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Channel Islands

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Minerals Management Service (MMS) collected multibeam bathymetry and co-registered acoustic backscatter in the eastern Santa Barbara Channel and northeastern Channel Islands region from August 8 to 15, 2004 aboard R/V Maurice Ewing. The survey was directed and funded by the Minerals Management Service, which is interested in maps of hardbottom habitats, particularly natural outcrops, that support reef communities in areas affected by oil and gas activity. The maps are also useful to biologists studying fish that use the platforms and the sea floor beneath them as habitat.

The survey collected bathymetry and corrected, co-registered acoustic backscatter using a Kongsberg Simrad EM1002 multibeam echosounder that was mounted on the hull of the R/V Maurice Ewing. Three main regions were mapped during the survey including:

  1. the Eastern Santa Barbara Channel adjacent to an area previously mapped with multibeam-sonar by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI),
  2. the Footprint area south of Anacapa Island, which has been studied extensively by rockfish biologists and is considered a good site for a marine protected area, and
  3. part of the submarine canyons along the continental slope south of Port Hueneme.

These data will be used to support a number of new and ongoing projects including, habitat mapping, shelf and slope processes, and offshore hazards and resouces. For more information on the mapping mission see
"Mapping Benthic Habitat Around Oil Platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel, California".

Channel Islands website maps' metadata.

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