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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

We are part of the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program. Please visit our other science centers at:

  1. St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
  2. USGS Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center
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Featured Research

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. The team has a staff of about 100, including 24 research scientists and 75 scientific and administrative support staff. USGS earth scientists explore and study many aspects of the underwater areas between shorelines and the deep ocean, off the U.S. East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and in parts of the Caribbean and Great Lakes.

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  • Rarely observed deep-sea fish, a jellynose Telepresence Expedition Explores Unknown Deep-Sea Areas off of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands In April 2015, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists participated in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Exploration research cruise investigating unknown and poorly understood deep-sea areas off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. An interdisciplinary team of scientists working at sea and on shore examined the geology and biodiversity along various seafloor features at depths ranging from 300 to 4,500 meters. Twelve dives were completed with a dual-bodied remotely operated vehicle (ROV) system consisting of the ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) and the Seirios camera platform, both of which were launched and controlled from the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.
  • Fran Lightsom receives the USGS Community for Data Integration Leadership and Innovation Award Oceanographer Fran Lightsom Receives Leadership and Innovation Award from the USGS Community for Data Integration The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Community for Data Integration (CDI) presents its Leadership and Innovation Award to a community member for outstanding contributions in guiding USGS data integration activities through the CDI working groups. The award is meant to recognize someone who brings new ideas to life and provides unwavering leadership in producing tangible results that will improve data integration, access, and discovery. The awardee actively seeks collaborative approaches, embraces new perspectives, and provides a stimulating forum to address on-the-ground data integration needs of the community. Through this leadership, the awardee’s contributions move the CDI, and on a broader scale, the USGS and its partners, forward to a more integrated data landscape that ultimately advances USGS science.
  • Researcher moves a monitor that contains electronics used to position the seismic streamer at the correct depth and angle Imaging Methane Seeps and Plumes on the U.S. Atlantic Margin Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Gas Hydrates Project surveyed methane seeps and plumes on the northern part of the U.S. Atlantic margin aboard the research vessel (R/V) Endeavor in April 2015. The researchers collected high-resolution seismic data (cross-sectional views of sediment layers and other features beneath the seafloor) along ship tracks totaling nearly 580 kilometers (360 miles), in addition to continuous imagery of methane plumes in the water column above seafloor cold seeps. They also measured the flux of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ocean to the atmosphere.
  • Daniel Nowacki deploying instruments in extremely soupy mud south of the Amazon River mouth Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellow Joins Hurricane Sandy Estuarine Physical Response Project In March 2015, Dan Nowacki joined the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Dan is a Mendenhall Research Fellow working primarily with USGS research oceanographer Neil Ganju as part of the Estuarine Physical Response to Storms project. He is developing techniques to quantify the role of vegetation in the response and resilience of coastal areas to large storm events. Using a combination of numerical modeling techniques and field measurements, he will work to better understand how a variety of vegetation types modify waves and associated sediment-transport processes. Although coastal vegetation is generally thought to mitigate wave action and storm surge, the specific dynamics of the interaction remain poorly known; this work could ultimately help coastal planners understand the role of natural ecosystems in storm protection.
  • image of Dr. Laura Brothers, USGS, Woods Hole, MA This Woman ROCKS! Many people spend years trying to find their “dream job,” but USGS Marine Geologist, Dr. Laura Brothers, is one of the lucky few who has already found hers.


Internet Map Server

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Our interactive map server with displays on various information layers from a number of USGS research programs.

Environmental Compliance

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Maps of America's Submerged Lands:

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Links to maps of the sea floor, including the digital data, displayed on a map of the U.S. east coast.


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A collection of photographs documenting
sea floor characteristics and operations in the field.

Field Activity Data Displays (FADD)

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Collections of data relating to field activity research.

Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System

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Discover and download data produced by the U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program.

This Month's Field Operations

To see more visit the WHSC Field Activity Calendar

or visit the WHSC Field Activity GIS site

This Month's Publications


To see more visit the WHSC Publications

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This page last modified on Monday, 03-Aug-2015 13:37:36 EDT