Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center


We conduct multidisciplinary scientific research in the coastal and offshore areas of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and other US Pacific Islands; and in other waterways of the United States.



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coastal road and palm trees on a small flat island, with water waves from the sea washing over the road
February 20, 2018

Living and working on the Pacific islands hosting a key missile tracking site soon could be almost impossible due to the impacts of climate change.

Map of Alaska and the surrounding ocean with the terrain and ocean floor in relief, star shows earthquake epicenter.
February 19, 2018

USGS geophysicist Eric Geist fielded questions about tsunamis after a magnitude 7.9 earthquake off southern Alaska prompted a tsunami watch for the U.S. west coast.

Photo looking down on the rocky coastline of Oregon from high up on a cliff, with breaking ocean waves on rocks.
February 16, 2018

The USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center hosted two back-to-back subduction-zone workshops in Santa Cruz, California, from February 5–8, 2018.


Year Published: 2018

Corrugated megathrust revealed offshore from Costa Rica

Exhumed faults are rough, often exhibiting topographic corrugations oriented in the direction of slip; such features are fundamental to mechanical processes that drive earthquakes and fault evolution. However, our understanding of corrugation genesis remains limited due to a lack of in situ observations at depth, especially at subducting plate...

Edwards, Joel H.; Kluesner, Jared; Silver, Eli A.; Brodsky, Emily E.; Brothers, Daniel; Bangs, Nathan L.; Kirkpatrick, James D.; Wood, Ruby; Okamato, Kristina
Edwards, J.H., Kluesner, J.W., Silver, E.A., Brodsky, E.E., Brothers, D.S., Bangs, N.L., Kirkpatrick, J.D., Wood, R., and Okamoto, K., 2018, Corrugated megathrust revealed offshore from Costa Rica: Nature Geoscience, doi: 10.1038/s41561-018-0061-4.

Year Published: 2018

Coastal knickpoints and the competition between fluvial and wave-driven erosion on rocky coastlines

Active margin coastlines are distinguished by rock erosion that acts in two different directions: waves erode the coast horizontally or landwards, a process that creates sea cliffs; and rivers and streams erode the landscape vertically via channel incision. The relative rates of each process exert a dominant control on coastline morphology. Using...

Limber, Patrick; Barnard, Patrick
Limber, P.W., and Barnard, P.L., 2017, Coastal knickpoints and the competition between fluvial and wave-driven erosion on rocky coastlines: Geomorphology,

Year Published: 2018

Reply to ‘Wolf-triggered trophic cascades and stream channel dynamics in Olympic National Park: a comment on East et al. (2017)’ by Robert Beschta and William Ripple

No abstract available.

East, Amy; Jenkins, Kurt J.; Happe, Patricia J.; Bountry, Jennifer A.; Beechie, Timothy J.; Mastin, Mark C.; Sankey, Joel B.; Randle, Timothy J.