Photo Roundup - August-September 2020

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A selection of coastal and marine images and videos from across the USGS

This article is part of the August-September 2020 issue of the Sound Waves newsletter.

Three scientists operate a vibrating core barrel on a sandy beach near the water.

USGS collects terrestrial (barrier island) and marine (nearshore and estuarine) sediment cores to ground-truth geophysical observations in 2019. These cores are used to understand the history of barrier island formation and erosion. Credit: Noreen Buster, USGS

Learn more: Coastal Sediment Availability and Flux

View of a wetland area with some sand and a little water amongst a marshy, elevated grassland.

The USGS is assessing the physical condition of coastal wetlands and how they may change in response to storms, sea-level rise, and human activity. Learn more: U.S. Coastal Wetland Synthesis geonarrative

Winter nor’easters eroded sediments from an artificial dune and moved them seaward to the beach and shoreface

Though often less intense than hurricanes, extratropical storms (e.g., nor’easters) occur more frequently and their impacts can be striking. Here, several years after Hurricane Sandy, winter nor’easters eroded sediments from an artificial dune at Fire Island, NY and moved them onto the beach and shoreface. Such erosion created a steep vertical face, or scarp. Credit: Kyle Kelso, USGS.

Learn more: Fire Island National Seashore

One person on an all-terrain vehicle and two standing near another, on a beach.

You have to be able to have a little fun when in the field. A colleague from the Washington State Department of Ecology hams it up while prepping for a beach survey with scientists from the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. The multi-agency surveys define sediment transport pathways and record coastal changes at the mouth of the Columbia River, where dams, stone jetties, navigation channels, and changes in upstream land use affect the sediment supply to beaches. Credit: Andrew Stevens, USGS.

Learn more: Columbia River estuary

Equipment attached to a metal frame floats in the water on two buoys while dolphins frolic nearby.

The SQUID-5 is an acronym for a Structure-from-Motion (SfM) Quantitative Underwater Imaging Device with 5 cameras. Developed by the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center Marine Facility (MarFac), SQUID-5 is a towed surface vehicle with an onboard Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and 5 downward-looking cameras with overlapping views of the seafloor. It was first field-tested in July of 2019 in the Florida Keys over a shallow-water coral reef. Here, some curious dolphins frolic nearby as SQUID-5 is towed from a boat.

Learn more: SQUID-5 camera system

A group of people stand, smiling for the camera, on the deck of a ship at sea with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background

USGS scientists on the back deck of the M/V Bold Horizon in San Francisco Bay in October 2019: (back row: left to right) Brandon Nasr, Danny Brothers, Travis Alonghi [UCSC Student], Gerry Hatcher, Jenna Hill, Pete Dal Ferro; (front row: left to right) USGS scientists Janet Watt, Nora Nieminski, and Jenny McKee. Credit: Nora Nieminski, USGS.

Learn more: Cascadia Subduction Zone Marine Geohazards