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 discover the reasons why our research matters.

Explore Our Science

Science Seminar Series

Science Seminar Series

Join us for virtual science seminars! Learn more, and see the upcoming schedule of speakers.

Science Seminars


Date published: July 30, 2021

Ferromanganese nodules on a deep-ocean seamount

USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center researcher Kira Mizell talks about the discovery of a ferromanganese nodule field on a seamount deep in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Date published: July 21, 2021

Studying earthquakes from lake sediment: Lacustrine paleoseismology in Alaska

USGS researchers in Alaska, including geologist and Mendenhall Fellow Drake Singleton of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, are using techniques from a discipline known as lake paleoseismology, studying cores of lake sediment to reconstruct past seismic activity. 


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Year Published: 2021

Timing of iceberg scours and massive ice-rafting events in the subtropical North Atlantic

High resolution seafloor mapping shows extraordinary evidence that massive (>300 m thick) icebergs once drifted >5,000 km south along the eastern United States, with >700 iceberg scours now identified south of Cape Hatteras. Here we report on sediment cores collected from several buried scours that show multiple plow marks align with...

Condron, Alan; Hill, Jenna C.

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Year Published: 2021

Influence of invasive submerged aquatic vegetation (E. densa) on currents and sediment transport in a freshwater tidal system

We present a field study combining measurements of vegetation density, vegetative drag, and reduction of suspended-sediment concentration (SSC) within patches of the invasive submerged aquatic plant Egeria densa. Our study was motivated by concern that sediment trapping by E. densa, which has proliferated in the Sacramento–San Joaquin...

Lacy, Jessica R.; Foster-Martinez, Madeline R.; Allen, Rachel M.; Drexler, Judith Z.

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Year Published: 2021

Twenty-first-century projections of shoreline change along inlet-interrupted coastlines

Sandy coastlines adjacent to tidal inlets are highly dynamic and widespread landforms, where large changes are expected due to climatic and anthropogenic influences. To adequately assess these important changes, both oceanic (e.g., sea-level rise) and terrestrial (e.g., fluvial sediment supply) processes that govern the local sediment budget must...

Bamunawala, Janaka; Ranasinghe, Roshanka; Dastgheib, Ali; Nichols, Robert .J.; Murray, A. Brad; Barnard, Patrick L.; Sirisena, T. A. J. G.; Duong, Trang Minh; Hulscher, Suzanne J. M. H.; van der Spek, Ad