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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Home Page Features

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 2016

Workshop participants, October 2016.

Workshop on the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault: the San Andreas of the North

Photograph looking down on the large poster hall at the AGU Fall Meeting. Many rows of posters on boards with people reading and walking.

Long days, fresh ideas, and new connections: USGS scientists sharing science at the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting

Amy East wears her -I love geology- face as Hawaii's Kilauea volcano steams in the background. Photo by Erin Todd, USGS.

USGS scientist gives TEDx talk to high-school students in Monterey, California, on the importance of Earth science and diversity

Photograph of AGU participants outside of Moscone Convention Center in December, 2015. Photo by Rex Sanders, USGS.

Watch free, online AGU 2016 Fall Meeting talks by USGS coastal and ocean scientists (and others)

November 2016

Photograph of Santa Monica Pier showing a visitor looking through an Owl.

Visualizing sea-level rise in Santa Monica, California

Screenshot from CBS This Morning interview with Janet.

CBS This Morning features USGS scientists studying link between earthquake faults near San Francisco, California

Photograph of a tripod, holding instrumentation, underwater in Australia.

New video highlights major coral reef study by USGS and Australian scientists

Computer-generated, three-dimensional graphic of western Santa Barbara Channel showing seafloor surface, sediment layers beneath the seafloor, landslides and long crack in seafloor, and a gas seep location.

Looking for causes of underwater landslides near Santa Barbara

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

TV News Features USGS Use of Historical Photos to Measure Cliff Erosion in San Francisco

Photographs of USGS scientist Janet Watt, left, and the stern of research vessel Retriever, right.

Coring the Hayward-Rodgers Creek fault zone in San Pablo Bay to unravel the history of faulting beneath the bay

October 2016

Coral Forest: Medusa, at the New York University Abu Dhabi Institute, UAE, 2014. Featuring spiral horns and tube worms by the Scottsdale Reefers and video tape danglers by Christine Wertheim.

USGS coral expert in wide-ranging panel discussion on “Understanding Coral Reefs”

Photograph of Jon Warrick sitting at his computer and explaining structure-from-motion.

New techniques for measuring cliff change from historical photographs

Seismic-reflection profile created by bouncing sound waves off sediment layers beneath San Pablo Bay, and variations in gravity caused by differences in rock density under the bay.

Link between two earthquake faults near San Francisco revealed by detailed sub-seafloor mapping

Photo of Melissa with workshop particpants.

USGS Ecologist Provides Expert Input to New Zealand Workshop on Ecosystem Stressors

Photograph of researcher Amy East, with her discovery of a salmon carcass on the banks of the upper Elwha River.

Salmon Seen Upstream from Former Dam Sites on Washington’s Elwha River

September 2016

Stretch of beach in Malibu, California, vulnerable to flooding from storms and sea-level rise. Cropped from image 201309712 in California Coastal Records Project.

Entertainment newspaper features USGS coastal-flooding forecasts

USGS science turned up in an unexpected place: The Hollywood Reporter, which ran the story “Underwater in 40 Years? Which L.A. Beach Homes Are at Risk” in its August 12, 2016, issue.
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

China Geological Survey scientists visited the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, to discuss their respective coastal research programs and possibilities for future cooperation.
Photograph of USGS scientists Jonathan Warrick and Jeff Duda receiving Riverprize recognition--see plaque, inset--in New Delhi, India. Image courtesy of International Riverfoundation.

International Recognition for Historic Elwha River Restoration

Collaborative work by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe to restore the Elwha River of Washington, USA, was honored during the awarding of the 2016 Thiess International Riverprize.
Photograph of scientists working to recover a fallen frame holding a time-lapse camera, on Barter Island, Alaska earlier in August 2016.

USGS Research on Diseased Hawaiian Corals Featured in Newspaper and Radio Interviews

Reporters in Kauai, Hawaiʻi, interviewed USGS researchers on possible causes of a black band coral disease outbreak on the island’s north shore.

August 2016

Photograph of scientists working to recover a fallen frame holding a time-lapse camera, on Barter Island, Alaska earlier in August 2016.

USGS information provided for briefing on Arctic erosion

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge manager Brian Glaspell requested information about USGS work on Barter Island, Alaska, from scientists at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center.
Epicenter of magnitude 7.2 earthquake that generated a small tsunami in the southwest Pacific Ocean on August 12, 2016.

