Interpretation of NOAA H11310 Sidescan Sonar and Bathymetric Data from Central Narragansett Bay (H11310INT.SHP)

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Description The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is working cooperatively with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to interpret the surficial geology in estuaries along the coast of the northeastern United States. The purpose of our present study is to interpret the distributions of surficial sediments and sedimentary environments in an area of Narragansett Bay using sidescan sonar imagery, high-resolution bathymetry, and sediment data. The mosaic presented herein covers an area of the sea floor in central Narragansett Bay. The mosaic and their interpretations (represented in part by this data layer) 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. The sidescan sonar mosaics also serve as base maps 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. [More]
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