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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Home Page Features: 2015

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 2015

Photograph of sunflower sea star on the seafloor.

USGS Science Feature: Gifts from the Sea

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.

Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center presentations
at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting

Photograph looking down upon the poster sessions from the 2011 AGU meeting, courtesy of NASA.
Scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center plan to present 19 talks or posters at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 14 to 18, 2015, in San Francisco. Presentation topics range from documenting rapid Alaskan coastal erosion to mapping underwater earthquake faults to debuting new tsunami scenarios. This conference is the largest meeting of earth scientists in the world, with nearly 24,000 attendees, including dozens of national and international journalists. See table below for a complete list of PCMSC presentations:

Name

Session #

Title

Brothers, Daniel NH23B-1882 High-resolution geophysical constraints on late Pleistocene—present deformation history, seabed morphology, and slip-rate along the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault, offshore southeastern Alaska
Campbell, Pamela OS33A-2015 Lipid biomarkers and carbon isotopic composition from authigenic carbonates and seep sediments from the US mid-Atlantic margin
East, Amy EP33A-1027 Synthesizing fluvial sedimentary and geomorphic response to dam removal—A two-decade perspective
Geist, Eric L. NH14A-01 Tsunami size distributions at far-field locations from aggregated earthquake sources
Gelfenbaum, Guy R. EP33C-1082 Reconstructing tsunami deposits in the eastern Aleutians using forward and inverse sediment transport models
Gelfenbaum, Guy R. NH23D-02 Using inundation and sediment transport modeling to characterize earthquake source parameters from tsunami deposits
Gibbs, Ann E. C33G-02 Measuring change in Arctic coastal environments using repeat aerial photography and SfM elevation models
Jaffe, Bruce E., EP33C-1081 Evaluating inverse models for reconstructing flow speed from sandy tsunami deposits
Johnson, Samuel Y. NH21E-07 Structure and geomorphology of the 'big bend' in the Hosgri-San Gregorio fault system, offshore of Big Sur, central California
Kluesner, Jared W. T23C-2956 3D insight into fault geometries, deformation, and fluid-migration within the Hosgri Fault Zone offshore central California: Results from high-resolution 3D seismic data
Kluesner, Jared W. OS31B-08 High-resolution seismic attribute analysis for the detection of methane hydrate and substrate fluid migration pathways along the central U.S. Atlantic Margin
La Selle, SeanPaul M. NH23D-08 Hurricane Sandy deposits on Fire Island, NY: Using washover deposit stratigraphy to understand sediment transport during large storms
Maier (Coble), Katherine EP12A-04 Linking slope sedimentation, gradient, morphology, and active faulting: An integrated example from the Palos Verdes slope, Southern California Borderland
McGann, Mary OS23C-2022 Late Holocene record of sedimentologic and paleooceanographic events in western Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California
Prouty Nancy G. B23A-0592 Deep-sea coral record of human impact on watershed quality in the Mississippi River Basin
Richmond, Bruce M. EP23A-0938 Seasonal to decadal change of Arctic coastal bluffs, Barter Island, Alaska
Ross, Stephanie L. NH23C-1895 SAFRR tsunami scenarios and USGS-NTHMP collaboration
Swarzenski, Peter W. GC54B-02 Hydrogeology and geochemistry of the freshwater lens on Roi Namur atoll, the Republic of the Marshall Islands
Watt, Janet Tilden T23C-2965 Detailed geophysical imaging in San Pablo Bay reveals a new strand of the Hayward-Rodgers Creek fault zone

 

Photograph of Gerry Hatcher and Pete Dal Ferro. USGS photograph by Jenny White.

Sampling Methane Seeps and Plumes on the U.S. Atlantic Margin

Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Marine Facility team members Gerry Hatcher, Jenny White, and Pete Dal Ferro led coring and video-imaging for a multi-institutional study of methane seeps on the Atlantic margin.
Photograph of Cerianthid anemones. Photo credit, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS.

Pathways to the Abyss

Watch a 24-minute video that highlights work by USGS scientists, including Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center research oceanographer Nancy Prouty, during a five-year study of two deep submarine canyons about 100 miles off Virginia and Maryland.
Photograph of Sound Waves editors.

New Production Team for the Coastal and Marine Research Newsletter Sound Waves

Sound Waves has been published online since 1999 by the Coastal and Marine Geology Program. It highlights USGS-wide research and related activities in the nation’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.
Photo of growth rings of cross-section of 44-year-old deep-sea coral from Newfoundland, photo by Owen Sherwood.

USGS Contributes to NOAA Report on the State of Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Ecosystems

The report highlights advances in deep-sea coral research and management efforts since 2007.
Photo of Patrick presenting his talk.

