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What is marine geology?

Geology is the study of the Earth. This includes how the Earth was formed, how the Earth has changed since it was formed, the materials that make up the Earth, and the processes that act on it. Marine Geology focuses on areas affected by our oceans including the deep ocean floor, the shallower slopes and shelves that surround the continents, and coastal areas like beaches and estuaries. USGS marine geologists also study some coastal river areas and some large lakes.

More than half of our nation's population lives within 50 miles of the coast. Healthy coastal and offshore resources are vital to our nation's economy. The USGS studies coastal change, hazards that impact coastal areas, ocean resources, and coastal and marine ecosystems.

Learn more: Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program