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: November 29, 2019
Status: Completed

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Whidbey Island

From May of 2018 through November of 2019, USGS scientists collected imagery from video cameras overlooking the coast along a beach on Whidbey Island, Island County at the northern boundary of Puget Sound in western Washington.

    Contacts: Eric Grossman
    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 22, 2019
    Status: Completed

    Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Isla Verde

    USGS scientists installed video cameras atop a building and oceanographic instruments off San Juan, Puerto Rico, to better understand how waves move across coral reefs and cause flooding on tropical shorelines.

    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: June 17, 2019
    Status: Active

    The Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport Modeling System

    To responsibly manage our coastal resources requires an understanding of the processes responsible for coastal change. The CMHRP developed a Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere–Wave–Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system that allows the user to evaluate how different processes such as winds and waves,...

    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.

     We have implemented new safety and fieldwork processes to...

    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: April 1, 2019
    Status: Completed

    Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Barter Island, Alaska

    For a short study period, two video cameras overlooked the coast from atop the coastal bluff of Barter Island in northern Alaska. The purpose was to observe and quantify coastal processes such as wave run-up, development of rip channels, bluff erosion, and movement of sandbars and ice floes.

    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...