Christian Science Monitor interviews USGS scientist about earthquake and tsunami in the southwest Pacific

Research geophysicist Eric Geist of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center was interviewed about a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that generated a small tsunami when it hit the Pacific Ocean near New Caledonia the previous day.
Tim preparing to launch a personal watercraft equipped with GPS and sonar for mapping the bottom close to shore.

Monitoring coastal change on Pacific beaches near the Columbia River

In the last two weeks of August 2016, USGS scientists are set to collect data from Washington and Oregon beaches to monitor coastal changes on Pacific Northwest beaches.
Photograph looking north toward the Fairweather Range during 2015 mapping of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault off Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The fault is directly beneath the vessel upon which the photographer, Danny Brothers, is standing.

Mapping an offshore earthquake fault in southeast Alaska

The seaward side of this major earthquake fault moves northwest relative to the landward side at an average rate of about 2 inches per year!
Dan and Jackson work on the research vessel Norseman amid thick fog on Resurrection Bay. They are preparing equipment that will be towed behind the vessel to image sediment layers beneath the seafloor.

Boaters rescued during USGS research cruise in southern Alaska

USGS scientists were testing equipment in Resurrection Bay, Alaska, on August 8 when their research vessel received a distress signal from a small boat about 3 miles away.

July 2016

USGS Scientists Dr. William Waite (Right) and Dr. Pamela Swarzenski making measurements on sediment cores recovered from Indian Ocean during the National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02.

Large Deposits of Potentially Producible Gas Hydrate Found in Indian Ocean

PCMSC's Dr. Pamela Swarzenski (above, left) is among the USGS researchers who participated in a cooperative partnership with the Governments of India and Japan.

June 2016

Photograph of USGS base camp tent pitched on top of 8-month-old tsunami deposit in Icy Bay, Alaska.

Studying Recent Tsunami Deposits in Icy Bay, Alaska

USGS scientists study recent tsunami deposits to better understand how tsunamis work, recognize ancient tsunami deposits, and improve natural-hazard assessments.
Conceptual drawing of bottom trawling from a fishing boat, showing a net and metal plate being dragged along the seafloor behind a boat on the surface. Image credit Ferdinand Oberle, 2014.

What a Drag: The Global Impact of Bottom Trawling

Recent research outlines the severe consequences that bottom trawling has on loose sediment on the ocean floor.
Aerial view taken by a drone of the USGS team sampling seawater for carbonate chemistry along the reef of K??anapali, west Maui.

Examining the Chemistry of Seawater and Coral to Promote the Health of West Maui’s Coral Reefs

USGS scientists focused on understanding the link between land-based pollutants and coral reef health along the coast of west Maui in the Hawaiian Islands.
Photograph of students and a professor from the University of Washington, scientists in the Marine Geohazards group from the U.S. Geological Survey, and crew aboard the research vessel Thompson gather on the stern to haul in the seismic streamer, the long, green coil on the deck.

USGS Briefed Congressman Adam Schiff’s Staff Members on Geologic Hazards in Southern California

Offshore earthquakes, undersea landslides, and tsunamis were among the hazards discussed during a USGS Congressional briefing in Southern California on June 9.
Collage of images, backdrop is Ocean Beach in San Francisco, with the CoSMoS logo and the Point Blue and Our Coast Our Future home web pages on top.

USGS CoSMoS team wins Point Blue Outstanding Partner Award

CoSMoS makes detailed predictions about coastal flooding due to both sea-level rise and storms driven by climate change with interactive maps at the web site, Our Coast Our Future.
Partial map of unconsolidated sediment thickness in Monterey Bay, excluding Monterey Canyon.

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

After reading the USGS news release about newly published maps of the Monterey Bay seafloor, the Congressman requested a briefing from Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center scientists.

May 2016

Photograph of the award recipients.

USGS Coastal and Marine Geology (CMGP) website wins award!

The CMGP website developed by Jolene Gittens, Greg Miller, Andrea Toran, Laura Torresan, and Ann Tihansky won the USGS Shoemaker Award for Communication Excellence in the internet product category.
Photograph of coral reef hydrodynamics research team in Australia.

Collaborative Study in the Ningaloo Reef

This was the largest, most intensive study of coral reef hydrodynamics, ever!
Photograph by Andy ONeill, looking across the San Lorenzo River eastward at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park in Santa Cruz, Calif., on January 7, 2016.

USGS Scientist Quoted in Monterey Herald Story about Regional Economic Summit

USGS oceanographer and meteorologist Andy O’Neill spoke with attendees about how shifting beaches and rising sea level can affect certain sectors of the local economy.

April 2016

Bathymetry of Monterey Canyon and the Soquel Canyon tributary.

