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Summary Information for Field Activity 2006-001-FA

Area of Operations: Apalachicola Bay, Florida, United States, Gulf of Mexico, North America, North Atlantic

Dates: May 29, 2006 to June 27, 2006

Chief scientist: Dave Twichell

   Lee Edmiston, Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Objectives: Complete sea floor mapping of Apalachicola Bay using the RAFAEL to map areas deeper than 2 m and the ASV IRIS for mapping areas shallower than 2 m.

Type of Activity: Sea floor mapping;Sea floor mapping

Information to be derived:

Summary: This field season marked the second year of surveying in Apalachicola Bay. The goal of the mapping project was to provide an updated map of the distribution of oyster beds in the bay. Continuous coverage sidescan sonar imagery and bathymetric data were used to achieve this goal, and high-resolution chirp profiles were used to define the geologic framework upon which the oyster beds are set. The bay is shallow (average depth 2.5 m), and the crests of most of the oyster beds are in water depths less than 1 m. Consequently the entire area could not be surveyed using the RAFAEL. IRIS, the newly acquired ASV, was used to map the shallow areas. This was the first use of this system, and it proved quite successful. This year's field operation was conducted during late May and June. The RAFAEL collected data during 25 days of the 29-day field program and IRIS collected data during 14 days. Aboard RAFAEL RTK GPS navigation, Klein sidescan sonar imagery, Submetrix interferometric bathymetry, and chirp sub-bottom profiles were collected in digital form along 1492 km of trackline. IRIS collected RTK GPS navigation, EdgeTech sidescan sonar imagery, single-beam bathymetry, and chirp sub-bottom data in digital form along 148 km of tracks. From the two platforms data (all in digital form) were collected along 1640 km of survey lines.

Contact: Dave Twichell (

InfoBank: uses the identifier R-1-06-GM. Visit this site for more information.

Related Links:

Platform Info:

Publications resulting from these data

Bergeron, E., Worley, C., and O'Brien, T.F.,2007, Progress in development of shallow-water mapping systems by the U.S. Geological Survey: Sea Technology, v. 48, no. 6: p. 10-15

Twichell, D.C., Andrews, B.D., Edmiston, H.L., and Stevenson, W.R.,2007, Geophysical mapping of oyster habitats in a shallow estuary; Apalachicola Bay, Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1381. (Also available at

Twichell, D.C., Pendleton, E.A., Poore, R.Z., Osterman, L.E., and Kelso, K.W.,2009, Vibracore, radiocarbon, microfossil, and grain-size data from Apalachicola Bay, Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1031. (Also available at

Twichell, D., Edmiston, L., Andrews, B., Stevenson, W., Donoghue, J., Poore, R., and Osterman, L.,2010, Geologic controls on the recent evolution of oyster reefs in Apalachicola Bay and St. George Sound, Florida: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, v. 88, no. 3:385-394p.: p. 385-394. (Also available at

Osterman, Lisa E., Twichell, David C., and Poore, Richard Z.,2009, Holocene evolution of Apalachicola Bay, Florida: Geo-Marine Letters, v. 29, no. 6: p. 395-404. (Also available at

Cross, V.A., Twichell, D.C., Foster, D.S., and O'Brien, T.F.,2012, Apalachicola Bay Interpreted Seismic Horizons and Updated IRIS Chirp Seismic-Reflection Data: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1003. (Also available at

Data Types and Locations:


Deck photos of field activity operations


Data is in the Data Library - contact Data Manager (


Data is in the Data Library - contact Data Manager (


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