USGS Cruise SEAX95007 Sidescan Sonar Data Files

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Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Title: USGS Cruise SEAX95007 Sidescan Sonar Data Files
This CD-ROM contains digital high resolution sidescan-sonar data collected during USGS cruise SEAX95007 aboard the R/V Seaward Explorer. The coverage lies within the New York Bight Apex, offshore of the Long Island and New Jersey coasts. This CD-ROM (Compact Disc-Read Only Memory) has been produced in accordance with the ISO 9660 CD-ROM Standard and is therefore capable of being read on any computing platform that has appropriate CD-ROM driver software installed. Access to the data and information contained on this CD-ROM was developed using the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) utilized by the World Wide Web (WWW) project. Development of the CD-ROM documentation and user interface in HTML allows a user to access the information by using a variety of WWW information browsers (i.e. NCSA Mosaic, Netscape) to facilitate browsing and locating information and data. To access the information contained on this disk with a WWW client browser, open the file 'index.htm' at the top level directory of this CD-ROM with your selected browser. The HTML documentation is written utilizing some HTML 3.0 enhancements. The disk should be viewable by all WWW browsers but may not properly format on some older WWW browsers. Also, some links to USGS collaborators are available on this CD-ROM. These links are only accessible if access to the Internet is available during browsing of the CD-ROM. Software is available on this CD-ROM for viewing and processing the individual swaths using computer systems running the UNIX operating system.
For more information on the field activity associated with these data, see
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    U.S. Geological Survey, 1999, USGS Cruise SEAX95007 Sidescan Sonar Data Files: Open-File Report 99-356, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, Woods Hole, MA.

    Online Links:

    This is part of the following larger work.

    Denny, J.F., and Schwab, W.C., 1999, Archive of sidescan-sonar and DGPS navigation data collected during USGS Cruise SEAX95007, 8 May-24 May, 1995: Open-File Report 99-356, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

    Suggested citation: Denny, J.F., and Schwab, W.C., 1999, Archive of sidescan-sonar and DGPS navigation data collected during USGS Cruise SEAX95007, 8 May-24 May, 1995: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-356,
  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -75
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -73
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 41
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 40
  3. What does it look like?
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Beginning_Date: 08-May-1995
    Beginning_Time: 1623
    Ending_Date: 24-May-1995
    Ending_Time: 0255
    ground condition
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: remote-sensing data archive
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983.
      The ellipsoid used is Geodetic Reference System 80.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222101.
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    The data were collected using a Datasonics SIS-1000 sidescan-sonar towfish. The system emits a CHIRP (swept FM) signal from 100-113 kHz. The return signal is correlated with the calibrated outgoing signal and matched filtered to extract the signal amplitude for each data sample. The signal is digitized at the towfish and sent up the cable where it is collected and merged with bathymetry, navigation and towfish telemetry (pitch, roll) using Triton Technologies Inc. ISIS system. The collected sidescan-sonar data are stored as 16 bit values representing a 0-10 volt range.
    Entity_and_Attribute_Detail_Citation: None

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • U.S. Geological Survey
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    USGS, Woods Hole Field Center
    Attn: William Schwab
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    (508)-548-8700 (voice)
    (508)-457-2310 (FAX)

Why was the data set created?

In 1995, the USGS, in cooperation with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE), New York District, began a program to generate reconnaissance maps of the sea floor offshore of the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area, one of the most populated coastal regions of the United States. The goal of this mapping program is to provide a regional synthesis of the sea-floor environment, including a description of sedimentary environments, sediment texture, sea-floor morphology, and geologic history to aid in understanding the impacts of anthropogenic activities, such as ocean dumping. This mapping effort differs from previous studies of this area by obtaining digital sidescan-sonar images that cover 100 percent of the sea floor.
This investigation was motivated by the need to develop an environmentally acceptable solution for the disposal of dredged material from the New York - New Jersey Port, by the need to identify potential sources of sand for renourishment of the southern shore of Long Island, and by the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the transport and long-term fate of contaminants by investigations of the present distribution of materials discharged into the New York Bight over the last 100+ years. The sidescan-sonar data were digitally mosaicked to provide a base suitable for use in Geographic Information Systems of the New York Bight Apex region (Schwab, W.C., Corso, W., Allison, M.A., Butman, B., Denny, J.F., Lotto, L., Danforth, W.W., Foster, D.S., O'Brien, T.F., Nichols, D.A., Irwin, B.J., and Parolski, K.F., 1997, Mapping the Sea Floor Geology Offshore of the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan Area Using Sidescan-Sonar: Preliminary Report:U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-61, 3 Sheets).

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: 1995 (process 1 of 2)
    No processing steps or corrections have been applied to these data. The files contain "raw" field data. Data files were collected using a range of 187.5 meters/side; 375 meter swath. All times are recorded in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Data sources produced in this process:
    • None
    Date: 24-Sep-2021 (process 2 of 2)
    The metadata from the Open-File report was edited to remove errors as well as update some information. Edits include updating the citation section with the OFR information, added supplemental information with link to the field activity page on CMGDS, added the USGS Thesaurus and ISO 19115 Topic Category thesaurus, added keywords section with USGS persistent identifier as theme keyword, removed browse graphic section – since there isn’t one included in the report (information was pointing users to an obsolete system), removed empty source information in the lineage section, filled out the blank field for the NAD83 horizontal coordinate system, used a generic email address in metadata, updated digital transfer information, replaced distribution liability with FSP statement, the first process step was updated to includes some basic information about the data files. Other blank fields were deleted. The metadata date (19990505), but not the contact (except email) was updated. The metadata available from a harvester may supersede metadata available from the publication. These edits were performed on 20210816. The originator was modified from Sea-Floor Mapping Project, USGS, Woods Hole Field Center, 384 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1598 to U.S. Geological Survey. The metadata contact organization was also modified to U.S. Geological Survey (20210924). Compare the metadata dates to determine which metadata file is most recent. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    The ship was navigated with differential GPS
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
    The vertical position was local sea level and there was no correction to a datum or tides.
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: USGS access only until published.
None. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Field Center asks to be credited in derived products.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    USGS, Woods Hole Field Center
    Attn: William Schwab
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    (508) 457-2299 (voice)
    (508) 457-2310 (FAX)
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? U.S. Geological Survey Internal CD-ROM Data Archive
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data for other purposes, nor on all computer systems, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.
  4. How can I download or order the data?
    • Availability in digital form:
      Data format: ISIS DAT files
      Network links:
      Media you can order: CD-ROM (format ISO 9660)
    • Cost to order the data: Contact USGS for more information.

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 24-Sep-2021
Metadata author:
U.S. Geological Survey
Attn: Chris Polloni
384 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA

(508) 457-2280 (voice)
The metadata contact email address is a generic address to replace that of who is no longer with the USGS.
Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (June 8, 1994)

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