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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.

News

Revisiting the 1957 Aleutian Earthquake: New Insights into Tsunami Hazards for Hawaiʻi

Revisiting the 1957 Aleutian Earthquake: New Insights into Tsunami Hazards for Hawaiʻi

Open Job Announcement: PCMSC Center Director

Open Job Announcement: PCMSC Center Director

Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program Scientists Presented with Distinguished Service Awards

Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program Scientists Presented with Distinguished Service Awards

Publications

Testing megathrust rupture models using tsunami deposits

The 26 January 1700 CE Cascadia subduction zone earthquake ruptured much of the plate boundary and generated a tsunami that deposited sand in coastal marshes from northern California to Vancouver Island. Although the depositional record of tsunami inundation is extensive in some of these marshes, few sites have been investigated in enough detail to map the inland extent of sand deposition and depi
Authors
SeanPaul La Selle, Alan R. Nelson, Robert C. Witter, Bruce E. Jaffe, Guy Gelfenbaum, Jason Scott Padgett

Pockmarks offshore Big Sur, California provide evidence for recurrent, regional, and unconfined sediment gravity flows

Recent surface ship multibeam surveys of the Sur Pockmark Field, offshore Central California, reveal >5,000 pockmarks in an area that is slated to host a wind farm, between 500- and 1,500-m water depth. Extensive fieldwork was conducted to characterize the seafloor environment and its recent geologic history, including visual observations with remotely operated vehicles, sediment core sampling, an
Authors
E. Lundsten, Charles K. Paull, R. Gwiazda, S. Dobbs, D.W. Caress, Linda A. Kuhnz, M. Walton, N. Nieminski, Mary McGann, Thomas Lorenson, Guy R. Cochrane, Jason A. Addison

Evidence on the ecological and physical effects of built structures in shallow, tropical coral reefs: A systematic map

Shallow, tropical coral reefs face compounding threats from climate change, habitat degradation due to coastal development and pollution, impacts from storms and sea-level rise, and pulse disturbances like blast fishing, mining, dredging, and ship groundings that reduce reef height and complexity. One approach toward restoring coral reef physical structure from such impacts is deploying built stru
Authors
Avery Paxton, Iris Foxfoot, Christina Cutshaw, D'amy Steward, Leanne Poussard, Trevor Riley, Todd Swannack, Candice Piercy, Safra Altman, Brandon Puckett, Curt Storlazzi, Shay Viehman

Science

Post-Fire Sediment Research at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, California, has been growing our post-fire research contributions since 2017, through studies of post-fire sediment movement that address the Natural Hazards Mission Area objectives for understanding wildfire hazards.
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Post-Fire Sediment Research at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, California, has been growing our post-fire research contributions since 2017, through studies of post-fire sediment movement that address the Natural Hazards Mission Area objectives for understanding wildfire hazards.
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Anthropogenic Nutrient Loading and Coral Health at Ofu, American Samoa

Declining water quality poses a significant and persistent threat to coral reefs worldwide, contributing to their widespread degradation. Identifying the specific impacts of water quality stressors is challenging due to the complex interplay of various physical and biological factors affecting reef health. Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) plays a crucial role in transporting nutrients into...
link

Anthropogenic Nutrient Loading and Coral Health at Ofu, American Samoa

Declining water quality poses a significant and persistent threat to coral reefs worldwide, contributing to their widespread degradation. Identifying the specific impacts of water quality stressors is challenging due to the complex interplay of various physical and biological factors affecting reef health. Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) plays a crucial role in transporting nutrients into...
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Developing a USGS Digital Coral Growth Archive using Rotating X-Ray Computerized Tomography​ - The ACTS Project

The Archival Computed Tomography Scanning Project (ACTS) currently develops the USGS Coral Core Archive, housed at the Pacific and St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Centers, that contains approximately 500 coral reef cores from U.S. jurisdictions worldwide. This archive, is one of the largest coral archives in the world and provides historical context for coral-reef science studies...
link

Developing a USGS Digital Coral Growth Archive using Rotating X-Ray Computerized Tomography​ - The ACTS Project

The Archival Computed Tomography Scanning Project (ACTS) currently develops the USGS Coral Core Archive, housed at the Pacific and St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Centers, that contains approximately 500 coral reef cores from U.S. jurisdictions worldwide. This archive, is one of the largest coral archives in the world and provides historical context for coral-reef science studies...
Learn More