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.

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Research Projects

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Science Seminar Series

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Date published: November 23, 2021

Searching for Evidence of Past Tsunamis in Sediment Cores

Exact timing and size of future earthquake-generated tsunamis cannot be reliably predicted, but scientists can use evidence of past tsunamis to understand how tsunamis behave and assess the hazards they pose to coastal communities.

Date published: November 16, 2021

The Weight of Cities

Those living on or near the coast face natural hazards that will only worsen with climate change: earthquakes and related tsunamis, powerful climate-fueled storms, and relative sea-level rise, to name a few.

Date published: November 15, 2021

The Role of Sediment in Coastal Resiliency

The delivery and deposition of sediment along coastlines is essential to building barriers such as sandbars, dunes and marshes that protect coastal communities from storms and sea-level rise.


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Year Published: 2021

Seven decades of coastal change at Barter Island, Alaska: Exploring the importance of waves and temperature on erosion of coastal permafrost bluffs

Observational data of coastal change over much of the Arctic are limited largely due to its immensity, remoteness, harsh environment, and restricted periods of sunlight and ice-free conditions. Barter Island, Alaska, is one of the few locations where an extensive, observational dataset exists, which enables a detailed assessment of the trends and...

Gibbs, Ann E.; Erikson, Li H.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Engelstad, Anita C

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Year Published: 2021

Earthquake magnitude distributions on northern Caribbean faults from combinatorial optimization models

On-fault earthquake magnitude distributions are calculated for northern Caribbean faults using estimates of fault slip and regional seismicity parameters. Integer programming, a combinatorial optimization method, is used to determine the optimal spatial arrangement of earthquakes sampled from a truncated Gutenberg-Richter distribution that...

Geist, Eric L.; ten Brink, Uri S.

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Year Published: 2021

Rigorously valuing the coastal hazard risks reduction provided by potential coral reef restoration in Florida and Puerto Rico

The restoration of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, can reduce risks by decreasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. In the United States, the protective services provided by coral reefs were recently assessed in social and economic terms, with the annual protection provided by U.S. coral reefs off the coasts of...

Storlazzi, Curt D.; Reguero, Borja G.; Cumming, Kristen A.; Cole, Aaron D.; Shope, James B.; Gaido L., Camila; Viehman, T. Shay; Nickel, Barry A.; Beck, Michael W.
Storlazzi, C.D., Reguero, B.G., Cumming, K.A., Cole, A.D., Shope, J.B., Gaido L., C., Viehman, T.S., Nickel, B.A., and Beck, M.W., 2021, Rigorously valuing the coastal hazard risks reduction provided by potential coral reef restoration in Florida and Puerto Rico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1054, 35 p.,