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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

We conduct multidisciplinary scientific research in the coastal and offshore areas of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and other US Pacific Islands; and in other waterways of the United States.

News

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USGS Remote Sensing Data Tracks Coastal Erosion from California Storms

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Understanding Extreme Wave Events for Coastal Adaptation

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Can Coastal Habitats Rise to the Challenge? Assessing Sediment Supply at Nisqually River Delta

Publications

Midwinter dry spells amplify post-fire snowpack decline

Increasing wildfire and declining snowpacks in mountain regions threaten water availability. We combine satellite-based fire detections with snow seasonality classifications to examine fire activity in California’s seasonal and ephemeral snow zones. We find a nearly tenfold increase in fire activity during 2020-2021 versus 2001-2019. Accumulation season broadband snow albedo declined 25-71% in tw

Physicochemical coastal groundwater dynamics between Kauhakō Crater lake and Kalaupapa settlement, Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i

Land-based sources of groundwater pollution can be a critical threat to coral reefs, and a better understanding of “ridge-to-reef” water movement is required to advance management and coral survival in the Anthropocene. In this study a more complete understanding of the geological, atmospheric, and oceanic drivers behind coastal groundwater exchange on the Kalaupapa peninsula, on Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i

Subaqueous clinoforms created by sandy wave-supported gravity flows: Lessons from the central California shelf

Subaqueous clinoforms are an important yet underappreciated shelf feature. Their origins are typically associated with subaerial deltas but recent work has identified similar features in settings without a significant fluvial source. These other studies have shown that such subaqueous clinoforms, also known as infralittoral prograding wedges (IPWs), are created largely by wave-induced processes. T

Science

Klamath Dam Removal Studies

Following the removal of four dams along the Klamath River, more naturally dynamic flow conditions may result in novel water quality, sediment transport, and geomorphic conditions leading to temporary or longer-term ecological impacts. USGS continuous and discrete monitoring data on aspects related to sediment and geomorphic conditions will be integral to post-dam removal assessments and...
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Klamath Dam Removal Studies

Following the removal of four dams along the Klamath River, more naturally dynamic flow conditions may result in novel water quality, sediment transport, and geomorphic conditions leading to temporary or longer-term ecological impacts. USGS continuous and discrete monitoring data on aspects related to sediment and geomorphic conditions will be integral to post-dam removal assessments and...
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Delineating the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf

The United States has an interest in knowing the full extent of its continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore (called the extended continental shelf, or ECS) so that it can better protect, manage and use the resources of the seabed and subsoil contained therein. The USGS contributes to the ECS effort through membership and leadership on the interagency U.S. ECS Task Force, a group...
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Delineating the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf

The United States has an interest in knowing the full extent of its continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore (called the extended continental shelf, or ECS) so that it can better protect, manage and use the resources of the seabed and subsoil contained therein. The USGS contributes to the ECS effort through membership and leadership on the interagency U.S. ECS Task Force, a group...
Learn More

USGS Law of the Sea

The USGS Law of the Sea project helps to determine the outer limits of the extended continental shelf (ECS) of the United States. The ECS is that portion of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. It is an important maritime zone that holds many resources and vital habitats for marine life. Its size may exceed one million square kilometers, encompassing areas in the Arctic, Atlantic...
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USGS Law of the Sea

The USGS Law of the Sea project helps to determine the outer limits of the extended continental shelf (ECS) of the United States. The ECS is that portion of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. It is an important maritime zone that holds many resources and vital habitats for marine life. Its size may exceed one million square kilometers, encompassing areas in the Arctic, Atlantic...
Learn More