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: 46
Date published: August 28, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Model Applications and Field Measurements

Numerical models are used by scientists, engineers, coastal managers, and the public to understand and predict processes in the coastal ocean. This project supports the development and application of open-source coastal models and has several objectives: 1) improve the code of numerical sediment-transport models by implementing new or improved algorithms; 2) obtain measurements of coastal...

Date published: August 21, 2018
Status: Completed

Caribbean Tsunami and Earthquake Hazards Studies

Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are located at an active plate boundary between the North American plate and the northeast corner of the Caribbean plate. Plate movements have caused large magnitude earthquakes and devastating tsunamis, but scientists have so far failed to explain the deformation of this complex region in a coherent and predictable picture, and this has hampered their...

Date published: July 5, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Change Processes

The primary objective of this project is to increase our understanding of the physical processes that cause coastal change, and ultimately improve our capability to predict the processes and their impacts. This will be approached by using geophysical surveys, oceanographic studies, and predictive models to investigate the interactions of shoreline, nearshore, and offshore sediment transport...

Date published: June 25, 2018
Status: Completed

Geologic Mapping Offshore of Rhode Island

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is mapping sea-floor geology and sedimentary environments offshore of Rhode Island. This site provides links to bathymetric, sidescan-sonar, sediment, photographic, seismic-reflection, and interpretive datasets, all presented in Geographic Information System (GIS) formats and...

Date published: June 4, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS)

The Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) makes detailed predictions of storm-induced coastal flooding, erosion, and cliff failures over large geographic scales. CoSMoS was developed for hindcast studies, operational applications and future climate scenarios to provide emergency responders and coastal planners with critical storm-hazards information that can be used to increase public safety...

Date published: June 1, 2018
Status: Active

Remote Sensing Coastal Change

We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.

Date published: March 30, 2018
Status: Active

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program

The Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP) is an initiative between Federal and Florida State agencies and institutions to coordinate and facilitate the collection and accessibility of Florida coastal seafloor data in order to fill priority areas and gaps.

Contacts: Xan Fredericks, James Flocks, Chery Hapke, Ph.D., Kim Jackson, James Garey, Ph.D.
Date published: March 29, 2018
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: March 16, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Sandy Response - Storm Impacts and Vulnerability of Coastal Beaches

Scientists evaluated and improved the accuracy of pre-landfall forecasts of storm-induced coastal erosion hazards for Northeast beaches using data from post-Sandy lidar sruveys, beach morphology, and storm hydrodamics. 

Contacts: Hilary Stockdon
Date published: March 16, 2018
Status: Completed

Hurricane Sandy Response - Barrier Island and Estuarine Wetland Physical Change Assessment

This project integrated a wetland assessment with existing coastal-change hazard assessments for the adjacent dunes and beaches of Assateague Island, Maryland, to create a more comprehensive coastal vulnerability assessment. 

Contacts: Nathaniel Plant
Date published: January 24, 2018
Status: Active

Operational Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecasts

The viewer shows predictions of the timing and magnitude of water levels at the shoreline and potential impacts to coastal dunes. 

Contacts: Kara Doran
Date published: January 19, 2018
Status: Active

Storm-Induced Coastal Processes

Process studies examine the physical processes at work prior to, during, and following coastal storm events. Understanding the processes involved in coastal landform evolution will improve the accuracy of the assessments of storm-induced coastal change hazards. Research is part of the ...