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Scientific reports, journal articles, and information products produced by USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center scientists.

Filter Total Items: 1290

Forecasting storm-induced coastal flooding for 21st century sea-level rise scenarios in the Hawaiian, Mariana, and American Samoan Islands

Oceanographic, coastal engineering, ecologic, and geospatial data and tools were combined to evaluate the increased risks of storm-induced coastal flooding in the populated Hawaiian, Mariana, and American Samoan Islands as a result of climate change and sea-level rise. We followed a hybrid (dynamical and statistical) downscaling approach to map flooding due to waves and storm surge at 10-square me
Curt D. Storlazzi, Borja G. Reguero, Camila Gaido L., Kristen C. Alkins, Chris Lowry, Kees M. Nederhoff, Li H. Erikson, Andrea C. O'Neill, Michael W. Beck

Extreme low-frequency waves on the Ofu, American Samoa, reef flat

The southern fringing reef along Ofu, American Samoa, has been a focus of coral research owing to the presence of super-heated pools on the reef flat, where corals thrive in elevated sea temperatures. Here, we present the first documentation of exceptionally large low-frequency (periods > 100 s) waves over this reef flat. During a large, southerly swell event, low-frequency waves on the inner reef
Olivia Cheriton, Curt Storlazzi, Ferdinand Oberle, Kurt J. Rosenberger, Eric K. Brown

Physics to fish—Understanding the factors that create and sustain native fish habitat in the San Francisco Estuary

Executive SummaryThe Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) operates the Central Valley Project (CVP), one of the nation’s largest water projects. Reclamation has an ongoing need to improve the scientific basis for adaptive management of the CVP and, by extension, joint operations with California’s State Water Project. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) works cooperatively with the Bureau of Reclamati
Larry R. Brown, David E. Ayers, Brian A. Bergamaschi, Jon R. Burau, Evan T. Dailey, Bryan D. Downing, Maureen A. Downing-Kunz, Frederick V. Feyrer, Brock M. Huntsman, Tamara E. C. Kraus, Tara Morgan, Jessica R. Lacy, Francis Parchaso, Catherine A. Ruhl, Elizabeth Stumpner, Paul Stumpner, Janet Thompson, Matthew J. Young

Slowly but surely: Exposure of communities and infrastructure to subsidence on the US east coast

Coastal communities are vulnerable to multihazards, which are exacerbated by land subsidence. On the US east coast, the high density of population and assets amplifies the region's exposure to coastal hazards. We utilized measurements of vertical land motion rates obtained from analysis of radar datasets to evaluate the subsidence-hazard exposure to population, assets, and infrastructure systems/f
Leonard O. Ohenhen, Manoochehr Shirzaei, Patrick L. Barnard

Bayesian hierarchical modeling for probabilistic estimation of tsunami amplitude from far-field earthquake sources

Evaluation of tsunami disaster risk for a coastal region requires reliable estimation of tsunami hazard, for example, wave amplitude close to the shore. Observed tsunami data are scarce and have poor spatial coverage, and for this reason probabilistic tsunami hazard analysis (PTHA) traditionally relies on numerical simulation of “synthetic” tsunami generation and propagation toward the coast. Such
Georgios Boumis, Eric L. Geist, Danhyang Lee

Pacific coastal and marine science of the U.S. Geological Survey in Santa Cruz, California

IntroductionThe Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center is one of three U.S. Geological Survey science centers that serve the mission of the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program, the primary Federal marine geology and physical science research program focused on the Nation’s coastal and marine landscape. Our portfolio of coastal and marine projects in the Pacific Ocean provides the s
Peter Pearsall

Shifted sediment-transport regimes by climate change and amplified hydrological variability in cryosphere-fed rivers

Climate change affects cryosphere-fed rivers and alters seasonal sediment dynamics, affecting cyclical fluvial material supply and year-round water-food-energy provisions to downstream communities. Here, we demonstrate seasonal sediment-transport regime shifts from the 1960s to 2000s in four cryosphere-fed rivers characterized by glacial, nival, pluvial, and mixed regimes, respectively. Spring see
Tinghu Zhang, Dongfeng Li, Amy E. East, Albert J. Kettner, James L. Best, Jinren Ni, Xixi Lu

High-resolution geophysical and geochronological analysis of a relict shoreface deposit offshore central California: Implications for slip rate along the Hosgri fault

The Cross-Hosgri slope is a bathymetric lineament that crosses the main strand of the Hosgri fault offshore Point Estero, central California. Recently collected chirp seismic reflection profiles and sediment cores provide the basis for a reassessment of Cross-Hosgri slope origin and the lateral slip rate of the Hosgri fault based on offset of the lower slope break of the Cross-Hosgri slope. The Cr
Jared W. Kluesner, Samuel Y. Johnson, Stuart P. Nishenko, Elisa Medri, Alex Simms, Gary Greene, Harrison J. Gray, Shannon A. Mahan, Jason Scott Padgett, Emma Taylor Krolczyk, Daniel S. Brothers, James E. Conrad

A watershed moment for western U.S. dams

The summer of 2023 is a notable time for water-resource management in the western United States: Glen Canyon Dam, on the Colorado River, turns 60 years old while the largest dam-removal project in history is beginning on the Klamath River. This commentary discusses these events in the context of a changing paradigm for dam and reservoir management in this region. Since the era of large dam buildin
Amy E. East, Gordon E. Grant

Where ice gave way to fire: Deglacial volcanic activity at the edge of the Coast Mountains in Milbanke Sound, BC

Kitasu Hill and MacGregor Cone formed along the Principe Laredo Fault on British Columbia’s central coast as the Wisconsinan ice sheet withdrew from the Coast Mountains. These small-volume Milbanke Sound Volcanoes (MSV) provide remarkable evidence for the intimate relationship between volcanic and glacial facies. The lavas are within-plate, differentiated (low MgO < 7%) Ocean Island Basalts, hawai
Tark S. Hamilton, Randolph J. Enkin, Zhengpeng Li, Jan M. Bednarski, Cooper D. Stacey, Mary McGann, Britta J.L. Jensen

Wide-area debris field and seabed characterization of a deep ocean dump site surveyed by autonomous underwater vehicles

Disposal of industrial and hazardous waste in the deep ocean was a pervasive global practice near coastlines in the 20th century. Uncertainty in the quantity, location, and contents of dumped materials at historical disposal sites underscores ongoing risks to marine ecosystems and human health. This study presents analysis of a 150-km2 wide-area sidescan sonar survey conducted in March 2021 with t
Sophia T. Merrifield, Sean Celona, Ryan A. McCarthy, Andrew Pietruszka, Heidi Batchelor, Robert Hess, Andrew Nager, Raymond Young, Kurt Sadorf, Lisa A. Levin, David L. Valentine, James E. Conrad, Eric J. Terrill

What evidence exists on the ecological and physical effects of built structures in shallow, tropical coral reefs? A systematic map protocol

BackgroundShallow, tropical coral reefs face compounding threats from 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 coral reefs’ height and variability. One approach toward restoring coral reef structure from these threats is deploying built structure
Avery Paxton, Tom Swannack, Candice Piercy, Safra Altman, Leanne Poussard, Brandon Puckett, Curt Storlazzi, T. Shay Viehman