Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Hazards

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: 38
Date published: January 21, 2020
Status: Completed

The Value of U.S. Coral Reefs for Risk Reduction

Key Points:

  • The social and economic benefits provided by all U.S. reefs were rigorously assessed across more than 3,100 km (>1,900 miles) of coastline using hydrodynamic models coupled with census data.
  • Annually U.S. coral reefs provide flood protection benefits to more than 18,100 people and $1.8 billion in averted damages to property and economic activity.
  • ...
Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Date published: December 16, 2019
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: December 16, 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: December 16, 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: December 16, 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
Date published: December 16, 2019
Status: Active

Climate impacts to Arctic coasts

The Arctic region is warming faster than anywhere else in the nation. Understanding the rates and causes of coastal change in Alaska is needed to identify and mitigate hazards that might affect people and animals that call Alaska home.

Date published: December 13, 2019
Status: Active

Tsunami Hazards, Modeling, and the Sedimentary Record

Basic research to develop the geologic record of paleotsunamis and improve the ability to interpret that record is needed to mitigate tsunami risk in the U.S.

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