Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center


Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center's Geology Team is one of three marine teams that conduct research within the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program. The team is located on WHOI's Quissett Campus and has a staff of about 100, including 24 research scientists and 75 scientific and administrative support staff.

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Read about our science projects, find out where we are working, and why it matters

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 Scanning electron microscope image of gas hydrate crystals in a sediment sample.
March 8, 2018

After lying hidden in sediments for thousands of years, delicate frozen gas structures are in the spotlight for both scientific research and the national interest. These structures, known as gas hydrate, are being investigated by scientists the world over for their possible contributions to the global energy mix, as well as their potential interaction with the environment.

USGS scientists in front of a painted archway in South Korea
February 23, 2018

 For several years, KIGAM, the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, has hosted an international program for geoscience resources (IS-Geo).  The IS-Geo program draws together federal and private-sector professionals from the international community to discuss a range of specific geoscience and mineral topics.

Image: Gas Hydrates Burning
February 9, 2018

The USGS Gas Hydrates Project has published two new Fact Sheets. One describes the goals and scope of the Project and the other describes "Gas Hydrates in Nature," including where they form, how they are studied, and why researchers focus on gas hydrates for energy resource and environmental studies. 


Year Published: 2018

Dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes: A review

This manuscript reviews the progresses made in the understanding of the dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes, including the dissipation of extreme water levels and wind waves across marsh surfaces, the geomorphic impact of storms on salt marshes, the preservation of hurricanes signals and deposits into the sedimentary...

Leonardi, Nicoletta; Carnacina, Iacopo; Donatelli, Carmine; Ganju, Neil K.; Plater, Andrew James; Schuerch, Mark; Temmerman, Stijn
Leonardi, N., Carnacina, I., Donatelli, C., Ganju, N., Plater, A., Schuerch, M., Temmerman, S., 2018, Dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes: a review: Geomorphology, v. 301, 92-107 p doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.11.001.

Year Published: 2018

Limited contribution of ancient methane to surface waters of the U.S. Beaufort Sea shelf

In response to warming climate, methane can be released to Arctic Ocean sediment and waters from thawing subsea permafrost and decomposing methane hydrates. However, it is unknown whether methane derived from this sediment storehouse of frozen ancient carbon reaches the atmosphere. We quantified the fraction of methane derived from ancient sources...

Sparrow, Katy J.; Kessler, John D.; Southon, John R.; Garcia-Tigreros, Fenix; Schreiner, Kathryn M.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Miller, John B.; Lehman, Scott J.; Xu, Xiaomei
Sparrow, Kessler., Southon, Garcia-Tigeros., Schreiner, Ruppel., Miller, Lehman, Xu., 2018, Limited contribution of ancient methane to surface waters of the U.S. Beaufort Sea shelf: Science Advances, v. 4, no. 1 doi:10.1126/sciadv.aao4842.

Year Published: 2018

Greenhouse gas emissions from diverse Arctic Alaskan lakes are dominated by young carbon

Climate-sensitive Arctic lakes have been identified as conduits for ancient permafrost-carbon (C) emissions and as such accelerate warming. However, the environmental factors that control emission pathways and their sources are unclear; this complicates upscaling, forecasting and climate-impact-assessment efforts. Here we show that current whole-...

Elder, Clayton D.; Xu, Xiaomei; Walker, Jennifer; Schnell, Jordan L.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Townsend-Small, Amy; Arp, Christopher D.; Pohlman, John; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Czimzik, Claudia I.
Clayton D. Elder, Xiaomei Xu, Jennifer Walker, Jordan L. Schnell, Kenneth M. Hinkel, Amy Townsend-Small, Christopher D. Arp, John W. Pohlman, Benjamin V. Gaglioti & Claudia I. Czimczik. 2018, Greenhouse gas emissions from diverse Arctic Alaskan lakes are dominated by young carbon: Nature Climate Change, 166-171 p doi:10.1038/s41558-017-0066-9.