Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources

Hazards

Ocean hazard events, like tsunamis triggered by earthquakes and landslides, storm surges associated with hurricanes and extreme storms, oil and gas spills, and floods and associated watershed contaminants, affect the health and safety of our Nation's ocean and coastal communities and ecosystems. USGS scientists study the causes, distribution, and hazard potential of these events including earthquakes, submarine landslides, and tsunamis; coastal inundation associated with hurricanes, extreme storms, and sea-level rise; and oil and gas spills. USGS also develops computer models and tools that, when combined with our science, help evaluate and forecast coastal hazard probability and occurrence.

Filter Total Items: 58
Date published: April 19, 2019
Status: Completed

Tsunami Record from the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Shortly after the Great San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906, a sea level disturbance (tsunami) was recorded at the Presidio tide gauge station in San Francisco (the station is now located nearby at Ft. Point). What type of mechanism (earthquake rupture, landslide, other) generated the tsunami...

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: April 4, 2019
Status: Completed

Descriptive Model of the July 17, 1998 Papua New Guinea Tsunami

The tsunami that struck New Guinea on July 17, 1998 was the most devastating tsunami since the 1976 Moro Gulf, Philippines, tsunami and may surpass that event (Lockridge and Smith, 1984; Satake and Imamura, 1995). The high reported runups and the tremendous loss of life are of great concern to all, including the international scientific community. Scientists closely examined this event in...

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Completed

Native American Legends of Tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest

For general interest, studies and accounts regarding Native American Legends of possible tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest are excerpted below. Much of the information on this page was presented by Jim Bergeron, Oregon Sea Grant, Astoria Extension at a 1995 Meeting in Seaside, Oregon. Those interested in the subject are encouraged to refer to the original reports:

Heaton, T. H., and...

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.

Read more about our Arctic research projects:

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Date published: March 15, 2019
Status: Active

Preliminary simulation of the 2017 Mexico tsunami

Preliminary simulation of the tsunami from the September 8, 2017 M=8.1 intermediate-depth earthquake offshore of Chiapas, Mexico

Contacts: Eric Geist
Date published: March 14, 2019
Status: Active

Tsunami Hazards, Modeling, and the Sedimentary Record

Basic research to develop the geologic record of paleotsunamis and improve the ability to interpret that record is needed to mitigate tsunami risk in the U.S.

Date published: March 4, 2019
Status: Active

Preliminary simulations of the 2010 Chilean tsunami

Preliminary simulations of the 2010 Chilean tsunami from the 27 February 2010 M=8.8 subduction zone earthquake, offshore Bio-Bio, Chile

Contacts: Eric Geist
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...

Date published: December 30, 2018
Status: Active

Coastal Landscape Response to Sea-Level Rise Assessment for the Northeastern United States

As part of the USGS Sea-Level Rise Hazards and Decision-Support project, this assessment seeks to predict the response to sea-level rise across the coastal landscape under a range of future scenarios by evaluating the likelihood of inundation as well as dynamic coastal change. The research is being conducted in conjunction with resource managers and decision makers from federal and state...

Contacts: Erika Lentz, Ph.D., Nathaniel Plant, Radley M. Horton
Date published: December 30, 2018
Status: Active

Sediment Transport Instrumentation Facility (STIF)

The Sediment Transport Instrumentation Facility exists to support ocean, coastal and estuarine research. The staff have a broad set of skills; from instrument design and development to all forms of work at sea to software development and data management. The team has successfully deployed and recovered more than 1000 data collection platforms for research in the last 30 years.