Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Coastal Change

Coastal change poses potential risk to coastal communities across the nation. Powerful storms generate surge, waves and currents that can move large amounts of sediment, destroy roads, buildings and other critical infrastructure as well as alter natural habitats. The USGS performs a range of studies that document, assess and model coastal change, risk, and vulnerability including historical shoreline change and the geologic structure and history of coastal regions, sediment supply and transport, sea-level rise, and how extreme storm events affect rates and impacts of coastal change.

Filter Total Items: 32
Date published: September 16, 2021
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Head of the Meadow Beach

Two video cameras are mounted on a bluff near Head of the Meadow Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore, North Truro, MA. One camera looks alongshore toward the north-northeast, and the second looks directly offshore (northeast). The cameras are part of a U.S. Geological Survey research project to study the beach and nearshore environment shared by beachgoers, shorebirds, seals, and sharks. The...

Date published: August 11, 2021
Status: Active

USGS DUNEX Operations on the Outer Banks

DUring Nearshore Event eXperiment (DUNEX) is a multi-agency, academic, and non-governmental organization (NGO) collaborative community experiment designed to study nearshore coastal processes during storm events. The experiment began in 2019 and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2021. USGS participation in DUNEX will contribute new measurements and models that will increase our...

Date published: August 4, 2021
Status: Completed

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center 2020 Annual Report

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is one of three centers serving the mission of the USGS Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources Program (CMHRP). Since its authorization by Congress in 1962, the CMHRP has served as the primary Federal program for marine geology and physical science research.

Date published: April 26, 2021
Status: Completed

Coastal Vulnerability in National Park Units

These Open-File Reports are part of a joint effort by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service to map the coastal vulnerability of coastal park units.

Date published: April 21, 2021
Status: Active

WHCMSC Sediment Laboratory

The Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) Sediment Analysis Laboratory is a Center-wide resource that performs analyses relating to grain size, mineralogy, composition, and sedimentary character of samples collected by WHCMSC researchers and their partners using state of the art techniques and analytical equipment.

Date published: March 22, 2021
Status: Active

Massachusetts Integrated Coastal Studies (MICS)

Coastal erosion, intense storm events and sea-level rise pose threats to coastal communities and infrastructure. Managers and scientists often lack the high-resolution data needed to improve estimates of sediment abundance and movement, shoreline change, and seabed characteristics that influence coastal vulnerability. To address these and other needs the U.S. Geological Survey, in partnership...

Date published: March 5, 2021
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Marconi Beach

Two video cameras are mounted on a bluff above Marconi Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore, Wellfleet, MA. One camera looks alongshore toward the northeast, and the second looks directly offshore (east). The cameras are part of a U.S. Geological Survey research project to study the beach and nearshore environment shared by beachgoers, shorebirds, seals, and sharks. The work is being conducted...

Date published: August 27, 2020
Status: Active

COAWST: A Coupled-Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport Modeling System

Understanding the processes responsible for coastal change is important for managing both our natural and economic coastal resources. Storms are one of the primary driving forces causing coastal change from a coupling of wave- and wind-driven flows. To better understand storm impacts and their effects on our coastlines, there is an international need to better predict storm paths and...

Date published: June 16, 2020
Status: Active

Coastal Change Hazards

Natural processes such as waves, tides, and weather, continually change coastal landscapes. The integrity of coastal homes, businesses, and infrastructure can be threatened by hazards associated with event-driven changes, such as extreme storms and their impacts on beach and dune erosion, or longer-term, cumulative...

Date published: February 14, 2020
Status: Active

Coastal Change at Fire Island, a geonarrative

For more than two decades the U.S. Geological Survey has been researching Fire Island's offshore, nearshore, and barrier island systems to better understand drivers of coastal change and evolution. This geonarrative delves into how barrier islands change and evolve, demonstrates how seasons, storms and humans change beaches, and explores the role models play in predicting what the beach might...

Date published: July 11, 2019
Status: Active

Sea-Level Rise Hazards and Decision Support

The Sea-Level Rise Hazards and Decision-Support project assesses present and future coastal vulnerability to provide actionable information for management of our Nation’s coasts.  Through multidisciplinary research and collaborative partnerships with decision-makers, physical, biological, and social factors that describe landscape and habitat changes are incorporated in a...