St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

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Screenshot of a video with two scientists on jetskis near a pier, with a headshot of a woman presenting overlaid on top of the i
October 16, 2020

Live presentation about bathymetry for virtual Science Festival

For the virtual 2020 St. Petersburg Science Festival, the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center took students on a virtual adventure in the field. Our scientists climbed on board personal watercrafts (commonly called jet skis) to show students how we collect bathymetry data, which tells us the depth of the ocean

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A man walking on a beach with a backpack and a tablet, with the ocean behind him. Label says ‘Justin Birchler, geologist.’
October 16, 2020

Collecting beach profile data in Science Festival video

This screenshot was taken from a video created for the virtual 2020 St. Petersburg Science Festival that discussed Coastal Change Hazards research at the USGS. Justin Birchler is seen walking up the beach with GPS equipment to measure the elevation of the beach. These data are used to create a beach profile, that shows the shape of the

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Two scientists in a lab hold a clear tube filled with mud.
October 16, 2020

Scientists process sediment cores from the deep sea

To help study the biodiversity present in the deep sea, scientists collect sediment cores. These cores are about a foot long and provide a vertical profile of deep-sea sediment, or mud. USGS scientists at the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center identify and quantify the tiny animals found

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Cartoon animation of wind blowing by, shown by squiggly lines, pushing cartoon waves to move up a beach and break on shore.
October 16, 2020

Wave animation

Waves are the motion of the water's surface, usually caused by the transfer of energy from wind. Wave energy causes the water to move in a circular motion. The height and length of these waves combined with the slope of the beach influence how high the water can reach up on the coast. Waves are an important component of the total water level, which is how high the water

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October 1, 2020

Bathymetry: Mapping the depth of Tampa Bay with USGS (Teaser)

Join the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center on an adventure in the field! Our team of scientists will take you on board a personal watercraft near downtown St. Pete to show you how they collect bathymetry data – which is the depth of the ocean floor (in this case, Tampa Bay). This video was created as part of the 2020 St. Petersburg Science Festival (

September 21, 2020

Studying How the Beach Changes at Madeira Beach, Florida

The importance of our Nation’s coasts is indisputable. They provide homes for people and animals alike, and support the Nation’s economy. The USGS Coastal Change Hazards team studies how our shorelines change over time, especially following extreme events such as storms and hurricanes. In this video, created for the 2020 virtual St.

September 21, 2020

Studying How the Beach Changes at Madeira Beach, Florida - AD

The importance of our Nation’s coasts is indisputable. They provide homes for people and animals alike, and support the Nation’s economy. The USGS Coastal Change Hazards team studies how our shorelines change over time, especially following extreme events such as storms and hurricanes. In this video, created for the 2020 virtual St.

Four aerial photos of barrier islands and peninsulas: Fire Island, NY; Rockaway, NY; Seven Mile Island, NJ; Cedar Island, VA.
September 18, 2020

Aerial photos of barrier islands

We conduct fieldwork in a variety of barrier island settings to understand the relative importance of these factors, including Fire Island, NY; Rockaway, NY; Seven Mile Island, NJ; and Cedar Island, VA.

A long barrier island, mainly sandy with some vegetation, has a sediment berm placed along the shoreface.
September 17, 2020

Sediment berm along the northern Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana

Sediment berm placement in the shoreface of northern Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana

(looking north). This berm was placed in 2010 during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to prevent oil from reaching the island and the mainland of Louisiana in this area of the coast. The sediment deposited along the shoreline was dredged from a borrow pit north of berm placement on a

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The USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal shows a screenshot of Hurricane Sally approaching the northern U.S. Gulf Coast
September 15, 2020

Coastal Change Hazards Portal shows Hurricane Sally near Gulf Coast

As Hurricane Sally approached the US Gulf Coast, the USGS Coastal Change Hazards team produced a series of forecasts for impacts on the beach. Forecasts were updated daily based on wave and storm surge forecasts from NOAA.

hurricanes and tropical storms in 9.15.2020 NOAA satellite image
September 15, 2020

USGS Scientists Work on Four Tropical Cyclones at Once

In this NOAA satellite image from Sept. 15, 2020, Hurricane Sally approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast, Hurricane Paulettte creates storm waves far out in the Atlantic, and Tropical Storms Teddy and Vicky lie near the coast of Africa. Two tropical depressions are also developing; one of them is not visible in this image.

The USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal shows a screenshot of Hurricane Sally approaching the northern U.S. Gulf Coast
September 15, 2020

Coastal Change Hazards Portal shows Hurricane Sally near Gulf Coast

As Hurricane Sally approached the US Gulf Coast, the USGS Coastal Change Hazards team produced a series of forecasts for impacts on the beach. Forecasts were updated daily based on wave and storm surge forecasts from NOAA.