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Providing basic understanding and specific information on storm-wave inundation of atoll islands that house Department of Defense installations, and assessing the resulting impact of sea-level rise and storm-wave inundation on infrastructure and freshwater availability under a variety of sea-level rise and climatic scenarios.
Learn about project background, objectives, and approach
Access our publications on topics relating to this study. See the Data page for links to all published data.
Read news about our research on Kwajalein, 2014-2018
Visit the research overview web site for more information.
Many U.S. Pacific islands are atolls fringed with coral reefs and have maximum elevations of 3–5 meters, with mean elevations of 1–2 meters. Sea level in the western Pacific Ocean has been increasing at a rate 2–3 times the global average, resulting in almost 0.3 meters of net rise since 1990. The 2012 US National Climate Assessment provided global sea level rise scenarios that ranged from 0.2 to 2.0 meters by 2100. Regional scenarios are needed. A high surf event in December 2008 overwashed numerous atolls in Micronesia, ruining freshwater supplies and destroying agriculture on approximately 60% of the inhabited islands. Sea-level rise will exacerbate the hazards posed by climate change (storms, waves, temperatures, precipitation, etc.) to infrastructure, freshwater supplies, agriculture, and habitats for threatened and endangered species on U.S. and U.S.-affiliated atoll islands.
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News from 2014-2018
Sea-level rise and wave-driven flooding will negatively impact freshwater resources on many low-lying atoll islands in such a way that many could be...
Sea-level rise and wave-driven flooding could introduce saltwater so frequently into atoll islands’ freshwater resources that many will be...
USGS research in the Republic of the Marshall Islands forms part of the scientific foundation of an interactive documentary released April 6 by PBS...
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.
USGS research geologist Curt Storlazzi led a workshop on “Understanding Flooding on Reef-lined Island Coastlines” (UFORIC) in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, from...
Results of USGS research investigating sea-level rise impacts to Department of Defense (DoD) facilities in Pacific atolls are included in the National...
At the request of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), USGS geologist Curt Storlazzi...