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Publications

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

Filter Total Items: 1113

A numerical study of geomorphic and oceanographic controls on wave-driven runup on fringing reefs with shore-normal channels

Many populated, tropical coastlines fronted by fringing coral reefs are exposed to wave-driven marine flooding that is exacerbated by sea-level rise. Most fringing coral reef are not alongshore uniform, but bisected by shore-normal channels; however, little is known about the influence of such channels on alongshore variations on runup and flooding of the adjacent coastline. We con-ducted a parame

Characterizing storm-induced coastal change hazards along the United States West Coast

Traditional methods to assess the probability of storm-induced erosion and flooding from extreme water levels have limited use along the U.S. West Coast where swell dominates erosion and storm surge is limited. This effort presents methodology to assess the probability of erosion and flooding for the U.S. West Coast from extreme total water levels (TWLs), but the approach is applicable to coastal

The role of pH up-regulation in response to nutrient-enriched, low-pH groundwater discharge

Coral reefs and their ecosystems are threatened by both global stressors, including increasing sea-surface temperatures and ocean acidification (OA), and local stressors such as land-based sources of pollution that can magnify the effects of OA. Corals can physiologically control the chemistry of their internal calcifying fluids (CF) and can thereby regulate their calcification process. Specifical

Can coastal habitats rise to the challenge? Resilience of estuarine habitats, carbon accumulation, and economic value to sea-level rise in a Puget Sound estuary

Sea-level rise (SLR) and obstructions to sediment delivery pose challenges to the persistence of estuarine habitats and the ecosystem services they provide. Restoration actions and sediment management strategies may help mitigate such challenges by encouraging the vertical accretion of sediment in and horizontal migration of tidal forests and marshes. We used a process-based soil accretion model (

Nearshore bathymetric changes along the Alaska Beaufort Sea coast and possible physical drivers

Erosion rates along Alaska's Beaufort Sea coast, among the highest in the world, are negatively impacting communities, industrial and military infrastructure, and wildlife habitat. Decreasing maximal winter ice extent and increasing summer open water duration and extent in the Beaufort Sea may be making the coast more vulnerable to destructive storm waves than during recent, colder, icier decades.

The effect of changing sea ice on wave climate trends along Alaska's central Beaufort Sea coast

Diminishing sea ice is impacting the wave field across the Arctic region. Recent observation- and model-based studies highlight the spatiotemporal influence of sea ice on offshore wave climatologies, but effects within the nearshore region are still poorly described. This study characterizes the wave climate in the central Beaufort Sea coast from 1979 to 2019 by utilizing a wave hindcast model tha

Deep-ocean polymetallic nodules and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in the global ocean: New sources for critical metals

The transition from a global hydrocarbon economy to a green energy economy and the rapidly growing middle class in developing countries are driving the need for considerable new sources of critical materials. Deep-ocean minerals, namely cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts and polymetallic nodules, are two such new resources generating interest.Polymetallic nodules are essentially two-dimensional min

High-resolution observations of submarine groundwater discharge reveal the fine spatial and temporal scales of nutrient exposure on a coral reef: Faga'alu, AS

Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) can deliver substantial nutrient and contaminant loads to nearshore coral reefs. Correctly scaling SGD rates from a point source to a reef is generally a linear process involving simplified assumptions on the hydrogeology, bathymetry, and nearshore hydrodynamics that are essential to properly assess SGD scale and impact to individual coral heads. Here, we appl

California Deepwater Investigations and Groundtruthing (Cal DIG) I, volume 3 — Benthic habitat characterization offshore Morro Bay, California

Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) geoform, substrate, and biotic component geographic information system (GIS) products were developed for the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (U.S. EEZ) of south-central California in the region of Santa Lucia Bank motivated by interest in development of offshore wind-energy capacity and infrastructure. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Ancient winds, waves, and atmosphere in Gale Crater, Mars, inferred from sedimentary structures and wave modeling

Wave modeling and analysis of sedimentary structures were used to evaluate whether four examples of symmetrical, reversing, or straight-crested bedforms in Gale crater sandstones are preserved wave ripples; deposition by waves would demonstrate that the lake was not covered by ice at that time. Wave modeling indicates that regardless of atmospheric density, winds that exceeded the threshold of aeo

Fire (plus) flood (equals) beach: Coastal response to an exceptional river sediment discharge event

Wildfire and post-fire rainfall have resounding effects on hillslope processes and sediment yields of mountainous landscapes. Yet, it remains unclear how fire–flood sequences influence downstream coastal littoral systems. It is timely to examine terrestrial–coastal connections because climate change is increasing the frequency, size, and intensity of wildfires, altering precipitation rates, and ac

Human and ecosystem health in coastal systems

U.S. coastal economies and communities are facing an unprecedented and growing number of impacts to coastal ecosystems including beach and fishery closures, harmful algal blooms, loss of critical habitat, as well as shoreline damage. This paper synthesizes our present understanding of the dynamics of human and ecosystem health in coastal systems with a focus on the need to better understand nearsh