St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

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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.

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.

Map of the east US coast and Gulf of Mexico with colored lines along the coast color coded for years in yellow, blue, and red
September 1, 2020

Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Expansion, 2020

The Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast has continually expanded since real-time forecasts began in 2015. In 2020, new regions of the Gulf and South Atlantic coasts were added to the forecast and officially approved for use in National Weather Service Forecasts. The Total Water Levels and Coastal Change (TWL-CC) Forecast Viewer is a web-based tool that visualizes

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Aerial view of the northern Outer Banks, North Carolina from post-Hurricane Isaias showing bulldozers clearing the road of sand
August 5, 2020

Aerial image from post-Hurricane Isaias of North Carolina coast

The USGS Remote Sensing Coastal Change Project collected aerial imagery of the northern Outer Banks, North Carolina coastline from pre- and post-Hurricane Isaias, in order to use Structure-from-Motion techniques to produce digital elevation models (DEMs) and orthomosaic photos, to be used in evaluating the storm-induced coastal change, such as sand transported onto

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Hurricane Isaias coastal change forecast map 8.1.2020
August 1, 2020

Hurricane Isaias Unlikely to Cause Widespread Atlantic Beach Erosion

USGS coastal change experts predict that storm waves kicked up by the Category 1 hurricane are likely to cause some erosion at the base of the dunes along about 11 percent of coastal beaches between Florida and Virginia. However, only about one percent of beaches in the region are likely to have waves overwashing the dunes, and inundation - the most severe type of beach

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On the left, the datasets are shown overlaid. On the right, the datasets are shown processed with a fusion algorithm.
July 8, 2020

Seamline Appearance Before and After Applying a DEM Fusion Algorithm

A map series showing a subset of the Puerto Rico bathymetric study area. Panels compare a “simple mosaic” formed by overlaying the most recent dataset on top of the older dataset (left panel) with the same dataset processed with the DEM fusion method (right panel).

An island with sections of short grasses has been covered by a large sand fan that was washed landward by waves.
June 9, 2020

A large washover fan on Fire Island, New York in 2012 after Hurricane

Strong storms such as hurricanes can cause drastic changes to coastal environments. For example, this large washover fan was created on Fire Island, New York in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy by waves moving sediment from the dunes and beach towards the back-barrier environment. 

Four panel image displaying corals in degraded versus good condition up close and on a coral reef.
March 31, 2020

Lesson plan key for identifying coral condition

Key used in an educational lesson plan for identifying the composition and condition of corals and coralline algae in a core. (a) Two examples of Pocillopora in good taphonomic condition (<50% erosion or encrustation of the skeleton). Intervals in cores during which Pocillopora skeletons dominate and are in good condition represent times of good coral growth and active

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Four panel image displaying corals in degraded versus good condition up close and on a coral reef.
March 31, 2020

Lesson plan key for identifying coral condition

Key used in an educational lesson plan for identifying the composition and condition of corals and coralline algae in a core. (a) Two examples of Pocillopora in good taphonomic condition (<50% erosion or encrustation of the skeleton). Intervals in cores during which Pocillopora skeletons dominate and are in good condition represent times of good coral growth and active

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