Continental Margin Mapping Program (CONMAP) sediments grainsize distribution for the United States East Coast Continental Margin (CONMAPSG)

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Description Sediments off the eastern United States vary markedly in texture - the size, shape, and arrangement of their grains. However, for descriptive purposes, it is typically most useful to classify these sediments according to their grain-size distributions. Starting in 1962, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) began a joint program to study the marine geology of the continental margin off the Atlantic coast of the United States. As part of this program and numerous subsequent projects, thousands of sediment samples were collected and analyzed for particle size. The sediment map of the Continental Margin Mapping Program (CONMAP) series is a compilation of grain-size data produced in the sedimentation laboratory of the Woods Hole Science Center (WHSC) of the Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and from both published and unpublished studies. Sediment was classified using the Wentworth (1929) grain-size scale and the Shepard (1954) scheme of sediment classification. Certain grain-size categories are combined because of the paucity of some sediment textures; blank parts of the maps indicate areas where data are insufficient to infer sediment type. Bathymetry is used as a guide in placing some of the contacts between different sediment types. However, because the true boundaries between sediment types are probably highly irregular or gradational, because the extreme textural variability that characterizes some areas does not appear at this scale, and because the accuracy of the navigational systems used during the earlier studies is limited, all contacts should be considered to be inferred. The sediment classification for any given polygon (i.e. area) reflects the dominant surficial sediment type for that polygon. It does not mean that other sediment types are not present within the polygon, only that the dominant sediment type is the one that is most common. [More]
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