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Coastal Geology Current Events


Predicting Sea Level Rise for Miami
April 17, 2014 | National Science Foundation

A National Science Foundation press release gives a quick look at efforts to predict long-term sea level rise in Miami

Retreating Coastlines in Sussex
April 3, 2014 | National Trust

The chalk cliffs on the Sussex coastline normally retreat at about 3/4 meter per year, but storms in the first quarter of this year have produced several meters of retreat.

Ten Risky Cities
April 1, 2014 | TheGuardian.com

TheGuardian has an article that presents the earthquake, tsunami and severe storm hazards of ten risky cities.

Flooding in New Zealand
March 13, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has an interesting satellite image pair of a coastline in New Zealand. It shows coastal waters discolored by suspended sediment after heavy rains.

Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake Off the California Coast
March 11, 2014 | San Jose Mercury News

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred off the coast of California. Fortunately it was about 50 miles from land, which reduced the impact on coastline communities.

Ice-Free Shipping Through the Arctic
March 6, 2014 | Nature.com

A post on the Nature News Blog reports that by 2030 the Norther Sea Route through the Arctic Ocean above Eurasia is expected to be navigable for nine weeks per year. The Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is expected to be navigable for five weeks per year.

Many Types of Sand
February 16, 2014 | Geology.com

Most people are familiar with the tan or white silica sand that they see at the beach. However, sand is a much more diverse material as this photo gallery reveals.

Perpetual Ocean Video
February 9, 2014 | NASA on YouTube.com

“This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through Decemeber 2007. The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.” Quoted from the NASA YouTube Channel.

Landslide-Induced Tsunami Hits Coastal Village in Norway
February 4, 2014 | The Landslide Blog

Nord-Statland, a small shoreline village in Norway was struck by what is believed to have been a localized tsunami that was triggered by an underwater landslide.

Related: The Storegga submarine landslide

Sea Level Rise on the California Coast
January 14, 2014 | University of Southern California

“Los Angeles, a metropolis perched on the edge of a coast, can expect to experience sea level rise of as much as two feet due by 2050 due to climate change, according to current projections.” Quoted from the USC press release.

Floods and Landslides in Brazil
January 2, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

“Widespread floods are plaguing at least three states in southeast Brazil. Heavy rains lasted throughout December in Minas Gerais, Bahia, and Espirito Santo States, causing floods and mudslides. December rainfall in Espirito Santo has already reached 714 millimeters (28.11 inches), an all-time record monthly rainfall.”

USFWS Photo
Over 80000 Acres of Wetlands Lost Per Year
December 22, 2013 | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

“The United States is losing wetlands in coastal watersheds at a significant rate, according to a new report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [...] It concludes that more than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost on average each year, up from 60,000 acres lost per year during the previous study.” Quoted from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release.

USGS Publishes Fire Island Coastal Change Website
December 22, 2013 | USGS

The United States Geological Survey has a new website that documents coastal change that is occurring on Fire Island, where winds and waves are modifying the beaches and dunes of the barrier island.

Data is also presented on how Hurricane Sandy modified the island.

Image at right by USGS.

Sea Level Rise and Sinking Land
December 12, 2013 | USGS

“Communities and coastal habitats in the southern Chesapeake Bay region face increased flooding because, as seawater levels are rising in the bay, the land surface is also sinking. A USGS report concludes that intensive groundwater withdrawals are a major cause of the sinking land, or ‘land subsidence’, that contributes to flooding risks in the region.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Related: Maps of Sea Level Rise

How Wetlands Respond to Sea Level Rise
December 6, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“Thanks to an intricate system of feedbacks, wetlands are remarkably good at building up soils to outpace sea level rise.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.

Related: Interactive Sea Level Rise Maps

More Problems at Paseo del Mar Landslide?
November 11, 2013 | DailyBreeze.com

“A newly unearthed crack in the Paseo del Mar landslide area has reignited debate over a $28.8 million plan to reconnect the collapsed roadway.” Quoted from DailyBreeze.com.

Typhoon Haiyan Kills at Least 10000
November 9, 2013 | Reuters

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines as a Category 5 typhoon, with winds gusting up to 170 miles per hour, swamping coastal areas in storm surge and destroying thousands of buildings that were in its path.

Natural Gas Flaring from Space
October 30, 2013 | Geology.com

We have posted views of Earth from NASA’s Suomi satellite that show night illumination and natural gas flaring for oil industry sites in the Bakken Formation, Eagle Ford Shale, Alaska North Slope, United States Gulf, Mexican Gulf, Venezuela Orinoco Field, Brazil offshore basins, North Sea, North Africa onshore, west Africa offshore, and Persian Gulf.

When Lava and Water Meet Without an Explosion
October 22, 2013 | University at Buffalo

When hot lava contacts cold water an explosion is often produced. This article explores some lava pillars in Iceland that appear to have formed when lava met water without an explosion.

The Government Shutdown and Geology
October 15, 2013 | American Geophysical Union

The American Geophysical Union has a short article that explains why the “Government Shutdown Affects More Than Jobs“.

Sea Level Rise and Maldivian Atols
October 11, 2013 | Exeter

“The continued accumulation of sand within the iconic ring-shaped reefs inside Maldivian atolls could provide a foundation for future island development new research suggests. Islands like the Maldives are considered likely to be the first to feel the effects of climate change induced sea level rise, with future island growth essential to counter the threat of rising sea levels.” Quoted from the press release by the University of Exeter.