Big Demand for USGS Projections of Coastal Flooding and Erosion to Assist El Niño Planning

California agencies are using the latest version of the USGS-led Coastal Storm Modeling System, CoSMoS 3.0, to plan for coastal flooding and erosion expected from El Niño storms this winter.
Two strands of the Hosgri fault, East Hosgri EH and West Hosgri WH, offshore of Point Estero, California, about 20 miles northwest of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

USGS Scientist Quoted in News Stories about Earthquake Hazard Posed by Fault off California’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

Research geologist Sam Johnson was quoted in interviews about the Hosgri fault, which is being evaluated for the shaking hazard it might pose to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

November 2015

Photograph of deep-sea lander.

Impact of 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Food Supply to Deep-Sea Communities

A USGS-led study found a reduction in carbon export to the deep sea up to 18 months after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, potentially related to a decrease in surface-ocean primary productivity.
Sea-surface temperature and water temperature profiles of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, January and November 1997, from NOAA.

El Niño and its Likely Effects on Southern California

Oceanographer and meteorologist Andy O’Neill explained what El Niño is and how this year’s El Niño might affect Southern California in a webinar produced by USC Sea Grant.
Nancy Prouty speaking at the Cañada College STEM Center.

USGS Research Oceanographer Speaks to STEM Students at Community College

Research oceanographer Nancy Prouty spoke to students at the STEM Center at Cañada College, describing her education and career path, presenting her deep-sea coral research at the USGS, and offering advice to the STEM students.

October 2015

Photograph showing the impact of a large wave at the south shore of Laysan Island, with endangered Laysan teal in the foreground.

Many Atolls May be Uninhabitable Within Decades Due to Climate Change

A new study shows that the combined effect of storm-induced wave-driven flooding and sea level rise on island atolls may be more severe and happen sooner than previous estimates of inundation predicted by passive “bathtub” modeling for low-lying atoll islands.

September 2015

Bluff erosion during the 2009–10 El Nino undermined the Great Highway guardrail at the southern end of Ocean Beach. Photo by Jeff Hansen, USGS, 2010.

El Niño and La Niña Will Exacerbate Coastal Hazards across Entire Pacific

The projected upsurge of severe El Niño and La Niña events will cause an increase in storms leading to extreme coastal flooding and erosion in populated regions across the Pacific Ocean.
Erosion of the coastal bluff on Barter Island, 2011. Photograph by Benjamin Jones, USGS Alaska Science Center.

Northern Alaska Coastal Erosion Threatens Habitat and Infrastructure

In a new study published July 2015, USGS scientists found that the remote northern Alaska coast has some of the highest shoreline-erosion rates in the nation.
Aerial photograph of Kwajalein Atoll showing its low-lying islands and coral reefs.

Climate Change Reduces Coral Reefs’ Ability to Protect Coasts

A new paper gives guidance to coastal managers to assess how climate change will affect a coral reef’s ability to mitigate coastal hazards.
Underwater photograph of a wave breaking over a coral reef on May 5, 2014, on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

USGS Underwater Coral Photo Selected as “Photo of the Day”

An underwater coral photograph taken by Curt Storlazzi in Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, was chosen by Popular Photography magazine as its Photo of the Day.
Photographs of Jenny White on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in August 2010.

New Marine Facility Chief for the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Jenny White is the new Marine Operations Superintendent for the Marine Facility at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.
Photograph of George brandishing a grappling hook in a boat in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 1978. Inset: George in 2008, photo by Laura Zink Torresan.

George Tate Retires from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

His plans for the future include “chasing waves and trout, sailing fast, and exploring the backcountry and backwaters of places revisited and those not yet traveled.”
Photograph of USGS research oceanographer Li Erikson, second from right, talking to Congressional staffers.

Congressional Staffers Learn about Climate-Change Threats to Coastal Communities

Li Erikson explained how the USGS can help managers assess potential flooding threats to coastal communities and ecosystems caused by sea-level rise and storms driven by climate change.
Photo taken about 100 meters inland in Kalmunai on the east coast of Sri Lanka, shortly after the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

Are YOU Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

September is “Preparedness” month. USGS has the science you need to cope with natural hazards.

August 2015

Photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from Fort Point, San Francisco, by Laura Zink Torresan.

“What Would Really Happen If A Tsunami Hit San Francisco?”

USGS research geophysicist Eric Geist was interviewed after the release of the movie “San Andreas,” in which a 500-foot tsunami washes over California’s Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco Bay.
Aerial photographs of the mouth of Elwha River, one taken in March 2014 and one in June 2014.

New York Times Article Highlights Coastal Effects of Elwha River Dam Removal

Massive amounts of sediment released during dam removal have altered the coast at the Elwha’s mouth.
Photograph of five of twelve USGS employees who received the Distinguished Service Award: left to right, Rama Kotra, Peter Lyttle, James Hein, David Oppenheimer, and David Lockner.

