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

Sound Waves Newsletter

Sound Waves Newsletter

Coastal and ocean research news from across the USGS

Read Our Newsletter


Date published: August 3, 2020

A Research Retrospective: Offshore Fault Mapping of the San Andreas

Study of New Offshore Fault Mapping Related to the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake:  In 2019, for the first time ever, scientists comprehensively mapped a previously overlooked offshore section of the San Andreas Fault system which may provide insight on how the fault could rupture in the future.

Date published: July 31, 2020

Recent Coastal and Marine Fieldwork - April-July 2020

Much of the USGS fieldwork has been delayed, postponed, or canceled in the face of COVID-19. USGS Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program (CMHRP) scientists were able to safely venture out to collect beach elevations; biogeochemistry samples; water, soil, and meteorological data; and coral and algal samples, in San Francisco, Florida, Massachusetts, and the US Virgin Islands.

July 31, 2020

Sound Waves Newsletter - June-July 2020

In this issue of Sound Waves, we pay tribute to a beloved USGS colleague, Monty Hampton, and highlight his work on sand waves and sand lance in the Pacific Northwest; we also highlight USGS work on sand lance in the Atlantic and on tracking sea turtles to examine how changing environment affects marine life.


Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Amazon sediment transport and accumulation along the continuum of mixed fluvial and marine processes

Sediment transfer from land to ocean begins in coastal settings and, for large rivers such as the Amazon, has dramatic impacts over thousands of kilometers covering diverse environmental conditions. In the relatively natural Amazon tidal river, combinations of fluvial and marine processes transition toward the ocean, affecting the transport and...

Nittrouer, Charles A.; DeMaster, David J.; Kuehl, Steven A.; Figueiredo, Alberto G.; Sternberg, Richard W.; Faria, L. Ercilio C.; Silveira, Odete M.; Allison, Meade A.; Kineke, Gail C.; Ogston, Andrea S.; Souza Filho, Pedro W.M.; Asp, Nils E.; Nowacki, Daniel J. ; Fricke, Aaron T.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

On the use of receiver operating character tests for evaluating spatial earthquake forecasts

Spatial forecasts of triggered earthquake distributions have been ranked using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) tests. The test is a binary comparison between regions of positive and negative forecast against positive and negative presence of earthquakes. Forecasts predicting only positive changes score higher than Coulomb methods, which...

Parsons, Thomas E.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Distribution of earthquakes on a branching fault system using integer programming and greedy sequential methods

A new global optimization method is used to determine the distribution of earthquakes on a complex, connected fault system. The method, integer programming, has been advanced in the field of operations research, but has not been widely applied to geophysical problems until recently. In this application, we determine the optimal distribution of...

Geist, Eric L.; Parsons, Thomas E.