Anthropogenic wastes, toxic chemicals, and changes in land-use patterns resulting from residential, commercial, and recreational development have stressed the environment of the Sound, causing degradation and potential loss of benthic habitats (Koppelman and others, 1976; Long Island Sound Study, 1994). Detailed maps of the sea floor are needed to help evaluate the extent of adverse impacts and to help manage resources wisely in the future. Therefore, in a continuing effort to better understand Long Island Sound, we have regridded and interpolated this NOAA bathymetric survey into a complete-coverage acoustic image of the sea floor. The image presented herein covers a 41.1 km square area of the sea floor in north-central Long Island Sound off Branford, Connecticut and was produced from data collected during NOAA survey H11043.
This imagery may serve many purposes, including: (1) defining the geological variability of the sea floor, which is one of the primary controls of benthic habitat diversity; (2) improving our understanding of the processes that control the distribution and transport of bottom sediments and the distribution of benthic habitats and associated infaunal community structures; and (3) providing a detailed framework for future research, monitoring, and management activities. This bathymetry may also serve as a base map for subsequent sedimentological, geochemical, and biological observations, because precise information on environmental setting is important for selection of sampling sites and for accurate interpretation of point measurements.
Public domain data are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. Please recognize the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as the source of this information.