoman Lois Capps, whose district (24th) includes more than 200 miles of the central California coast, attended a talk on climate-change science by research geologist Patrick Barnard of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center.

September 2014

Photo of Paramuricea specimen.

Briefing on deep coral reefs for the Trustee Council for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

USGS Researcher Nancy Prouty gave a short presentation on age and growth of mesophotic reefs to the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees of Mesophotic Reefs.
Underwater photo of wave breaking over coral.

Briefing Office of Insular Affairs on Coral Reef Issues in the Pacific

During the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force meeting 8-13 September 2014, USGS Researcher Curt Storlazzi explained USGS research on coral reef health and sustainability for fisheries and shoreline protection.

August 2014

Researchers take measurements after coral cores were collected in Guam

Coral Reefs Along West-Central Guam—Historical Impact of Watershed Change and Sedimentation

Scientists collecting sediment samples at Pillar Point, California, with a vibracorer

Geologic Evidence of Past Tsunamis in California

Kurt Rosenberger shows a young visitor how a current meter (suspended in tank) measures the speed and direction of currents and displays the readings on a monitor (right). USGS photograph by Helen Gibbons.

USGS Helps Celebrate the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Snapshot from Nancy's Talk

Public Lecture on Deep-Sea Corals Takes Audience “Into the Abyss”

Small screen shots from the presenters.

Spring 2014 Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group Meeting

Iridigorgia sp. (a type of Chrysogorgidae octocoral), with a typical coiled shape at the base of Noroit Seamount. The organism is about half a meter to a meter (2 to 3 feet) across. Water depth is approximately 1,800 meters (5,900 feet).

Caribbean Seamount Exploration Will Be Live Online

Participating from shore via telepresence is USGS scientist Nancy Prouty, along with others

June and July 2014

Photograph; please read caption below.

21st century coastal flood projections for San Francisco Bay

High-resolution flood projections for San Francisco Bay shorelines through the 21st century will be available August 2014 on the Our Coast, Our Future website
Photograph; please read caption below.

Coral Reefs Provide Critical Coastal Protection

New study shows that coral reefs provide risk-reduction benefits to hundreds of millions of coastal inhabitants around the world
Photograph; please read caption below.

USGS field team successfully maps Fire Island nearshore

Using personal watercraft, USGS coastal and marine staff from the Santa Cruz, CA and St. Petersburg, FL science centers conducted shallow-water bathymetric mapping on Fire Island, NY
Photograph; please read caption below.

Into the Abyss: Living Without Light

Watch the video of this presentation, given by PCMSC's Nancy Prouty at the USGS Evening Public Lecture Series held at the USGS Campus in Menlo Park, CA
Photograph; please read caption below.

USGS will explore Caribbean seamounts

PCMSC's Nancy Prouty will be among the scientists to sail on the Ocean Exploration Trust’s exploration vessel Nautilus in September, using the ship and an ROV to acquire data and make observations
Photograph; please read caption below.

USGS-BOEM workshop held in Santa Cruz, California

Workshop held at PCMSC sought to find ways to strengthen working relationships, improve understanding of science capabilities and planning and funding processes, and identify mutual scientific needs and goals
Photograph; please read caption below.

Assessing the vulnerability of Pacific atolls to climate change

USGS is leading a multi-agency project to assess the impacts of sea-level rise and storm-wave inundation on small Pacific atoll islets and their freshwater resources
Photograph; please read caption below.

USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program launches new website

The site features front end webpages that highlight the Program's research and expertise as they pertain to specific coastal and marine issues facing our Nation

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