Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program

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; can destroy roads, buildings, and other critical infrastructure; and can alter natural habitats. The USGS performs a range of studies that document, assess, and model coastal change, risk, and vulnerability. These studies include 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: 77
Date published: September 7, 2021
Status: Active

Quantifying Flood Risk and Reef Risk Reduction Benefits in Florida and Puerto Rico: The Consequences of Hurricane Damage, Long-term Degradation, and Restoration Opportunities

Coastal flooding and erosion from extreme weather events affect thousands of vulnerable coastal communities; the impacts of coastal flooding are predicted to worsen during this century because of population growth and climate change. Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 were particularly devasting to humans and natural communities. The coral reefs off the State of Florida and the Commonwealth of...

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi, PhD, Michael Beck, Borja Reguero, Shay Viehman, Kim Yates
Date published: September 1, 2021
Status: Active

Coastal Climate Impacts

The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise around the Pacific and Arctic Oceans can vary tremendously. Thus far the vast majority of national and international impact assessments and models of coastal climate change have focused on low-relief coastlines that are not near seismically active zones. Furthermore, the degree to which extreme waves and wind will add further stress to coastal...

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: June 25, 2021
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Puerto Rico

To better understand how waves move across coral reefs and cause flooding on tropical shorelines, USGS scientists have installed video cameras and oceanographic instruments off San Juan and Rincón, Puerto Rico. Their work is part of a study funded by USGS after Hurricanes Irma and María. The offshore instruments measure wave heights and speeds; the onshore video cameras show where waves break...

Date published: May 25, 2021
Status: Active

Climate impacts on Monterey Bay area beaches

For beach towns around Monterey Bay, preserving the beaches by mitigating coastal erosion is vital. Surveys conducted now and regularly in the future will help scientists understand the short- and long-term impacts of climate change, El Niño years, and sea-level rise on a populated and vulnerable coastline.

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: February 2, 2021
Status: Active

Big Sur Landslides

On California’s Big Sur coast, the steep slopes at Mud Creek suffered a catastrophic collapse (May 20, 2017). On January 28, 2021, heavy rains from a two-day storm caused debris from fire-scarred slopes to wash out another section of road at Rat Creek. USGS scientists are monitoring this 100-mile section of the California coastline, in collaboration with the CA Department of Transportation....