Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program

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: 63
Date published: June 19, 2019
Status: Active

Seeking the Seeps

From June 12 to July 3, 2019, the USGS is sailing onboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor with several other partners, seeking methane seeps along the seafloor of several underwater canyons off the coast of Oregon and Washington. On this cruise, USGS scientists will seek to understand how much methane is coming out of these seeps, how it travels through the water column, and its ultimate...

Date published: May 26, 2019
Status: Active

EXPRESS: Expanding Pacific Research and Exploration of Submerged Systems

EXPRESS is a multi-year, multi-institution cooperative research campaign in deep sea areas of California, Oregon, and Washington, including the continental shelf and slope. EXPRESS data and information are intended to guide wise use of living marine resources and habitats, inform ocean energy and mineral resource decisions, and improve offshore hazard assessments.

Date published: May 2, 2019
Status: Active

Hurricane Florence - Forecast and Documentation of Coastal Change

Hurricane Florence coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.

Contacts: Kara Doran
Date published: April 29, 2019
Status: Active

Probabilistic Forecasting of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Earthquake Effects in the Coastal Zone

The nation's coastlines are vulnerable to the interrelated hazards posed by earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. In the marine environment these events often occur in concert, and distant triggers can cause severe local effects, making the issue global in scope. As the population continues to migrate toward the coastlines, the social impacts of these hazards are expected to grow.

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in the Field

In the Field, June 2019

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 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 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.

Read more about our Arctic research projects:

...

Date published: April 1, 2019
Status: Active

Tsunami and Earthquake Research

Here you will find general information on the science behind tsunami generation, computer animations of tsunamis, and summaries of past field studies. 

The scope of tsunami research within the USGS, however, is broader than the topics covered here. USGS researchers have also provided critical research toward understanding how sediments are transported during tsunami runup and...

Contacts: Eric Geist