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Summary Information for Field Activity 1974-015-FA

Area of Operations: south Texas outer continental shelf, Texas, United States, Gulf of Mexico, North America, North Atlantic

Dates: November 29, 1974 to December 21, 1974

Chief scientist: Henry Berryhill

Objectives: The overall program is a baseline assessment of the South Texas Outer Continental Shelf. Objectives of the geological studies being carried out under the program by the USGS are: nature and distribution of bottom sediments, nature of suspended sediments in the water column, trace metals chemistry of sediments; late Pleistocene and Holocene structural and sedimentologic evolution of the shelf; delineation of surface areas of the shelf where geologic conditions might be hazardous to petroleum development; and predictive evaluation to the extent possible of the possible effects of the physical and chemical processes operative across the shelf on the dispersion and assimilation of contaminants that might be generated by petroleum development.

Type of Activity: Sampling; Seismic profiling;

Information to be derived:

Summary: Patterns on the acoustic profiles that are believed to be gas seeps were recorded at a number of places on the shelf (most numerous on the outer edge of the shelf). Extensive faulting exists over most parts of the South Texas OCS. The submerged reefs, or so-called topographic highs, are but the exposed part of extensive thin carbonate banks buried by sedimentation. Smith-MacIntyre grabs: 40; Gravity cores: 13; Box cores: 32; Benthic faunal collections: 72; XBTs: 12; Surface drifter casts: 36 (3 at each of 12 stations); Quality control sample for trace metals: 6; Hydrocarbon back-up sample: 32; Water samples for suspended sediments: 9 (3 at each of 3 stations); Minisparker: 1,000 mi.; 3.5 kHz profiles: 1,400 miles; 12 kHz PDR; Klein Model 400 sidescan sonar: approx. 400 miles.

Contact: Henry Berryhill ()

InfoBank: uses the identifier K-C-74-GM. Visit this site for more information.

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Publications resulting from these data

Flores, R. M., and Shideler, G. L.,1978, Factors controlling heavy-mineral variations on the South Texas outer continental shelf, Gulf of Mexico: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 48, no. 1: p. 269-280. (Also available at

Shideler, Gerald L., and Flores, Romeo M.,1976, Maps showing distribution of heavy minerals on the south Texas outer continental shelf: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map 841, 1 sheet. (Available as a PDF version)

Shideler, Gerald L.,1988, Heavy-mineral placer potential map of the U.S. continental shelf, western and northern Gulf of Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map 2037, 1 sheet. (Available as a PDF version)

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