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Oceans

USGS science is used to help manage coastal and ocean resources that extend from shorelines and estuaries to the deep sea.

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Where can I find bathymetric data?

The USGS has made bathymetric surveys for many coastal areas and for selected rivers and lakes in the U.S., including Yellowstone Lake, Crater Lake, and Lake Tahoe. Information and data for those studies is on the USGS Maps of America's Submerged Lands website.NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is the primary source of bathymetric data for the world's oceans. See their...

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Where can I find bathymetric data?

The USGS has made bathymetric surveys for many coastal areas and for selected rivers and lakes in the U.S., including Yellowstone Lake, Crater Lake, and Lake Tahoe. Information and data for those studies is on the USGS Maps of America's Submerged Lands website.NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is the primary source of bathymetric data for the world's oceans. See their...

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Why are coral reefs in peril and what is being done to protect them?

Coral reefs can be damaged by natural processes, such as storms, but they are increasingly at risk from human activities. Oil spills and pollutants can threaten entire reefs. Excessive nutrients from land sources, such as sewage and agricultural fertilizers, promote the growth of algae that can smother corals. Other organisms harmful to corals, such as crown-of-thorns starfish, multiply when the...

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Why are coral reefs in peril and what is being done to protect them?

Coral reefs can be damaged by natural processes, such as storms, but they are increasingly at risk from human activities. Oil spills and pollutants can threaten entire reefs. Excessive nutrients from land sources, such as sewage and agricultural fertilizers, promote the growth of algae that can smother corals. Other organisms harmful to corals, such as crown-of-thorns starfish, multiply when the...

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What is marine geology?

Geology is the study of the Earth. This includes how the Earth was formed, how the Earth has changed since it was formed, the materials that make up the Earth, and the processes that act on it. Marine Geology focuses on areas affected by our oceans including the deep ocean floor, the shallower slopes and shelves that surround the continents, and coastal areas like beaches and estuaries. USGS...

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What is marine geology?

Geology is the study of the Earth. This includes how the Earth was formed, how the Earth has changed since it was formed, the materials that make up the Earth, and the processes that act on it. Marine Geology focuses on areas affected by our oceans including the deep ocean floor, the shallower slopes and shelves that surround the continents, and coastal areas like beaches and estuaries. USGS...

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Where can I get current sea-surface temperature data?

The USGS has studied sea-surface temperature in many areas around the globe; you can find publications from these studies in the USGS Publications Warehouse and by searching on the Internet.World maps and data are available from other agencies, particularly at the NOAA's Sea Surface Temperature , and at the JPL Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center. For specific data covering...

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Where can I get current sea-surface temperature data?

The USGS has studied sea-surface temperature in many areas around the globe; you can find publications from these studies in the USGS Publications Warehouse and by searching on the Internet.World maps and data are available from other agencies, particularly at the NOAA's Sea Surface Temperature , and at the JPL Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center. For specific data covering...

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Why is the ocean salty?

Oceans cover about 70 percent of the Earth's surface and about 97 percent of all water on and in the Earth is saline—there's a lot of salty water on our planet. By some estimates, if the salt in the ocean could be removed and spread evenly over the Earth’s land surface it would form a layer more than 500 feet (166 meters) thick, about the height of a 40-story office building (NOAA). But, where did...

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Why is the ocean salty?

Oceans cover about 70 percent of the Earth's surface and about 97 percent of all water on and in the Earth is saline—there's a lot of salty water on our planet. By some estimates, if the salt in the ocean could be removed and spread evenly over the Earth’s land surface it would form a layer more than 500 feet (166 meters) thick, about the height of a 40-story office building (NOAA). But, where did...

Learn More