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  • ice-like gas hydrates under capping rock encrusted with mussels on the sea floor of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Image taken by a remotely operated vehicle managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Exploration and Research Program USGS Gas Hydrates Project Releases New Fact Sheets! The USGS studies the formation and distribution of gas hydrates in nature, the potential of hydrates as an energy resource, and the interaction between methane hydrates and the environment.
  • photograph of 3 divers in the Yucatan Peninsula Mexico USGS Diving Deep in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico USGS scientists lead investigation of tropical subterranean estuaries in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico! In partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Moody Gardens (MG), the USGS is leading an investigation of ecosystem dynamics and water quality within subterranean estuaries beneath the jungles of Yucatan Peninsula. The team is trying to understand the biological and hydrological mechanisms that sustain life within thousands of miles of caves within the coastal groundwater of the peninsula. Rapid urbanization and development threaten the well being of life in this extreme environment and condition of the region's primary water supply.Pictured here, John Pohlman (USGS), David Brankovits (USGS/WHOI) and Jake Emmert (MG) deploy a rack of acoustic devices in an open water sinkhole (or cenote) prior to a 6-month long installation in the cave
  • image of piping plovers on a beach USGS is conducting research and developing tools to identify suitable coastal habitats for piping plovers. Policy-makers, individuals from government agencies, and natural resource managers are under increasing pressure to manage changing coastal areas to meet social, economic, and natural resource demands, particularly under a regime of sea-level rise. Scientific knowledge of coastal processes and habitat-use can support decision-makers as they balance these often-conflicting human and ecological needs. An interdisciplinary USGS team is conducting research and developing tools to identify suitable coastal habitats for species of concern, such as the piping plover (Charadrius melodus), under a variety of sea-level rise scenarios.
  • screen grab of coastal change hazards portal USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal provides forecasts for coastal erosion associated with
    hurricanes and extreme storms.
    USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal
  • screen shot of SeaBOSS YouTube video Lights, Camera, Action! Watch USGS seafloor mapping group collect data north of Nantucket SEABed Observation and Sampling System (SeaBOSS) operations were conducted north of Nantucket, MA as part of an agreement with Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management to map the geology of Massachusetts waters . The overall goal of the USGS–CZM mapping cooperative is to characterize the sea floor and shallow substrate inside the 3-mile limit of State waters, using high-resolution geophysical techniques, sediment sampling, and sea-floor photography and videography.
  • image of woods hole gas hydrates lab Rapid salt-marsh erosion in Grand Bay, Mississippi This time-lapse video shows lateral erosion of a salt marsh in the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, part of an embayment near the city of Pascagoula, Mississippi, on the US Gulf coast. Wave action over the course of 6.5 months led to about 1.5 meters of erosion. Researchers from the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center are studying the influence of wave attack and sediment supply on wetland vulnerability and ecosystem services. Learn more about estuaries research at the USGS by visiting the Estuarine Processes, Hazards, and Ecosystems project web page at
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.


Internet Map Server

Image of U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) limits
Interactive map server displays 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.


Photo of Shrimp
Video and Photograph Portal contain video and photography of the seafloor off of coastal California and Massachusetts, and aerial imagery of the coastline along segments of the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic coasts.

Field Activity Data Displays (FADD)

image of bathymetry collected on a field activity
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 Field Activity Calendar

or visit the WHSC Field Activity GIS site

search the Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System (CMGDS) for field activity and data information collected by Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

This Month's Publications


To see more visit the WHSC Publications

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This page last modified on Tuesday, 20-Mar-2018 13:57:25 EDT