Studying Greenland Glaciers with Mathematics
September 12, 2013 | National Science Foundation

New quantitative information about glacier melting will help fine tune climate models and improve predictions for sea level rise.

Man-Made Dunes Protected Against Sandy
September 8, 2013 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article about how man-made sand dunes along the coastline provided protection in October 2012 against Hurricane Sandy.

California Seafloor Mapping Program
August 16, 2013 | USGS

“Three new USGS products in an ongoing series by the California Seafloor Mapping Program were released August 9th, 2013 — a map set for the area offshore of Carpinteria in southern California, a catalog of GIS data layers for all of CSMP’s published maps, and a collection of videos and photos of the seafloor along the entire California coast.” Quoted from the USGS announcement.

Forgotten New Jersey Seawall Protected Homes from Hurricane Sandy
August 16, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“Two beachfront communities in New Jersey were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, but one fared much better than the other thanks to a long-forgotten seawall buried beneath the sand.” Quoted from the NSF press release.

Sunken Cypress Forest in the Gulf of Mexico
July 16, 2013 | CBS News

Scuba divers have discovered the remains of a “sunken cypress forest” in sixty feet of water, ten miles from land in the Gulf of Mexico.

Giving States a Cut of Offshore Oil Revenue
July 15, 2013 | TheHill.com

“Senate legislation introduced Wednesday would for the first time award money to all coastal states for energy produced off their shores.” Quoted from “TheHill.com”

Understanding Past Climate and Ecosystems
July 14, 2013 | Geology.com

“How do we know what the ancient earth was like before people were around to witness and record conditions? One of the main ways geoscientists unravel past climates and ecosystems is by conducting detailed studies of deposits that contain the preserved remains of ancient plants and animals.” Quoted from the article by Alexandra Guth, Michigan Technological University.

Hurricane-Induced Coastal Change
July 2, 2013 | USGS

“The probability of hurricane-induced coastal change on sandy beaches from Florida to New York has been assessed for the first time in U.S. Geological Survey studies released today. [...] The two reports — one assessing the coastline from Florida to North Carolina, the other from Virginia to New York — can function as part of a “virtual toolkit” for U.S. Atlantic coast community planners and emergency managers as they make decisions on how to best address coastline vulnerabilities.” Quoted from the USGS publication release.

A Large Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico?
June 20, 2013 | USGS

“Scientists are expecting a very large “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico and a smaller than average hypoxic level in the Chesapeake Bay this year, based on several NOAA-supported forecast models.” Quoted from the USGS Newsroom.

USGS image
U.S. Coastal Hazards
June 20, 2013 | Geological Society of America

The Geological Society of America has published a draft position statement titled: “Managing U.S. Coastal Hazards“.

A quote: “Storms, tsunamis, and rising sea levels threaten U.S. coastal communities and their economies. Much of the nation’s existing coastal infrastructure must be adapted to expected future conditions or relocated, and new coastal development and post-storm reconstruction should be planned, sited, and maintained with coastal geologic hazards clearly in mind.”

East Africa as a Major Energy Exporter
June 5, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

In the past several years a number of very large oil and natural gas discoveries off the coast of East Africa have positioned several countries to become major exporters of energy.

Stay Away from Unstable Slopes
May 30, 2013 | DorsetECHO.co.uk

The DorsetECHO has a photo and story about people scrambling on a recent landslide on the Dorset Coast. (Video about the recent slide.)

Coastlines Under Sea Level Rise
May 28, 2013 | Speaking of Geoscience

Laura Guertin has posted an interesting essay with images titled: “Coastal Processes and Environments Under Sea-Level Rise and Changing Climate: Science to Inform Management” on the Speaking of Geoscience blog.

Sea Level Rise and Small Pacific Islands
April 18, 2013 | USGS

“Dynamic modeling of sea-level rise, which takes storm wind and wave action into account, paints a much graver picture for some low-lying Pacific islands under climate-change scenarios than the passive computer modeling used in earlier research.” Quote from the USGS press release.

Red Tide Kills Nearly 200 Manatees
March 13, 2013 | CNN

Nearly 200 manatees have been killed by a red tide off the coast of southwest Florida.

Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Coasts
February 18, 2013 | USGS

“According to a new technical report, the effects of climate change will continue to threaten the health and vitality of U.S. coastal communities’ social, economic and natural systems. The report, Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: a technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, authored by leading scientists and experts, emphasizes the need for increased coordination and planning to ensure U.S. coastal communities are resilient against the effects of climate change.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Hurricane Sandy Beach Restoration
February 13, 2013 | BOEM Ocean Science

The most recent issue of BOEM Ocean Science has information about beach restoration projects in the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort.

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.





Homeowners InsuranceHomeowners Insurance usually does not cover damage caused by floods, landslides, earthquakes and other geohazards.
frac sandFrac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamond formationDiamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
fluorescent mineralsFluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Uses of heliumHelium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Canada diamond minesCanada Diamond Mines: Canada is the third largest producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world.
Utica shaleUtica Shale: New wells in eastern Ohio prove that the Utica Shale will be a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
OpalOpals: Gem quality opal is one of the most spectacular gemstones. A single stone can flash with every color of the spectrum.
NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.


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