USGS helps elementary school in Soquel, California, celebrate Earth Day

1st through 5th graders used microscopes to look at foraminifera, learned topography, and examined the regurgitated stomach contents of albatrosses to see how much plastic these birds ingest from the ocean.
SedPods, like this one at Kawaihae, Big Island, Hawaii, are low-cost collection devices that mimic coral surfaces and permit accurate measurements of net sediment accumulation during the time they are on the seafloor. Photo by Curt Storlazzi, USGS.

Two new tools to reduce impacts of land-based pollution on coral reefs

Tools were published by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, of which the USGS is a co-science lead.
Banner of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary at the entrance to the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. Photo by Rex Sanders, USGS.

USGS science center hosts Marine Sanctuary meeting

The Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, hosted a meeting of NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council on April 21, 2016.
USGS scientific diver deploying an oceanographic instrument package in a patch of rubble on the coral reef off Roi-Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

USGS cited for most credible ocean research

In a recent report, the USGS took first place for science research credibility among ocean resource managers and interest group leaders.
USGS oceanographer Curt Storlazzi deploying an oceanographic instrument package on the reef flat off Roi-Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).

USGS oceanographer Curt Storlazzi will brief DoD and DOI on coral reefs and climate change in the Pacific Ocean

Recent results show that climate change may reduce the ability of coral reefs to protect tropical islands against wave attack, erosion, and salinization of drinking-water resources.
Curt Storlazzi free dives to attach a temperature sensor along the reefs in Kauai.

New video on USGS investigation of coral disease in Hawaiʻi

A new video, “Exploring Causes of Coral Disease,” follows USGS researchers as they investigate potential causes of black band disease affecting corals on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Photograph of the San Mateo coastline on January 17, 2016, during a very high tide and storm event; photo by Laura Zink Torresan.

USGS scientist quoted in story on coastal erosion

Patrick Barnard was interviewed on April 5, 2016, by reporter Carina Woudenberg of the Half Moon Bay Review for a story about coastal erosion. Woudenberg’s article, “The crumbling Coastside”.
Geophysicist Samuel Johnson checks out the new maps at the USGS Marine Geology Mapping center, Thursday, June 11, 2015, in Santa Cruz, Calif.

USGS seafloor maps featured in Santa Cruz Sentinel

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.
Bathymetry of Monterey Canyon and the Soquel Canyon tributary.

New Maps Illuminate Monterey Bay Area Seafloor

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.

March 2016

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

TV story on earthquake hazards tied to new offshore maps

New California Seafloor Mapping Program maps highlight the San Gregorio fault, which is capable of a magnitude 7 earthquake.
Photo of extreme event threatening erosion of the coast in Carpenteria, CA.

Interviews for story on sea level rise in southern California

The newspaper Orange County Register interviewed USGS scientists Patrick Barnard and Patrick Limber for a potential story on sea level rise in southern California.
Photo of main part of the Chenega village site.

50-Year-Old Mystery Solved

Seafloor mapping reveals the cause of the 1964 tsunami that destroyed the Alaskan village of Chenega.
USGS geologist Patrick Barnard tells Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee about the coastal hazards facing Ocean Beach.

Coastal Scientists Study El Niño in Northern California

By comparing conditions before, during, and after this year’s very strong El Niño, these scientists hope to improve forecasts of coastal changes during future events.
This photograph is of the Puget Sound seafloor and shows a sandy area with partial hydroid and algae cover occupied by sea stars and small filter feeding worms.

Second Phase of Photo and Video Portal Completed

The U.S. Geological Survey (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.
Photograph of Peter Swarzenski doing fieldwork on Alaskas Barter Island, summer 2015.

USGS Scientist Takes Post with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Monaco

“Atoms for Peace” is the mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research oceanographer Peter Swarzenski will take a post as head of the Radioecology Laboratory in Monaco.
Fetured photo.

Ocean monitoring

Curt Storlazzi places an ocean monitoring system 65 feet down in Maunalua Bay on Oahu during a summer of coral spawning.
Photograph of scientist walking ocross a rocky beach with a pole-mounted camera high above him.

Changing Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest

These estuaries support wildlife, industry, agriculture, and a large human population, yet these regions are extremely vulnerable to climate change.
Colored Shaded-Relief Bathymetry, Offshore of Monterey Map Area, California.

New USGS Data Release shares seafloor data off Monterey, California

Downloadable GIS data files and web services make multiple data layers available to anyone.
Photograph of a USGS scientist using a personal watercraft fitted with GPS and an echo sounder to survey the seafloor off Santa Cruz, California.

