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Multi-Sensor Core Logger Laboratory

Learn about the multi-sensor core logger (MSCL) at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.

PCMSC scientists collect sediment cores from coastal, fluvial, estuarine, lacustrine, and marine environments. The first stop for many of these cores is the Geotek MSCL. The MSCL automatically measures P-wave velocity, magnetic susceptibility, electrical resistivity, and gamma density at intervals from 1 millimeter to 1 centimeter along cores up to 1.5 meters long. The device can also automatically line-scan photograph cores that have been split, at a resolution of 10 microns.

 

A woman wearing a lab coat and rubber gloves stands in a lab near an apparatus with a long track that holds a sediment core.
The MSCL Lab in Santa Cruz
Image of the GeoTek Multi-Sensor Core Logger scanning a core.
The MSCL can create a line-scan image of a split core like this one

News

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Searching for Evidence of Past Tsunamis in Sediment Cores

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South Korean Geoscientists Visit the USGS in Menlo Park and Santa Cruz, California

Publications

Marine paleoseismic evidence for seismic and aseismic slip along the Hayward-Rodgers Creek fault system in northern San Pablo Bay

Distinguishing between seismic and aseismic fault slip in the geologic record is difficult, yet fundamental to estimating the seismic potential of faults and the likelihood of multi-fault ruptures. We integrated chirp sub-bottom imaging with targeted cross-fault coring and core analyses of sedimentary proxy data to characterize vertical deformation and slip behavior within an extensional fault ben

Late Holocene environmental change in Celestun Lagoon, Yucatan, Mexico

Epikarst estuary response to hydroclimate change remains poorly understood, despite the well-studied link between climate and karst groundwater aquifers. The influence of sea-level rise and coastal geomorphic change on these estuaries obscures climate signals, thus requiring careful development of paleoenvironmental histories to interpret the paleoclimate archives. We used foraminifera assemblages

Plate boundary localization, slip-rates and rupture segmentation of the Queen Charlotte Fault based on submarine tectonic geomorphology

Linking fault behavior over many earthquake cycles to individual earthquake behavior is a primary goal in tectonic geomorphology, particularly across an entire plate boundary. Here, we examine the 1150-km-long, right-lateral Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault system using comprehensive multibeam bathymetry data acquired along the Queen Charlotte Fault (QCF) offshore southeastern Alaska and western

Science

Cascadia Subduction Zone Marine Geohazards

Societal Issue: Uncertainty related to rupture extent, slip distribution, and recurrence of past subduction megathrust earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest (northern CA, OR, WA, and southern BC) leads to ambiguity in earthquake and tsunami hazard assessments and hinders our ability to prepare for future events.
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Cascadia Subduction Zone Marine Geohazards

Societal Issue: Uncertainty related to rupture extent, slip distribution, and recurrence of past subduction megathrust earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest (northern CA, OR, WA, and southern BC) leads to ambiguity in earthquake and tsunami hazard assessments and hinders our ability to prepare for future events.
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Hazards: EXPRESS

Marine geohazards including earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis lie offshore of densely populated areas of California, Oregon, and Washington. One goal of EXPRESS is to improve assessments of these hazards.
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Hazards: EXPRESS

Marine geohazards including earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis lie offshore of densely populated areas of California, Oregon, and Washington. One goal of EXPRESS is to improve assessments of these hazards.
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Tsunami Hazards, Modeling, and the Sedimentary Record

Basic research to develop the geologic record of paleotsunamis and improve the ability to interpret that record is needed to mitigate tsunami risk in the U.S.
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