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Publications

Click below for access to more than 170,000 publications written by USGS scientists over the century-plus history of the bureau.

Rebounds, regresses, and recovery: A 15-year study of the coral reef community at Pila‘a, Kaua‘i after decades of natural and anthropogenic stress events

Pila‘a reef on the north shore of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i was subjected to a major flood event in 2001 that deposited extensive sediment on the reef flat, resulting in high coral mortality. To document potential recovery, this study replicated benthic and sediment surveys conducted immediately following the event and 15 years later. Coral cores were analyzed to determine coral growth rates and density. Ou

Global-scale changes to extreme ocean wave events due to anthropogenic warming

Extreme surface ocean waves are often primary drivers of coastal flooding and erosion over various time scales. Hence, understanding future changes in extreme wave events owing to global warming is of socio-economic and environmental significance. However, our current knowledge of potential changes in high-frequency (defined here as having return periods of less than 1 year) extreme wave events ar

The value of US coral reefs for flood risk reduction

Habitats, such as coral reefs, can mitigate increasing flood damages through coastal protection services. We provide a fine-scale, national valuation of the flood risk reduction benefits of coral habitats to people, property, economies and infrastructure. Across 3,100 km of US coastline, the top-most 1 m of coral reefs prevents the 100-yr flood from growing by 23% (113 km2), avoiding flooding to 5

Multi-region assessment of chemical mixture exposures and predicted cumulative effects in USA wadeable urban/agriculture-gradient streams

Chemical-contaminant mixtures are widely reported in large stream reaches in urban/agriculture-developed watersheds, but mixture compositions and aggregate biological effects are less well understood in corresponding smaller headwaters, which comprise most of stream length, riparian connectivity, and spatial biodiversity. During 2014–2017, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measured 389 unique orga

Does geomorphology determine vulnerability of mangrove coasts to sea-level rise?

The greatest climate-based threat to coastlines worldwide is sea-level rise. We tested the hypothesis that tropical coasts fringed by mangroves and receiving high inputs of terrigenous sediment are less vulnerable to sea-level rise than biogenic systems dependent upon peat formation for vertical land development. An analysis of published data spanning a range of geomorphic settings showed that min

Nearshore water quality and coral health indicators along the west coast of the Island of Hawaiʻi, 2010–2014

Coral reefs worldwide are experiencing rapid degradation in response to climate and land-use change, namely effects of warming sea-surface temperatures, contaminant runoff, and overfishing. Extensive coral bleaching caused by the steady rise of sea-surface temperatures is projected to increase, but our understanding and ability to predict where corals may be most resilient to this effect is limite

Sediments and the sea floor of the continental shelves and coastal waters of the United States—About the usSEABED integrated sea-floor-characterization database, built with the dbSEABED processing system

Since the second half of the 20th century, there has been an increase in scientific interest, research effort, and information gathered on the geologic sedimentary character of the continental margins of the United States. Data and information from thousands of sources have increased our scientific understanding of the character of the margin surface, but rarely have those data been combined and i

Sedimentary evidence of prehistoric distant-source tsunamis in the Hawaiian Islands

Over the past 200 years of written records, the Hawaiian Islands have experienced tens of tsunamis generated by earthquakes in the subduction zones of the Pacific "Ring of Fire" (e.g., Alaska-Aleutian, Kuril-Kamchatka, Chile, and Japan). Mapping and dating anomalous beds of sand and silt deposited by tsunamis in low-lying areas along Pacific coasts, even those distant from subduction zones, is cr

Organic geochemical investigation of far‐field tsunami deposits of the Kahana Valley, O'ahu, Hawai'i

Far‐field tsunami deposits observed in the Kahana Valley, O'ahu, Hawai'i (USA), were investigated for their organic‐geochemical content. During short high‐energy events, (tsunamis and storms) organic and chemical components are transported with sediment from marine to terrestrial areas. This study investigates the use of anthropogenic based organic geochemical compounds (such as polycyclic aromati