Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Seafloor Characterization of the Inner Shelf of the Northern Outer Banks - North Carolina

Primary investigator - Rob Thieler (rthieler@usgs.gov)
and the USGS Woods Hole Science Center USGS Sea-Floor Mapping Group

The inner shelf and lower shoreface are being mapped using high-resolution sidescan-sonar (100% coverage), subbottom profilers (CHIRP, Geopulse boomer, mini-sparker), fathometer, interferometric sidescan-sonar, and sediment grab samples. Three cruises have already been conducted. We also plan on conducting another 21-day long cruise in FY2003 to collect marine geophysical data.

Interpretation of these geophysical data will be verified by subsequent vibracoring operations which will be conducted in FY2003. Using these data, we will generate a regional structural map of the upper surface of the Tertiary strata, sediment isopach map of the Quaternary sedimentary section, a bathymetric map, and sidescan-sonar mosaic of the sea floor surface (sediment distribution map). All sea-floor mapping products will be in ArcInfo GIS format; suitable for merging with subaerial mapping products. All mapping products will be published as interim USGS Open-File Report(s) and USGS MI Map Series reports by FY2004. Interpretations of mapping results will be published in scientific journals. The primary focus of these reports is the relation of nearshore geologic framework to coastal evolution and behavior.


Map of the Outer Banks showimg areas of seafloor characterization completed.

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