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: 53
Date published: September 6, 2019
Status: Active

Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound

A Pacific Northwest icon, Puget Sound is the second-largest estuary in the United States. Its unique geology, climate, and nutrient-rich waters produce and sustain biologically productive coastal habitats. These same natural characteristics also contribute to a high quality of life that has led to growth in human population and urbanization. This growth has played a role in degrading the Sound...

Date published: August 23, 2019
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 Maria. The offshore instruments measure wave heights and speeds; the onshore video cameras show where waves break...

Date published: August 6, 2019
Status: Active

Coastal System Change at Fire Island, New York

Fire Island is a 50-km long barrier island along the south shore of Long Island, New York. The island is comprised of seventeen year-round communities; federal, state, and county parks; and supports distinct ecosystems alongside areas of economic and cultural value. In addition to providing resources to its residents, the barrier island also protects the heavily-populated mainland from storm...

Date published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Sediment Transport in Coastal Environments

Our research goals are to provide the scientific information, knowledge, and tools required to ensure that decisions about land and resource use, management practices, and future development in the coastal zone and adjacent watersheds can be evaluated with a complete understanding of the probable effects on coastal ecosystems and communities, and a full assessment of their vulnerability to...

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...

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in the Field

In the Field; Land, Sea, and Air

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center scientists and staff study coastal and ocean resources and processes from the land, sea, and air, to shorelines and estuaries to the continental shelf, deep sea, lake floor, river bottoms and shallow subsurfaces environments.

Date published: April 23, 2019
Status: Active

The Impact of Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change on Pacific Ocean Atolls

Providing basic understanding and specific information on storm-wave inundation of atoll islands that house Department of Defense installations; and assessing the resulting impact of sea-level rise and storm-wave inundation on infrastructure and freshwater availability under a variety of sea-level rise and climatic scenarios....

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi, Li Erikson, Stephen B Gingerich, Clifford I Voss, Ph.D., Edwin Elias, Peter Swarzenski, Ap van Dongeren, Gregory PIniak, Donald Field, Annamalai Hariharasubramanian, Kevin Hamilton, Yuqing Wang
Date published: April 2, 2019
Status: Active

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Employment Opportunities

Join the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center team! 

The Center is part of the USGS Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources Program, which is the primary federal marine geology and physical science research program. The Center's staff of 100 provides scientific information that contributes to decisions by other federal agencies, state and local entities, private...

Contacts: Janet Paquette
Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Completed

Erosion of a Sea Stack Over 100 Years

The following photographs show the demise of Jump-Off Joe, a one-hundred-foot-high sandstone formation known as a “sea stack”. In 1890, the sea stack was composed of middle Miocene concretionary sandstone of the Astoria Formation. Yaquina Head on the Horizon is composed of middle Miocene basalt flows and breccia. Note remnant of Pleistocene terrace deposit along the wave cut bench on the stack...

Date published: February 19, 2019
Status: Active

Sea Level Change

An interactive guide to global and regional sea level rise scenarios for the United States.

Date published: February 1, 2019
Status: Active

Estuarine Processes, Hazards, and Ecosystems

Estuarine processes, hazards, and ecosystems describes several interdisciplinary projects that aim to quantify and understand estuarine processes through observations and numerical modeling. Both the spatial and temporal scales of these mechanisms are important, and therefore require modern instrumentation and state-of-the-art hydrodynamic models. These projects are led from the U.S....

Date published: January 1, 2019
Status: Active

Geologic Mapping of the Massachusetts Seafloor

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is conducting geologic mapping of the sea floor to characterize the surface and shallow subsurface geologic framework within the Massachusetts coastal zone. The long-term goal of this mapping effort is to produce high-resolution geologic maps and a Geographic Information System (GIS) that...