Interpretation of Bottom Features from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Surveys H12009, h12010, H12011, H12015, H12033, H12137, and H12139 and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Cruise 2011-006-FA in Block Island Sound (BISOUND_INTERP.SHP, Geographic, WGS84)

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Description The USGS, in cooperation with NOAA, is producing detailed maps of the seafloor off southern New England. The current phase of this cooperative research program is directed toward analyzing how bathymetric relief relates to the distribution of sedimentary environments and benthic communities. As part of this program, digital terrain models (DTMs) from bathymetry collected as part of NOAA's hydrographic charting activities are converted into ESRI raster grids and imagery, verified with bottom sampling and photography, and used to produce interpretations of seabed geology and hydrodynamic processes. Although each of the 7 continuous-coverage, completed surveys individually provides important benthic environmental information, many applications require a geographically broader perspective. For example, the usefulness of individual surveys is limited for the planning and construction of cross-Sound infrastructure, such as cables and pipelines, or for the testing of regional circulation models. To address this need, we integrated the 7 contiguous multibeam bathymetric DTMs into one dataset that covers much of Block Island Sound. The new dataset is adjusted to mean lower low water, is provided in UTM Zone 19 NAD83 and geographic WGS84 projections, and is gridded to 4-m resolution. This resolution is adequate for seafloor-feature and process interpretation, but small enough to be queried and manipulated with standard GIS programs and to allow for future growth. Natural features visible in the grid include boulder lag deposits of submerged moraines, sand-wave fields, and scour depressions that reflect the strength of the oscillating tidal currents. Bedform asymmetry allows interpretations of net sediment transport. Together the merged data reveal a larger, more continuous perspective of bathymetric topography than previously available, providing a fundamental framework for research and resource management activities off this portion of the Rhode Island coast. Interpretations were derived from the multibeam echo-sounder data and the ground-truth data used to verify them. For more information on the ground-truth surveys see [More]
Originators U.S. Geological Survey; Poppe, Lawrence J.; Danforth, William W.; McMullen, Katherine Y.; Blankenship, M. A.; Wright, D. B.; Glomb, K. A.; and Smith, S. M.

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Thumbnail image showing the interpreted bottom features within NOAA surveys H12009, H12010, H12011, H12015, H12033, H12137, and H12139
Thumbnail image showing the interpreted bottom features within NOAA surveys H12009, H12010, H12011, H12015, H12033, H12137, and H12139