Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center


Coastal and Offshore Hazards: USGS makes detailed seafloor maps of offshore geology to identify faults and underwater landslides. The results help coastal communities become more resilient to marine geologic hazards that include earthquakes and tsunamis. We also develop statistical and computer models of earthquake and tsunami recurrence to help manage risk.

Filter Total Items: 35
Date published: December 11, 2019
Status: Completed

Tsunami Record from the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Shortly after the Great San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906, a sea level disturbance (tsunami) was recorded at the Presidio tide gauge station in San Francisco (the station is now located nearby at Ft. Point). What type of mechanism (earthquake rupture, landslide, other) generated the tsunami...

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: December 9, 2019
Status: Active

Featured Photos and Videos

Keep watching this page for more photos from our scientists!

Contacts: Laura Torresan
Date published: November 26, 2019
Status: Active

Tsunami Field Studies

Our tsunami scientists work on international teams to study the aftermath of tsunamis around the world, to gain a better understanding the impact of potential tsunamis on coastal communities of the United States. Their work helps inform local, state, and federal coastal planning, protection, and resiliency.

Date published: November 26, 2019
Status: Active

Tsunami and Earthquake Research

Here you will find general information on the science behind tsunami generation, computer animations of tsunamis, and summaries of past field studies. 

The scope of tsunami research within the USGS, however, is broader than the topics covered here. USGS researchers have also provided critical research toward understanding how sediments are transported during tsunami runup and...

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: November 8, 2019
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Whidbey Island

Video cameras overlook 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: October 17, 2019
    Status: Active

    CoSMoS 3.1: Central California

    CoSMoS v3.1 for central California shows projections for future climate scenarios (sea-level rise and storms)

    Date published: October 17, 2019
    Status: Active

    Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS)

    The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions of storm-induced coastal flooding, erosion, and cliff failures over large geographic scales. CoSMoS was developed for hindcast studies, operational applications and future climate scenarios to provide emergency responders and coastal planners with critical storm-hazards information that can be used to increase public safety...

    Date published: October 4, 2019
    Status: Active

    Probabilistic Forecasting of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Earthquake Effects in the Coastal Zone

    The nation's coastlines are vulnerable to the interrelated hazards posed by earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. In the marine environment these events often occur in concert, and distant triggers can cause severe local effects, making the issue global in scope. As the population continues to migrate toward the coastlines, the social impacts of these hazards are expected to grow.

    Date published: September 19, 2019
    Status: Active

    Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Sunset State Beach

    Two video cameras overlook the coast at Sunset State Beach in Watsonville, California. Camera 1 looks northwest while Camera 2 looks north. The cameras are part of the Remote Sensing Coastal Change project.

    Date published: August 23, 2019
    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 Maria. The offshore instruments measure wave heights and speeds; the onshore video cameras show where waves break...

    Date published: July 25, 2019
    Status: Active

    Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Santa Cruz Beaches

    Two video cameras atop the Dream Inn hotel in Santa Cruz, California, overlook the coast in northern Monterey Bay. One camera looks eastward over Santa Cruz Main Beach and boardwalk, while the other looks southward over Cowells Beach. The cameras are part of the Remote Sensing Coastal Change project.

    Date published: July 22, 2019
    Status: Active

    Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Tres Palmas

    Four video cameras look westward over the coast and the coral reef at Tres Palmas in Rincón, on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Two cameras look out at the horizon and over the ocean for the mid-field view; one camera offers a zoomed-in, far-field view overlooking the reef and out to the island of Desecheo, a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge; and another camera focuses on the beach.

    Contacts: Curt Storlazzi, Miguel Canals-Silander, Patricia Chardon Maldonado