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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Recent News

Recent News - stories from the last 14 days.

For information about a story, contact Ann Tihansky (202) 208-3342.

potential coastal change impacts from AlbertoWaves and surge from Subtropical Storm Alberto will impact Gulf Coast beaches

The USGS National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards storm team is predicting coastal change impacts due to the potential for high waves and elevated water levels along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana through the Florida Panhandle. Predictions will be updated as conditions change and are available in the Coastal Change Hazards Portal.

posted: 2018-05-25

Aerial photo looking at the mouth of a river with sand bars, land surrounding the river is covered with trees and other vegetation.USGS partnership with Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe featured in new fact sheet on Elwha River dam removals

The USGS has published a new Fact Sheet, “Science Partnership between U.S. Geological Survey and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe: Understanding the Elwha River Dam Removal Project.” Two large hydroelectric dams on the Elwha River in Washington State were removed in the period 2011–2014 to restore the river ecosystem and recover imperiled salmon populations. The new fact sheet summarizes findings by a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, the USGS, other agencies, universities, and non-governmental organizations who collected data before, during, and after dam removal. The 4-page fact sheet lists key lessons, details some impacts of dam removal on river sedimentation and the physical and biological makeup of the estuary and coast, and lists references with in-depth information.

Read more details about USGS studies on the Elwha River: “USGS science supporting the Elwha River Restoration Project.”

Contacts: Jeff Duda,, 206-526-2532; Jon Warrick,, 831-460-7569

posted: 2018-05-24

Men and women posing together in front of a building entrance, everyone is smiling for the camera.USGS scientist visits Korea Institute of Geology and Mineral Industries

USGS research geologist Sam Johnson of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) made an invited visit to the Korea Institute of Geology and Mineral Industries (KIGAM) in Daejon, South Korea, on April 24–26. His host was Dr. Gee Soo Kong of the Petroleum and Marine Division, assisted by Drs. Deniz Cukur, Jae Hwa Jin, Kyong-O Kim, and Nam-Hyung Koo. Johnson presented two seminars: (1) The California Seafloor Mapping Program—History, Challenges, Applications, Lessons Learned; and (2) U.S. Geological Survey Marine Geohazards Research, Central and Northern California. He also participated in numerous stimulating discussions with KIGAM staff regarding seafloor mapping, active faults, and submarine landslides offshore of South Korea. KIGAM scientists have come to PCMSC several times, including a visit in March 2017, to discuss seafloor mapping and offshore hazards. Contact: Sam Johnson,, 831-460-7546

posted: 2018-05-24

A map with shaded imagery to show the seafloor and land features with offshore landslide areas drawn in.Most-cited award for special issue of Marine Geology

A USGS-led special issue of Marine Geology received a most-cited certificate from the journal in May 2018. “Tsunami hazard along the U.S. Atlantic coast” (volume 264, no. 1–2) was published in 2009 and was among Marine Geology’s three most-cited special issues in 2016 and 2017. The U.S. East Coast is highly vulnerable to tsunami damage because major population centers and industrial facilities sit near the shoreline at low elevations. Scientists, engineers, and modelers joined forces to evaluate the causes of tsunamis that could affect this region. Although earthquakes trigger most Pacific and Indian Ocean tsunamis, the primary source of potential tsunamis on the U.S. Atlantic coast is submarine landslides—the main focus of the special issue. The volume was written largely by USGS scientists and edited by USGS research geophysicist Uri ten Brink. Contacts: Uri ten Brink,, 508-457-2310; Eric Geist,, 650-329-5457

posted: 2018-05-23

USGS Oceanographer publishes study outlining a framework for modeling barrier island responses to regionally specific scenario-based storm impact in Coastal Engineering

Rangley Mickey (SPCMSC Oceanographer) study "A framework for modeling scenario-based barrier island storm impacts" was published in the journal Coastal Engineering. The study proposes a method to generate storm scenarios from regionally, historic estimated total water level. The regionally specific storm scenarios were modeled using the process-based numerical model XBeach to quantify morphologic changes for low and high level scenarios. Process-based modeled scenarios predict 2D changes similar to observed impacts to as-built berm at the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana. Modeled scenarios highlight areas of proposed/existing feature vulnerable to storm impact which can provide quantitative measures of change to structured-decision making process.

posted: 2018-05-23

USGS Research Microbiologist presents science and participates in science communication at 2018 ASM Microbe Meeting

Christina Kellogg (SPCMSC Research Microbiologist) will present a poster titled "Metagenomic Analysis of the Microbial Community Associated with the Deep-Sea Coral Lophelia pertusa" and give a 10-min talk about it in a session highlighting key posters at the 2018 American Society for Microbiology MICROBE conference, June 6–11, 2018, in Atlanta, GA. Kellogg is also an invited speaker in a science communication session called "The Up Goer Five Challenge: Microbiology in Plain Language" during which she will describe her research using only the 1,000 most used words (Spoiler: these words do not include 'coral,' 'bacteria,' 'microbes,' 'DNA,' or 'ocean'!) Kellogg will also be a guest on a live taping of the popular podcast This Week in Microbiology (TWiM).

To hear previously recorded TWiM episodes, visit

posted: 2018-05-17

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