Jim Hein Receives Distinguished Service Award—U.S. Department of the Interior’s Highest Honor

Hein joined the USGS in the early 1970s, beginning a long career of marine research with a particular emphasis on deep-ocean mineral deposits.
Map of sediment thickness in state waters offshore of San Francisco.

New Maps Reveal Seafloor off San Francisco Area

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.
Slide from Todd Hallenbeck showing the home page of the West Coast Ocean Data Portal website.

Spring 2015 Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group Meeting

The fifth meeting of the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group was held in April at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.
Photograph of a street in the city of Nehalem, Oregon, with the internationally adopted tsunami-evacuation sign.

Some Coastal Communities May Not Have Time for Tsunami Evacuation

Tens of thousands of people along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coastline may not have enough time to evacuate low-lying areas before tsunami waves arrive.
Three-dimensional perspective view of deepwater seeps south of Norfolk Canyon on the northern U.S. Atlantic margin.

Imaging Methane Seeps and Plumes on the U.S. Atlantic Margin

Scientists from the USGS Gas Hydrates Project surveyed methane seeps and plumes on the northern part of the U.S. Atlantic margin aboard the research vessel Endeavor in April.

July 2015

Aerial photograph of Kwajalein Atoll showing its low-lying islands and coral reefs.

Climate Change Reduces Coral Reefs’ Ability to Protect Coasts

A new paper, by researchers from the Dutch independent institute for applied research Deltares and the USGS, gives guidance to coastal managers to assess how climate change will affect a coral reef’s ability to mitigate coastal hazards.
Photograph of the portion of the east estuary at the mouth of the Elwha River that had high rates of sediment deposition during dam removal. Photo by M. Foley

New Publication Documents Changes to Elwha River Estuary during Dam Removal

A recently published paper describes dramatic changes to water quality and hydrology of the Elwha River estuary during dam removal.
Photographs of new MarFac chief Jenny White steering the boat.

New Marine Facility Chief for our Science Center

Jenny White has been selected as the new Marine Operations Superintendent for the Marine Facility at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.
Eroding bluffs on Barter Island, north coast of Alaska. Photograph by Ben Jones, USGS Alaska Science Center.

Northern Alaska Coastal Erosion Threatens Habitat and Infrastructure

A USGS Report published in July reports that the remote northern Alaska coast has some of the highest shoreline-erosion rates in the world.

June 2015

Photograph of oceanographer Nancy Prouty showing deep-sea corals to 2nd graders.

Schoolchildren Inspired by Deep-Sea Corals

Nancy Prouty gave a presentation at Belle Haven elementary school in east Menlo Park, California, showing 2nd-graders examples of deep-sea corals and explained how scientists collect and study them.

May 2015

Bright green algae on a beach on the north shore of Kauai.

Coral Disease on Kauaʻi

USGS oceanographer Peter Swarzenski was interviewed about his new project, investigating factors that may be affecting coral “black band disease” on Kauaʻi’s north shore.
Seafloor character map offshore of San Francisco and Vicinity.

New Maps Reveal Seafloor off San Francisco Area

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.
Aerial photograph of the Elwha River mouth during dam removal, showing the expansion of the river mouth delta by sediment deposition; photo by Neal and Linda Chism, volunteers with LightHawk.

Scientific Portrait of the Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History

Government, tribal, and university researchers worked together to examine and report the effects of removing two large dams from the Elwha River in Washington State.
Map of Santa Barbara Channel region, showing locations of six California Seafloor Mapping Program map sets (rectangles) and the outer boundary of Californias State Waters (squiggly line).

California Seafloor Mapping Program Reaches Milestone

The first phase of map and geospatial data publications, comprising six USGS Scientific Investigations Maps and associated data files centered on the Santa Barbara Channel, is now complete.
Aerial photograph of waves breaking on the fringing reef off Ennuebing Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Future Wave and Wind Effects on Pacific Islands—Projections Will Assist Planning for Climate Change

Climate changes during the 21st century are expected to alter the highest waves and strongest winds across U.S. and U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands.
Photograph of boulders and biota off San Gregorio, California, in water approximately 30 meters (100 feet) deep.

Dive In! Explore Thousands of Coastal and Seafloor Images along U.S. Coasts

Thousands of photographs and videos of the seafloor and coastline—most areas never seen before—are now easily accessible online.
Before dam removal, Amy East (then Amy Draut) surveys along the Elwha River in March 2007. USGS photograph by Joshua Logan.

Undamming Washington’s Elwha River—Public Lecture on Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History

Amy East described changes to the landscape caused by the removal of two large dams—the 32-meter-tall Elwha Dam and the 64-meter-tall Glines Canyon Dam—from the Elwha River in Washington State.

April 2015

Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair award winners Lily, left, and Sarah, right, Jenkins, of Molokai High School. Photograph by Mahealani Bambico; used with permission.

