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A selection of coastal and ocean videos and photographs from across the USGS.

Coastal Change Hazards Research in Puerto Rico

Group of researchers on a palm-tree lined beach pointing up at a camera mounted to a pole looking over the beach
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A team from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center went to Puerto Rico to install new Coast Cams to monitor how the beach and shoreline change through time. These cameras will allow the team to make predictions of how the coast will respond during storms and hurricanes. They are also deploying oceanographic buoys to measure wave conditions, water level, and wind estimates. These data will be used to validate numerical models for future expansion of the Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast. From left to right: Mark Buckley, Legna Torres-Garcia, Priscila Vargas-Babilonia (Student Services Contractor), Meg Palmsten, Dave Thompson, Justin Birchler, BJ Reynolds, and Luis Perez-Squeo (Student Services Contractor).  Learn more about coastal hazards research in Puerto Rico

three people in life vests hold a yellow buoy with solar panels on a boat near a cliff-lined shore

 

 

 

 

A group of divers (from left to right: Legna Torres-Garcia, BJ Reynolds, and Dave Thompson) from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center prepare to deploy a solar-powered Sofar spotter buoy off the coast of Puerto Rico. This instrument, along with an additional instrument on the seafloor, will deliver high-fidelity, real-time wave, water level, and wind data to scientists so they can assess the skill and improve models used in the Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast viewer. These forecasts help inform coastal communities about potential coastal hazards.   Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

USGS Research in American Samoa

Color photograph of sea cliff

 

 

 

 

View of south part of western side of Nuʻutele Island, off the west coast of Ofu Island in the Manuʻa Islands, American Samoa. Nuʻutele Island is an eroded tuff cone of Ofu-Olosega volcano. A tuff cone can form when magma and water interact at shallow depths, causing localized explosions. The layers exposed within the unvegetated cliff are the result of individual explosions during the eruption that created this tuff cone. The age of the eruption which formed Nuʻutele Island is thought to be Holocene (erupted within the last 12,000 years). After the eruption, ocean waves and currents eroded part of the tuff cone.

USGS photo by N. Deligne.

Color photograph of sea cliff

 

 

 

 

View of part of the tuff cone which contains both Faleāsao village and Faleasao Harbor from the northwest part of Taʻū Island, American Samoa. A tuff cone can form when magma and water interact at shallow depths, causing localized explosions. The layers exposed within the unvegetated cliff are the result of individual explosions during the eruption that created this tuff cone. The age of the eruption which formed this tuff cone is unknown. After the eruption, ocean waves and currents eroded (removed) the northern side of the tuff cone, leading to the creation of Faleasao Harbor. Faleāsao village is also located within the tuff cone.

USGS photo by N. Deligne. 

Groundwater Flux to the West Florida Shelf

a scientist sits on the edge of a boat on the ocean with an instrument submerged in a sample tube of water

 

 

Dr. Christopher G. Smith pumps water from a submarine groundwater well on the seafloor through tubing to the R/V Halimeda and uses an instrument called a YSI to measure salinity and ensure the wells are working properly and producing groundwater. These types of wells allow scientists to monitor submarine groundwater through time and quantify the flux of groundwater from Florida’s aquifer into the coastal waters of the west Florida Shelf. The groundwater could carry nutrients that could potentially influence algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. 

A scuba diver looks closely at the open end of a PVC tube sticking up from the ocean floor

 

 

 

USGS scientific diver BJ Reynolds examines a submarine groundwater well on the seafloor before hooking up the well to a pump on the surface to ensure the wells are working properly and producing groundwater. These types of wells allow scientists to monitor submarine groundwater through time and quantify the flux of groundwater from Florida’s aquifer into the coastal waters of the west Florida Shelf. The groundwater could carry nutrients that could potentially influence algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico.

A team from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center heads out into the Gulf of Mexico to check on a set of recently installed groundwater wells. These types of wells allow scientists to monitor submarine groundwater through time and quantify the flux of groundwater from Florida’s aquifer into the coastal waters of the west Florida Shelf. The groundwater could carry nutrients that could potentially influence algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Christopher G. Smith pumps water from the well through tubing to the R/V Halimeda to ensure the wells are working properly and producing groundwater. USGS Summer Intern Sam Randall from Eckerd College is on board to assist. Divers splash in to check the second set of wells closer to shore. Water from the well has lower salinity than the overlying surface water, confirming that groundwater is pumping through the wells. The team is one step closer to sampling the groundwater from this system to answer important questions about submarine groundwater flow out of Florida’s coastal aquifers to the west Florida Shelf. Listen to the audio-described version. Watch in full screen

Infographic: Studying Seafloor Erosion in the Florida Keys. Images of 3D map of coral reef and floating mapping equipment
In addition to their cultural, ecologic, and economic value, reefs aid in coastal protection by breaking waves away from shore and reducing coastal flooding. The Keys have lost 44 million cubic meters of seafloor volume since the 1930s - the size of 44 Empire State Buildings. Erosion will result in greater increases in water depths than projected from sea-level rise alone. Understanding seafloor erosion will help improve coral reef restoration efforts. 

Learn more about this project.

Southwest Florida Fish Slam 2022

Photo gallery for Southwest Florida Fish Slam – Spring 2022. Forty-two fish biologists from seven organizations participated in the two-day Fish slam event to remove non-native freshwater fish in southwest Florida.