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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Geologic Interpretation and Multibeam Bathymetry of the Sea Floor in Southeastern Long Island Sound


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Figure 1. Map showing location of NOAA survey H11255.
Figure 1.Map showing location of NOAA survey H11255 (light blue cross-hatched polygon). Click on figure for larger image.

Digital terrain models (DTMs) produced from multibeam echosounder (MBES) bathymetric data provide valuable base maps for marine geological interpretations (e.g. Todd and others, 1999; Mosher and Thomson, 2002; ten Brink and others, 2004; Poppe and others, 2006a,b). These maps help define the geological variability of the sea floor (one of the primary controls of benthic habitat diversity); improve our understanding of the processes that control the distribution and transport of bottom sediments, the distribution of benthic habitats and associated infaunal community structures; and provide a detailed framework for future research, monitoring, and management activities.

The bathymetric survey interpreted herein (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) survey H11255) covers roughly 95 km² of sea floor in southeastern Long Island Sound (fig. 1). This bathymetry has been examined in relation to seismic reflection data collected concurrently, as well as archived seismic profiles acquired as part of a long-standing geologic mapping partnership between the State of Connecticut and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The objective of this work was to use these geophysical data sets to interpret geomorphological attributes of the sea floor in terms of the Quaternary geologic history and modern sedimentary processes within Long Island Sound.

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