USGS Scientist Among Mentors of Hawaiʻi Science Fair Stars

Susan Cochran of PCMSC provided mentoring help to two sisters on Molokaʻi, Hawaiʻi, for a science-fair project that won top awards at the Hawaiʻi State Science and Engineering Fair.
Aerial photograph of waves breaking on the fringing reef off Ennuebing Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands.

USGS Scientist Briefs House Natural Resources Committee on How Future Waves and Winds Will Affect U.S. Pacific Islands

USGS research geologist Curt Storlazzi briefed the Democratic staff by telephone on March 12, 2015, from the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.

March 2015

Photo of the seafloor with anenome and sea star on boulders and rock.

Coastal Video and Photograph Portal on Front Page of California Newspaper Santa Cruz Sentinel

USGS geographer Nadine Golden was interviewed on March 23, 2015, by Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter Samantha Clark about the newly released USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Video and Photograph Portal.
Collage showing a screenshot from the video and photo portal, which shows the coverage in Massashusetts; plus two sample photos.

Newly Released Database of Coastal and Seafloor Imagery Draws Media Attention

The LA Times science writer Sean Greene interviewed USGS geographer Nadine Golden on March 18, 2015, about the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Video and Photograph Portal released that day.
Potential influence of sea-level rise on storm flooding in Del Mar, California, as calculated by the Coastal Storm Modeling System

Geologist Addresses Government Group on Assessing Coastal Climate-Change Impacts in San Diego Region

Patrick Barnard gave an invited presentation to San Diego area government officials and coastal managers from the Shoreline Preservation Working Group of the San Diego Association of Governments on climate-change impacts that could affect their planning for the region.
Tim Elfers using an echosounder and GPS receiver mounted on a personal watercraft to survey the seafloor just off the beach near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Climate Check in our Santa Cruz Backyard

Preserving beaches by mitigating coastal erosion is vital. A new study will help scientists understand impacts of climate change, El Niño, and sea-level rise.
USGS researcher Curt Storlazzi discusses how 150 years of pineapple cultivation has affected the nearshore environment around Kahana, Maui, Hawaii.

USGS Leads Field Trip for Attendees at U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Meeting

Curt Storlazzi of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center led a field trip along the west Maui coast to address the science behind the “Past, Present, and Hopefully Future of Maui’s Coral Reefs.”
Excerpt from sheet 1 of USGS Open-File Report 2014–1214 produced by the California Seafloor Mapping Program.

Workshops on the California Seafloor Mapping Program

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

February 2015

Aerial photograph of the Elwha River mouth, by Neal and Linda Chism, volunteers with LightHawk.org.

Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History Characterized

Dam removal has become an important management and restoration tool. The largest dam-removal project in U.S. history, on the Elwha River in Washington State, is the focus of federal, tribal, and academic scientists collaborating to characterize its effects. Five papers resulting from this work have been published in the journal Geomorphology. Read more...
Photograph of Amy with Josh Logan, working on the Elwha River.

Public Lecture on Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History

USGS research geologist Amy East presented a public lecture on the Elwha project on February 26, 2015 at the USGS center in Menlo Park, California. She described what happened as the gradual removal of two dams released massive amounts of sediment downstream... Read more...
Oblique aerial photograph showing a storm-deposited gravel ridge complex near the shore and an inland field of tsunami-deposited gravel, mostly boulder size, on the southeast coast of the island of Hawaii. Arrows point to individual large boulders.

USGS Marine Geology Paper Among Most Cited

Editors sent USGS PCMSC's Bruce Richmond a certificate in January 2015 recognizing his paper “Recent storm and tsunami coarse-clast deposit characteristics, Southeast Hawaii” as one of the journal’s three most-cited papers published in 2011 and cited in 2012-2013. Read more...
Screenshot from USGS video titled, Fly Over the Seafloor of San Francisco Bay.

USGS Virtual “Flight” Over San Francisco Bay Floor Featured by Sailing Magazine

Peter Dartnell of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center created the video from bathymetric data collected by the USGS, NOAA, and California State University, Monterey Bay. Read more...
Map showing the locations of the 25 modeled points within the tropical Pacific Ocean used in this study.

Future Wave and Wind Effects on Pacific Islands

According to a new USGS report, climate changes during the 21st century are expected to alter the highest waves and strongest winds across U.S. and U.S.-affiliated islands in the Pacific Ocean.

January 2015

Patrick Barnard points out to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel the features and dynamics at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, on the cliffs above the beach with the historic Cliff House building in the background.

VIPS Learn about Climate Change Impacts along San Francisco’s Outer Coast

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Acting USGS Director Suzette Kimball, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee took part in a San Francisco coastal climate change field trip led by USGS research geologist Patrick Barnard on December 18, 2014.

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