Santa Cruz Good Times article highlights USGS coastal-erosion research

Research geologists Patrick Barnard and Jon Warrick and oceanographer Dan Hoover were interviewed for a story about coastal erosion that appeared March 2, 2016.

February 2016

Featured photo.

Chillin’ in Monterey Bay

Tim Elfers, waiting for a tow.
Photograph of the Coastal and Marine Geology Program web development team.

Coastal and Marine Geology Program website wins award

The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program website ( has won the USGS 2015 Shoemaker Award for Communication Product Excellence in the Internet Product category.
Photograph of methanotrophic mussels with rockling fish. Image Credit, Atlantic Canyons--Pathways to the Abyss, BOEM, NOAA-OER, USGS.

“Excellence in Partnering” Award

Interagency team of USGS, BOEM, and NOAA is recognized for the “Atlantic Canyons: Pathways to the Abyss” project.
3-D perspective view of shaded relief abthymetry offshore Chenega village.

50-Year-Old Mystery Solved

Seafloor Mapping Reveals Cause of 1964 Tsunami that Destroyed Alaskan Village: USGS Newsroom

January 2016

Photograph of survey team on fantail of research vessel Solstice posing between the multichannel seismic-reflection streamer and multibeam bathymetry sonar.

Investigating the Offshore Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault System in Southeastern Alaska

... and its Potential to Produce Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Submarine Landslides
Left, Cordell Johnson drilling and coring the interior of the bluff to ground-truth geophysical methods. Right, a core section filled mostly with ice.

An Inside Look at Eroding Coastal Bluffs on Alaska’s North Slope

Scientists surveyed rapidly eroding permafrost bluffs on Barter Island, a remnant of low-elevation tundra on Alaska’s Arctic coast.
Photograph of Bruce Richmond operating a drill to take a sample of permafrost.

Drilling into permafrost on Alaska's Arctic coast

Read more about our Featured Photo
Pete Dal Ferro deploying the bubbler system from an inflatable vessel.

Artificial-Gas-Seep Test Produces 3D Images of Bubble Plumes in the Ocean

Scientists from the USGS conducted an experiment using in-house equipment to image artificially created gas plumes offshore of Santa Cruz, California.
Photograph of USGS research vessell Snavely and a USGS scientist operating a PWC equipped with echosounders to map the nearshore.

Elwha River mouth survey to document changes after dam removal

Scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center plan to survey the mouth, beach, and nearby seafloor of the Elwha River in Washington, February 15–19, 2016.
Photograph of Ocean Beach showing storm damage during the 2009-2010 El Nino.

USGS Science for an El Niño Winter: USGS Top Story

USGS monitors streamflow, floods, landslides, erosion, sea-level rise, and many other earth processes that affect communities and that are often affected by El Niño weather patterns.
Clip from the interview with Dan Hoover, showing a close-up of the coastal bluff in Pacifica, CA.

USGS oceanographer in KRON4-TV story about possible beach-cliff erosion from El Niño storms in San Francisco

PCMSC oceanographer Dan Hoover was interviewed for a story about coastal-cliff erosion that could occur on beaches in and near San Francisco, California, during El Niño storms this winter.
Perspective map view of the offshore of Point Lopez area of California.

USGS scientists to appear in February 7 TV broadcast about earthquake hazards in central California

Sam Johnson of PCMSC was interviewed about offshore faults and seafloor imaging, for a local TV program on earthquake hazards in central California. The story will air February 7 after the Super Bowl.
Photograph of USGS scientist deploying seismic equipment from the R/V Parke Snavely in San Pablo Bay, CA.

Discovery of possible connection between two earthquake faults in the San Francisco Bay area featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspaper, radio, and television outlets

The Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults may be directly connected deep beneath San Pablo Bay, a northern extension of San Francisco Bay.
Photograph of a street in the city of Nehalem, Oregon, with the internationally adopted tsunami-evacuation sign.

USGS to participate in national tsunami hazard workshop February 1-2, 2016

The workshop's goal is to improve collaboration between the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and USGS to provide better tsunami-preparedness products for coastal communities.
Photo of Patrick presenting his talk.

Upcoming Webinar on USGS Projections of Coastal Flooding and Erosion that Could Affect Orange County During El Niño

On January 21, 2016, USGS research geologist Patrick Barnard will discuss initial hazard maps that show potential flooding in the Orange County region from a 100-year storm combined with four scenarios of sea-level rise.

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