Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Coastal Change

USGS research helps managers better understand and project the physical impacts of storms, climate change, and sea-level rise on coastal systems—from the permafrost coasts of Alaska, to the Puget Sound estuary, the California coast, and low-lying Pacific atolls. Coastlines are dynamic, with sediments accumulating or eroding from beaches and tidal marshes, storm waves eroding cliffs, and sea-level rise threatening low-lying coastal communities.

Filter Total Items: 32
Date published: September 1, 2021
Status: Active

Coastal Climate Impacts

The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise around the Pacific and Arctic Oceans can vary tremendously. Thus far the vast majority of national and international impact assessments and models of coastal climate change have focused on low-relief coastlines that are not near seismically active zones. Furthermore, the degree to which extreme waves and wind will add further stress to coastal...

Date published: August 13, 2021
Status: Active

DUNEX Modeling Waves, Water Levels, Sediment Transport, and Shoreline Change

Large, collaborative field experiments such as DUNEX leverage observations of the coastal ocean made by multiple academic, agency, and NGO teams, providing the opportunity to grasp a broader picture of the forces responsible for coastal change. Despite deployment of many instruments, it’s impossible to measure everything,...

Date published: August 11, 2021
Status: Active

USGS DUNEX Operations on the Outer Banks

DUring Nearshore Event eXperiment (DUNEX) is a multi-agency, academic, and non-governmental organization (NGO) collaborative community experiment designed to study nearshore coastal processes during storm events. The experiment began in 2019 and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2021. USGS participation in DUNEX will contribute new measurements and models that will increase our...

Date published: July 8, 2021
Status: Active

San Francisco Bay geomorphology

This research is part of the project, “Sediment Transport in Coastal Environments.”

Contacts: Bruce Jaffe
Date published: June 25, 2021
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Puerto Rico

To better understand how waves move across coral reefs and cause flooding on tropical shorelines, USGS scientists have installed video cameras and oceanographic instruments off San Juan and Rincón, Puerto Rico. Their work is part of a study funded by USGS after Hurricanes Irma and María. The offshore instruments measure wave heights and speeds; the onshore video cameras show where waves break...

Date published: May 25, 2021
Status: Active

Climate impacts on Monterey Bay area beaches

For beach towns around Monterey Bay, preserving the beaches by mitigating coastal erosion is vital. Surveys conducted now and regularly in the future will help scientists understand the short- and long-term impacts of climate change, El Niño years, and sea-level rise on a populated and vulnerable coastline.

Date published: January 29, 2021
Status: Active

The Mud Creek Landslide May 20 2017

On May 20, 2017, the steep slopes at Mud Creek on California’s Big Sur coast, about 140 miles south of San Francisco, suffered a catastrophic collapse. USGS scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center and the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center continue to monitor this section of the coastline, in collaboration with the California Department of...

Date published: November 4, 2020
Status: Active

USGS science supporting the Elwha River Restoration Project

 

The Elwha River Restoration Project has reconnected the water, salmon, and sediment of a pristine river and coast of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. Coordinated by the National Park Service, restoration of the Elwha River included the removal of two large dams that had blocked salmon and sediment passage for almost 100 years. The largest dam removal in U.S. history began in...

Date published: October 22, 2020
Status: Completed

The Impact of Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change on Pacific Ocean Atolls

Providing basic understanding and specific information on storm-wave inundation of atoll islands that house Department of Defense installations, and assessing the resulting impact of sea-level rise and storm-wave inundation on infrastructure and freshwater availability under a variety of sea-level rise and climatic scenarios.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi, PhD, Li Erikson, Stephen B Gingerich, Clifford I Voss, Ph.D., Peter Swarzenski, Ap van Dongeren, Gregory PIniak, Donald Field, Annamalai Hariharasubramanian, Kevin Hamilton, Yuqing Wang, Edwin Elias
Date published: June 16, 2020
Status: Active

Coastal Change Hazards

Natural processes such as waves, tides, and weather, continually change coastal landscapes. The integrity of coastal homes, businesses, and infrastructure can be threatened by hazards associated with event-driven changes, such as extreme storms and their impacts on beach and dune erosion, or longer-term, cumulative...

Date published: November 29, 2019
Status: Completed

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Whidbey Island

From May of 2018 through November of 2019, USGS scientists collected imagery from video cameras overlooking the coast along a beach on Whidbey Island, Island County at the northern boundary of Puget Sound in western Washington.

    Contacts: Eric Grossman
    Date published: July 22, 2019
    Status: Completed

    Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Isla Verde

    USGS scientists installed video cameras atop a building and oceanographic instruments off San Juan, Puerto Rico, to better understand how waves move across coral reefs and cause flooding on tropical shorelines.