Woods Hole Science Center
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (MA CZM), is producing detailed geologic maps of the coastal sea floor. The imagery, interpretive data layers, and data presented herein were derived from multibeam echo-sounder and sidescan sonar surveys conducted in the vicinity of Quicks Hole, a passage through the Elizabeth Islands, which extend in a chain southwest off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and from the stations occupied to verify these acoustic data (fig. 1). Basic data layers show sea-floor topography, sun-illuminated shaded relief, and backscatter intensity; interpretive layers show the distributions of surficial sediment, sedimentary environments, and sea-floor features. Presented verification data include sediment grain-size analyses and a gallery of still photographs of the seabed.
The multibeam and sidescan data, which cover an approximately 22.9-km2 area of sea floor that extends from Vineyard Sound on the south to Buzzards Bay on the north, were collected during NOAA hydrographic survey H11076 (fig. 1). Although originally collected for charting purposes, these data provide a fundamental framework for research and management activities along this part of the Massachusetts coastline (Noji and others, 2004), show the composition and terrain of the seabed, and provide information on sediment transport and benthic habitat.