USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Coastal & Marine Geology Program

Field Activity Details for field activity 1988-007-FA

Other ID: POWL 88-1

Status: Completed

Organization(s): USGS, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Funding Program(s):

Principal Investigator(s): Page Valentine

Affiliate Investigator(s):

Information Specialist(s):

Data Type(s): Seismics: Sub Bottom Profiler, Seismics: Boomer, Sampling: Geology, Location-Elevation: Navigation

Scientific Purpose/Goals: Determine the Quaternary stratigraphy, and map and assess the mineral content of fine-grained sediment deposits in Wilkinson-Murray Basin. Conduct seismic and bathymetric surveys, and collect piston cores and grab samples.


Start Date: 1988-06-30

Start Port/Location: Woods Hole, MA

End Date: 1988-07-06

End Port/Location: Woods Hole, MA

Equipment Used: 3.5 kHz, Boomer, Grab sampler - Van Veen , Loran-C, GPS (wh)

Information to be Derived: Grain size analysis;Morphology;

Summary of Activity and Data Gathered: 3.5 kHz: 180 km; Huntec sub-bottom: 526 km; Gravity cores: 17; Piston cores: 17; Van Veen grabs: 2.

Staff: Lawrence Poppe, Richard Rendigs, Page Valentine, William Winters, Kenneth E. Parolski, Dave Lubinski, John Risch

Affiliate Staff:
Eric Strom; Joe Uzmann - NMFS; Jim Broda - WHOI; Tom Davis - WHOI

Notes: All 17 cores have been x-rayed and reveal interesting sedimentary textures and fabrics correlated to distinctive seismic stratigraphic units. Presently, cores are being split, sampled, photographed, and analyzed for sediment texture, mineral content (by XRF), water content and bulk density, geotechnical properties, and paleo. TiO2 content (fine-grained rutile) of Quaternary sediment in Wilkinson-Murray Basin increases with depth from 0.7 wt pct at sea floor to 0.9 wt pct at 9 m sub-bottom. These values are similar to those previously determined for a core from Stellwagen Basin. Texture of Quaternary units is correlated to seismic units. Mud of variable thickness (2-9 m) is seismically transparent and overlies a distinctively layered unit containing ice-rafted sand and gravel in a mud matrix. Seismic profiles in the basin provide preliminary assessment of thickness, geographic distribution and volume of TiO2-bearing Quaternary strata. Seismic stratigraphy, sediment texture, mineral content, and geotechnical properties provide a basis for determining provenance and glacial/post-glacial environment of deposition of the Wilkinson-Murray Basin strata. Original Center People field contained: Page Valentine, Kenneth Parolski, Richard Rendigs, David Lubinski, William Winters, Eric Strom, John Risch, Lawrence Poppe.


Wilkinson-Murray Basin, Gulf of Maine, United States, North America, North Atlantic;

North: 43.25 South: 41.5 West: -70.1 East: -68.5


photo of John Wesley Powell
John Wesley Powell


Buczkowski, B.J., and Kelsey, S.A., 2007, Archival policies and collections database for the Woods Hole Science Center's marine sediment samples: URL:


Data Acquired

Survey EquipmentSurvey InfoData Type(s)Data Collected
3.5 kHz --- Sub Bottom Profiler
1988-007-FA-SE-002 ( microfilm of )
1988-007-FA-SE-001 ( Collection of paper record displays of seismic data( 3.5K) for lines )
Boomer --- Boomer
Grab sampler - Van Veen --- Geology
1988-007-FA-SC-001 ( CORE samples)
Loran-C --- Navigation
GPS (wh) --- Navigation