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Summary Information for Field Activity 1987-018-FA

Area of Operations: Hatteras Canyon, Continental slope and rise, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Blake Plateau, Blake Escarpment, United States EEZ, Northeast Providence Channel, Bahamas, North America, North Atlantic

Dates: May 09, 1987 to May 28, 1987

Chief scientist: Bill Dillon
Kathy Scanlon

Objectives: This cruise was the fifth in a series of five cruises aimed at surveying the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the eastern United States. Permission was granted by the goverment of the Bahamas to extend the survey south into Bahamian waters in order to map prominent geologic features more completely.

Type of Activity: Seismic profiling; Sea floor mapping;Sea floor mapping

Information to be derived: Sea floor map; Morphology;

Summary: The main survey instrument was GLORIA II, a long-range sidescan sonar system that is well suited to deep-water reconnaissance mapping of large areas. A seismic reflection profiler, magnetometer, and 3.5 and 10 kHz echo sounders were operated simultaneously with the GLORIA system throughout most of the cruise. Superb weather conditions and minimum equipment down time combined to make a most successful cruise. About three days were spent surveying gaps in the previous cruise's coverage. Of the remaining 14 days, 12 were spent surveying the Blake Plateau and Escarpment within the U.S. EEZ and 2 were used to survey the southern extension of the escarpment into Bahamian waters. The GLORIA system was run well into the Northeast Providence Channel before docking at Nassau. Figure 1 shows the ship's tracks for the entire cruise. Preliminary mosaics of the overlapping GLORIA image data were built by hand onboard the ship. A photograph of the southern part of the mosaic, which includes all of the imagery collected in Bahamian waters, is shown in Figure 2. Further corrections and enhancements will be done at the shore facility in Woods Hole where a digital mosaic can be produced. United States Ambassador Hallett held a reception for the Governor General of the Bahamas onboard the FARNELLA at the Nassau dock. The guest list included: Governor General, His Excellency Sir Gerald Cash; His Excellency the British High Commissioner Mr. Mays; Minister of Economic Affairs Alfred Maycock; Commodore Leon Smith, Royal Bahamas Defense Force; Mr. Francis Garraway, Dept. of Lands & Surveys; Mr. Ronald Thompson, Dir., Dept. of Agriculture, Fisheries & Cooperatives; Mr. Colyn Higgs, Dep. Dir., Dept. of Agriculture, Fisheries & Cooperatives; Mrs. Judy Blair, College of the Bahamas, Natural Science Div.; Ms. Joy Chaplin, College of the Bahamas, Natural Science Div.; Mr. Peter Key, Government High School; Mr. Gary Lawson, Bahamas National Trust; Mr. Richard Kench, Ministry of Works; and Mrs. Camille Cartwright, Ministry of Economic Affairs. GLORIA sidescan sonar: 6419 km; Airgun: 6419 km; 3.5 kHz: 6419 km; 10 kHz: 6419 km; XBT: 23; Magnetics: 6419 km.

Contact: Bill Dillon (
Kathy Scanlon (

InfoBank: uses the identifier F-5-87-EC. Visit this site for more information.

Related Links:

Click to get Google Software - Download 87018.kml to view this field activity in Google Earth

Platform Info:

Publications resulting from these data

Lubinski, David, Hughes-Clarke, John, Dillon, William, O'Leary, Dennis, Popenoe, Peter, Robb, James, and Schmuck, Eric,1990, Magnetic and bathymetric data from R/V FARNELLA Cruises FRNL87-1, 87-2, 87-3, 87-4, and 87-5 in the U.S. Atlantic Margin EEZ, southern Blake Escarpment, and Nova Scotia continental rise: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 90-254, 11 p.. (Available as a PDF version). (Also available at

Popenoe, P., and Manheim, F.T.,2001, Origin and history of the Charleston Bump--geological formations, currents, bottom conditions, and their relationship to Wreckfish habitats on the Blake Plateau, in Sedberry, G.R., ed., Island in the Stream--Oceanography and Fisheries of the Charleston Bump: American Fisheries Society Symposium, v. 25: p. 43-94

Chaytor, J.D., Twichell, D.C., ten Brink, U.S., Buczkowski, B.J. and Andrews, B.D.,2007, Revisiting submarine mass movements along the U.S. Atlantic continental margin; implications for tsunami hazards, in V. Lykousis, D. Sakellariou, and J. Locat, eds., Submarine mass movements and their consequences: Springer, Netherlands, p. 395-403

Twichell, D.C., Paskevich, V., Delorey, C.,,1998, GLORIA sidescan-sonar field data and navigation data collected off Puerto Rico in 1985 and the eastern United States in 1987: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-619, CD-ROM. (Also available at

Chaytor, Jason D., ten Brink, Uri S., Solow, Andrew R., and Andrews, Brian D.,2009, Size distribution of submarine landslides along the U.S. Atlantic margin: Marine Geology, v. 264, no. 1-2: p. 16-27. (Also available at

Twichell, David C., Chaytor, Jason D., ten Brink, Uri S., and Buczkowski, Brian,2009, Morphology of late Quaternary submarine landslides along the U.S. Atlantic continental margin: Marine Geology, v. 264, no. 1-2: p. 4-15. (Also available at

ten Brink, U.S., Barkan, R., Andrews, B.D., and Chaytor, J.D.,2009, Size distributions and failure initiation of submarine and subaerial landslides: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 287, no. 1-2: p. 31-42. (Also available at

Geist, Eric L., Lynett, Patrick J., and Chaytor, Jason D.,2009, Hydrodynamic modeling of tsunamis from the Currituck landslide: Marine Geology, v. 264, no. 1-2: p. 41-52. (Also available at

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