Acoustic backscatter intensity from multibeam echosounder data collected offshore of Morro Bay, California
This part of USGS Data Series 781 (Golden, 2019) presents 2-m-resolution acoustic backscatter data for the Offshore of Morro Bay, California, map area. Backscatter data were collected by Fugro Pelagos in 2008 using a combination of 400-kHz Reson 7125, 240-kHz Reson 8101, and 100-kHz Reson 8111 multibeam echosounder systems. The data were post-processed by the California State University Monterey Bay Seafloor Mapping Lab and the University of California Santa Cruz Center for Integrated Spatial Research. The acoustic backscatter data are available as a georeferenced TIFF image. Within the final imagery, brighter tones indicate higher backscatter intensity, and darker tones indicate lower backscatter intensity. The intensity represents a complex interaction between the acoustic pulse and the seafloor, as well as characteristics within the shallow subsurface, providing a general indication of seafloor texture and composition. Backscatter intensity depends on the acoustic source level; the frequency used to image the seafloor; the grazing angle; the composition and character of the seafloor, including grain size, water content, bulk density, and seafloor roughness; and some biological cover. Harder and rougher bottom types such as rocky outcrops or coarse sediment typically return stronger intensities (high backscatter, lighter tones), whereas softer bottom types such as fine sediment return weaker intensities (low backscatter, darker tones).
Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. Although this Federal Geographic Data Committee-compliant metadata file is intended to document the data set in nonproprietary form, as well as in Esri format, this metadata file may include some Esri-specific terminology.