Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center


We conduct multidisciplinary scientific research in the coastal and offshore areas of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and other US Pacific Islands; and in other waterways of the United States.

Research Projects

Research Projects

Read about our science projects, find out where we are working, and why our research matters

Explore Our Science

Featured Multimedia

Featured Multimedia

Check out our featured photos, images, and videos by our scientists!

Photos and Videos

PCMSC Quick Links

Learn more about our scientific laboratories, and field operations, equipment, and vessels; and explore our popular science.

PCMSC Laboratories

PCMSC Marine Facility Field Equipment and Capabilities

Cascadia Subduction Zone Marine Geohazards

Landscape Response to Disturbance

Tsunami and Earthquake Research


November 30, 2020

Sound Waves Newsletter - October-November 2020

We learn about mapping the Alaska coastline, meet some of our women scientists, and learn how we are connecting with students in a virtual world in this October-November 2020 issue of Sound Waves.

Date published: November 30, 2020

Recent Coastal and Marine Fieldwork - October-November 2020

Learn more about the recent field activities completed by scientists in the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program at the USGS, and explore the Science Projects that guide this fieldwork.

Date published: November 30, 2020

Why the Ocean?

USGS scientists share brief thoughts about why they have focused their careers on studying our oceans and coasts. Here’s why they study the ocean:


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Year Published: 2020

Focused fluid flow and methane venting along the Queen Charlotte fault, offshore Alaska (USA) and British Columbia (Canada)

Fluid seepage along obliquely deforming plate boundaries can be an important indicator of crustal permeability and influence on fault-zone mechanics and hydrocarbon migration. The ~850-km-long Queen Charlotte fault (QCF) is the dominant structure along the right-lateral transform boundary that separates the Pacific and North American tectonic...

Prouty, Nancy G.; Brothers, Daniel; Kluesner, Jared; Barrie, J. Vaughn; Andrews, Brian D.; Lauer, Rachel; Greene, Gary; Conrad, James E.; Lorenson, Thomas; Law, Michael D.; Sahy, Diana; Conway, Kim; McGann, Mary; Dartnell, Peter

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Year Published: 2020

Geomorphic and sedimentary effects of modern climate change: Current and anticipated future conditions in the western United States

Hydroclimatic changes associated with global warming over the past 50 years have been documented widely, but physical landscape responses are poorly understood thus far. Detecting sedimentary and geomorphic signals of modern climate change presents challenges owing to short record lengths, difficulty resolving signals in stochastic natural systems...

East, Amy E.; Sankey, Joel B.

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Year Published: 2020

Spectral wave-driven bedload transport across a coral reef flat/lagoon complex

Coral reefs are an important source of sediment for reef-lined coasts by helping to maintain beaches while also providing protection in the form of wave energy dissipation. Understanding the mechanisms by which sediment is delivered to the coast as well as better constraining the total volumes generated are critical for projecting future coastal...

Rosenberger, Kurt J.; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Cheriton, Olivia; Pomeroy, Andrew; Hansen, Jeff E.; Lowe, Ryan; Buckley, Mark