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: January 29, 2021
Status: Active

The Mud Creek Landslide May 20 2017

On May 20, 2017, the steep slopes at Mud Creek on California’s Big Sur coast, about 140 miles south of San Francisco, suffered a catastrophic collapse. USGS scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center and the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center continue to monitor this section of the coastline, in collaboration with the California Department of...

Date published: December 16, 2020
Status: Active

Estuaries and large river deltas in the Pacific Northwest

Essential habitat for wild salmon and other wildlife borders river deltas and estuaries in the Pacific Northwest. These estuaries also support industry, agriculture, and a large human population that’s expected to double by the year 2060, but each could suffer from more severe river floods, higher sea level, and storm surges caused by climate change.

Date published: November 4, 2020
Status: Active

USGS science supporting the Elwha River Restoration Project

 

The Elwha River Restoration Project has reconnected the water, salmon, and sediment of a pristine river and coast of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. Coordinated by the National Park Service, restoration of the Elwha River included the removal of two large dams that had blocked salmon and sediment passage for almost 100 years. The largest dam removal in U.S. history began in...

Date published: October 22, 2020
Status: Completed

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, PhD, Li Erikson, Stephen B Gingerich, Clifford I Voss, Ph.D., Peter Swarzenski, Ap van Dongeren, Gregory PIniak, Donald Field, Annamalai Hariharasubramanian, Kevin Hamilton, Yuqing Wang, Edwin Elias
Date published: September 17, 2020
Status: Active

Storm-Related Barrier Island Morphological Evolution

Storms quickly and dramatically alter barrier island environments by changing adjacent seafloor morphology, eroding beaches, scarping or leveling dunes, and sometimes creating new inlets. Measuring the magnitude of barrier island sediment movement during and after storms allows us to track rates of beach recovery, dune growth, and inlet-related alterations to barrier island sediment supply....

Date published: August 27, 2020
Status: Active

COAWST: A Coupled-Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport Modeling System

Understanding the processes responsible for coastal change is important for managing both our natural and economic coastal resources. Storms are one of the primary driving forces causing coastal change from a coupling of wave- and wind-driven flows. To better understand storm impacts and their effects on our coastlines, there is an international need to better predict storm paths and...

Date published: June 16, 2020
Status: Active

Coastal Change Hazards

Natural processes such as waves, tides, and weather, continually change coastal landscapes. The integrity of coastal homes, businesses, and infrastructure can be threatened by hazards associated with event-driven changes, such as extreme storms and their impacts on beach and dune erosion, or longer-term, cumulative...

Date published: May 28, 2020
Status: Active

Estuarine and MaRsh Geology Research Project

The goal of the Estuarine and MaRsh Geology (EMRG) Research Project is to study how and where short- and long-term marsh and estuarine coastal processes interact, how they influence coastal accretion or erosion, and how they pre-condition a marsh’s resiliency to storms, sea-level change, and human alterations along the northern Gulf of Mexico (Grand Bay and Point aux Chenes, Mississippi and St...

Date published: March 19, 2020
Status: Active

Coastal Sediment Availability and Flux (CSAF)

Sediments are the foundation of coastal systems, including barrier islands. Their behavior is driven by not only sediment availability, but also sediment exchanges between barrier island environments. We collect geophysical, remote sensing, and sediment data to estimate these parameters, which are integrated with models to improve prediction of coastal response to extreme storms and sea-level...

Date published: February 18, 2020
Status: Active

The CMHRP Decadal Strategic Plan 2020-2030

This geonarrative constitutes the Decadal Strategic Plan of the USGS's Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program for 2020 to 2030.

Contacts: John Haines
Date published: February 14, 2020
Status: Active

Coastal Change at Fire Island, a geonarrative

For more than two decades the U.S. Geological Survey has been researching Fire Island's offshore, nearshore, and barrier island systems to better understand drivers of coastal change and evolution. This geonarrative delves into how barrier islands change and evolve, demonstrates how seasons, storms and humans change beaches, and explores the role models play in predicting what the beach might...