Sound Waves Newsletter - February 2018

Release Date:

Researchers find giant grooves on the tectonic plates that form a subduction zone, impacts of climate change may make many low-lying Pacific islands uninhabitable in 20 years, how two recent earthquakes did not trigger larger tsunamis, a new data catalog that makes it easier to find coastal and marine data sets, and more in this February 2018 issue of Sound Waves.

The stories in the February 2018 issue of Sound Waves featuring coastal and marine research from across the USGS.

Cover Story

Giant Grooves Discovered on an Earthquake Fault Offshore Costa Rica
Researchers report finding corrugations, or giant grooves, kilometers long, hundreds of meters wide, and tens of meters high, between the Cocos and Caribbean tectonic plates that form part of the Costa Rica subduction zone. The detailed three-dimensional data they used to uncover these corrugations can help them better understand large subduction zone earthquakes and related tsunamis worldwide.


Pacific Missile Tracking Site Could Be Unusable in 20 Years Due to Climate Change
Living and working on the Pacific islands hosting a key missile tracking site soon could be almost impossible due to the impacts of climate change.

A Tale of Two Tsunamis–Why Weren’t They Bigger? Mexico 2017 and Alaska 2018
Why do some earthquakes trigger large tsunamis, and others don’t? Learn how earthquakes produce tsunamis, how scientists predict tsunami size and arrival times, and the differences in two recent small tsunamis.

The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Data Catalog
The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Data Catalog makes research data easier to find by offering a preselected collection of metadata (“data about data”) and customized query tools.


Recent Fieldwork
USGS scientists visited more than 15 coastal and offshore locations studying mineral crusts, a subduction zone trench, Hurricane Irma impacts, and much more. Here’s a quick overview of some fieldwork by our researchers.

Staff and Center News

Scientists, Volunteers Rescue About 1,000 Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles
Florida's second-largest turtle rescue of 21st century is “exhausting, inspiring,” USGS biologist says.

News Briefs

Highlighted Coastal and Marine Research News from Across the USGS


New Study Links Salinity Changes in the Gulf of Mexico to Changes in Rainfall Patterns in the Western Hemisphere
The project is part of a collaborative effort to better understand how sea surface temperature and salinity have varied over the Holocene, or the past 10,000 years. The approach is to measure the magnesium to calcium ratios and oxygen isotopic composition in planktic foraminifera deposited on the seafloor.

Recent Publications
List of USGS publications on coastal and marine research.


Archive of past issues of Sound Waves (1999-2018)