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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

2010 PCMSC News

December 2010

Sound Waves articles from December 2010 issue:

Search for Evidence of Prehistoric Tsunamis and Great Earthquakes on Chirikof Island, Eastern Aleutians

Upcoming! Antarctic Science and the Cultural Arts: A New Approach

Mendenhall Research Fellow to Study Sediment Fluxes in San Francisco Bay


Oil from Deepwater Horizon Spill in Gulf of Mexico Sediment and Tarballs:

USGS scientists who analyzed samples from the northern Gulf of Mexico shorelines have published their findings in USGS Open-File Report 2010-1290, "Reconnaissance of Macondo-1 well oil in sediment and tarballs from the northern Gulf of Mexico shoreline, Texas to Florida". The scientists found Macondo-1 (M-1) well oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in 11 of 49 sediment samples and 17 of 20 tarballs, and identified M-1 well oil in samples from Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, but none from the Texas samples. Oil-impacted sediments are confined to the shoreline adjacent to the cumulative slick of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; no impact was observed outside of this area. Additional work is required to determine the source of other oils found in this study.
See: (Bob Rosenbauer, Menlo Park, CA, 650-329-4198)

USGS Scientists Participate in San Francisco Bay Science Symposium:

USGS scientists will be among the speakers at the 2011 South Bay Science Symposium, to be held on February 3 at the USGS Menlo Park campus in California. The event is open to the public, and will feature speakers from agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of California, San Jose State University, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, and Coastal Conservancy.

This series of talks is hosted by the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, a multiagency effort overseeing some 15,000 acres of land in southern San Francisco Bay formerly controlled by hunting clubs and salt producers -- and restoring much of them to their original tidal wetland ecosystems. As a whole, the project is the largest tidal wetland restoration project in the West Coast.

In 2003, much of this crucial acreage was secured with funding from federal and state agencies, private foundations and congressional appropriations championed by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Restored as estuarine marshes with natural tidal cycles, these vast expanses of wetlands will provide valuable ecosystem services to local communities, such as natural flood control, sediment trapping and habitat for waterfowl and endangered species.

Researchers from USGS and other federal, state and local institutions will study these habitats to track the effect of habitat restoration on the local ecosystem. Laura Valoppi of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center serves as lead scientist for the overall project.

Presenters at the symposium will discuss their research progress in southern San Francisco Bay. From USGS, they include Josh Ackerman, whose team is studying mercury contamination as well as waterbird nesting, and John Takekawa, whose team is examining the local food web as well as the impact of sea level rise on endangered wetland species. Presentations will also be given by USGS scientists Greg Shellenberger, Bruce Jaffe, Jan Thompson, Isa Woo, Arrianna Brand, and Mark Herzog. USGS hydrologist David Schoellhamer will be among the moderators.

Event details are available at

Attendee registration is available at

See time-lapse photos of the project's latest levee breach on December 6, 2010:

Watch a video of the project's levee breach on Facebook:

October/November/December 2010

December 13th, 2010: USGS Arctic Data at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting New data from Arctic explorations by USGS and other scientists will be featured in a poster session titled "Evolution of the Amerasia Basin of the Arctic and Its Continental Margins" in the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting in San Francisco (December 13-17). Much of the new information comes from seafloor mapping, seismic-reflection profiling, and seafloor sampling undertaken by Arctic nations to determine where they might have sovereign rights over seafloor and subseafloor resources beyond 200 nautical miles, consistent with international law. The poster session will take place Wednesday morning, December 15. (Debbie Hutchinson, Woods Hole, MA, 508-457-2263)
See also: "Joint U.S.-Canadian Icebreaker Surveys in the Arctic Ocean"
"Scientists Set Sail to Map the Arctic Seafloor" at
AGU Fall Meeting
USGS 2010 Extended Continental Shelf Project

Sound Waves articles from October/November 2010 issue:

Degradation of Subsea Permafrost and Associated Gas Hydrates Offshore of Alaska in Response to Climate Change

Whale Falls—By Jeremy Geist*, USGS Volunteer for Science

SCAR Medal for International Scientific Coordination Awarded to USGS Emeritus Scientist Alan Cooper

August/September 2010

Scientists Set Sail to Map the Arctic Seafloor

Tracking Coral Larvae to Understand Hawai‘i Reef Health

Coral Records of Sediment Input to the Fringing Reef of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i

August 2010: Notes From the Field

Read Helen Gibbons' blog during her journey aboard icebreaker Healy in the Arctic Ocean—Extended Continental Shelf Project; August 2-September 6, 2010

Photos of the Day

Photo log

Helen Gibbons' Blog

USGS 2010 Law of the Sea Arctic Cruise

USGS Project "Law of the Sea—Outer Limits of the US Continental Margins"

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy log

Hourly photos from Healy's Aloft Conn Web Camera

2010 Overview, Extended Continental Shelf Project

Extended Continental Shelf Project

July 2010

Geological Impacts of the February 2010 Tsunami in Chile

Murky Waters: USGS tracks sediment on Molokai's reef

Visitors Enjoy Earth Science Day at the USGS Campus in Menlo Park, California

Harnessing the Power of Coastal and Marine Data for Science and Society: The Knowledge Management Workshop

USGS Sedimentologist David Rubin to Receive Pettijohn Medal

Visiting Students from the Netherlands Contribute to Modeling Morphologic Change in the Pacific Northwest

May/June 2010

USGS Responds to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Best Poster Award from Pacific Section AAPG

April 2010

The 2010 Chilean Tsunami and Uncertainty in Tsunami Modeling

Workshop Considers Alaskan Earthquakes as Possible Triggers of Hypothetical Tsunami for 2013 Preparedness Drill

March 2010

January/February 2010


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