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E. Robert Thieler

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Two major pulses of sea-level rise are thought to have taken place since the last glacial maximum — meltwater pulses (mwp) 1A (12 cal ka) and 1B (9.5 cal ka). Between mwp 1B and about 6 cal ka, many of the complex coastal ecosystems which ring the world’s oceans began to form. Here we report data for rhenium, carbon isotopes, total organic carbon, and fossil oysters from Chesapeake Bay which span the transition from fresh to brackish water conditions in the bay in the mid-Holocene. These data constrain sea-level change and resulting environmental change in the bay. They indicate that the transition was rapid, and that it was produced by (1) a third pulse of rapid eustatic sea-level rise, or (2) a geometry of the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Geo-Marine Letters
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Glacial freshwater discharge to the Atlantic Ocean during deglaciation may have inhibited oceanic thermohaline circulation, and is often postulated to have driven climatic fluctuations. Yet attributing meltwater-discharge events to particular climate oscillations is problematic, because the location, timing, and amount of meltwater discharge are often poorly constrained. We present evidence from the Hudson Valley and the northeastern U.S. continental margin that establishes the timing of the catastrophic draining of Glacial Lake Iroquois, which breached the moraine dam at the Narrows in New York City, eroded glacial lake sediments in the Hudson Valley, and deposited large sediment lobes on the New York and New Jersey...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Geology
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A change-potential index (CPI) was used to map the susceptibility of the shoreline to future lake-level change within Apostle Islands, Indiana Dunes, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshores (NL) along Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The CPI in the Great Lakes setting ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to lake-level related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate and direction (i.e., rise and fall) of relative lake-level change, historical shoreline change rates, annual ice cover and mean significant wave height. The rankings for each input variable were combined, and an index value calculated for 1-minute bins covering the parks. The CPI highlights those regions...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Sandy ocean beaches in the United States are popular tourist and recreational destinations and constitute some of the most valuable real estate in the country. The boundary between land and water along the coastline is often the location of concentrated residential and commercial development and is frequently exposed to a range of natural hazards, which include flooding, storm effects, and coastal erosion. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting a national assessment of coastal change hazards. One component of this research effort, the National Assessment of Shoreline Change Project, documents changes in shoreline position as a proxy for coastal change. Shoreline position is an easily understood...
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Information on rates and trends of shoreline change can be used to improve the understanding of the underlying causes and potential effects of coastal erosion on coastal populations and infrastructure and can support informed coastal management decisions. In this report, we summarize the changes in the historical positions of the shoreline of the Massachusetts coast for the 165 years from 1844 through 2009. The study area includes the Massachusetts coastal region from Salisbury to Westport, including Cape Cod, as well as Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Elizabeth Islands. New statewide shoreline data were developed for approximately 1,804 kilometers (1,121 miles) of shoreline using color aerial orthoimagery...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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