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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Field Activity Details for field activity 1976-027-FA

Other ID: AMCOR 1976

Status: Completed

Organization(s): USGS, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Funding Program(s):

Principal Investigator(s): John S. Schlee, John C. Hathaway

Affiliate Investigator(s):

Information Specialist(s):

Data Type(s): Biological Field Study: Experiments, Sampling: Geology, Location-Elevation: Navigation

Scientific Purpose/Goals: The U.S. Geological Survey Atlantic Margin Coring Project, 1976, a 60-day expedition to obtain core samples by drilling beneath the floor of the Continental Shelf and Slope of the eastern United States, was carried out in July, August and September 1976. The purpose of the program was to obtain reliable data for appraisals of environmental conditions and offshore resources. Objectives included measuring geotechnical and engineering properties of the shelf sediments, defining freshwater aquifers offshore, collecting information on possible resources such as phosphates, sand and gravel deposits, and calibrating existing geophysical data. Additional information was sought on the regional extent of geologic units, the stratigraphic column, characteristics and ages of the sediments, variance of the geochemical baseline, and zones of slope stability or potential instability. The work was carried out aboard D/V GLOMAR CONCEPTION with the assistance of the M/V L'OLONNOIS in making seismic site surveys, anchoring the drilling vessel, and transporting supplies and equipment.


Start Port/Location: Port Arthur, TX

End Port/Location: offshore Atlantic City, NJ

Start Date: 1976-07-21

End Date: 1976-09-19

Equipment Used: Corer - slow, Well drilling, Loran-C

Information to be Derived: Morphology; Samples and chemical analysis; Grain size analysis;

Summary of Activity and Data Gathered: One major finding was the discovery of relatively fresh water (salinities < 3 ppt) extending beneath the Continental Shelf as much as 60 nautical miles seaward from New Jersey coast. Water of about 1 ppt salinity was found beneath the shelf more than 7 nautical miles off Ocean City, MD and Barnegat Inlet, NJ. Analyses for light hydrocarbons in cores show highest concentrations (as much as 412,000 ppm) at sites in water deeper than 200 meters (shelf-slope break) principally in Pleistocene sediments, although methane concentrations > 400,000 ppm were found in Miocene sediments at one site near shelf edge. July 28 ship visited by R/V GEORGE T. BAGBY, GA Dept. Nat. Res., Larry Hand, Larry D. Smith; Sam M. Pickering - GA Geol. Survey; journalists: Bill Mahan - Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Robert Lamb - Atlanta Constitution, Harry Franklin - Columbus Enquirer. Aug. 17 visit via helicoptor by Tracey, Edgar, Roseboom, Hazel - USGS-Reston. Sep. 14 visited via helicoptor by Robert Rowland, Bill Dize, photographer - USGS-Reston. Well Cores: 19 (well #6002, 6004, 6004B, 6005, 6005B, 6006, 6007, 6007B, 6008, 6009, 6009B, 6010, 6011, 6012, 6013, 6013B, 6014, 6015, 6016, 6016B, 6017, 6018, 6019, 6019B, 6020, 6021, 6021B, 6021C; 1020 m in 380 cores). Site 3 encountered resistant strata (no recovery). Attempt in Gulf Stream on Blake Plateau unsuccessful because 3 knot current shook drill string.

Staff: Michael Bothner, Lawrence Poppe, Page Valentine, John S. Schlee, John C. Behrendt, Frank T. Manheim, Harley J. Knebel, John C. Hathaway, Claude (Wylie) Poag, Barbara Tausey, Nancy Hardin, Raymond E. Hall, Francis A. Kohout, Robert E. Miller, Robert F. Commeau, Patricia Forrestel, Susan Barton, Janet Paquette

Affiliate Staff:
Paleontologist: Charles C. Smith; Sedimentologists: E.G.A. Weed
Penelope M. Hanshaw
Mario J. Carnavalle
Peter A. Scholle; Water Chemists: James M. Weigle
Robert Schoen; Organic Chemists: David M. Schultz
David D. Brandon; Core Tech.: John M. Dunley
Anna C. Sundberg
Paul W. Cousins
Martha H. Winsor
Randy J. Fabro; Secretaries: Katheryn M. Seitsinger
Sandra C. Merchant. Sedimentologists: William H. Abbott - South Carolina Div. Geology
Paul F. Huddlestun - Georgia Dept. Nat. Resources
John H. Talley - Delaware Geol. Survey
Paul B. Dahlgren - New Jersey Bureau Geo. and Topog.
William B. Rogers - New York Geol. Survey
Bruce W. Nelson - Maine Geol. Survey; Geotechnical Specialists: Adrian F. Richards
Richard M. Coad
Michael Perlow - Lehigh U.; Consulting Mech. Eng.:Daniel Purdy; Schlumberger: McKay

Notes: Original Center People field contained: Chief Scientists: John Hathaway, Jul. 16 - Aug. 13 and Sep. 1-19, 1976; John Schlee, Aug. 14-31, 1976. Paleontologists: C.Wylie Poag, Page C. Valentine, Charles C. Smith, Raymond E. Hall; Sedimentologists: E.G.A. Weed, Penelope M. Hanshaw, Nancy Hardin, Mario J. Carnavalle, Harley Knebel, Peter A. Scholle, John Behrendt; Water Chemists: Frank Manheim, Francis A. Kohout, James M. Weigle, Robert Schoen, Mike Bothner; Organic Chemists: David M. Schultz, David D. Brandon, Robert E. Miller; Chief Tech.: Robert F. Commeau; Core Tech.: Lawrence J. Poppe, Patricia L. Forrestel, John M. Dunley, Anna C. Sundberg, Paul W. Cousins, Martha H. Winsor, Barbara Tausey, Randy J. Fabro, Susan J. Purdy; Secretaries: Katheryn M. Seitsinger, Janet L. Gelinas, Sandra C. Merchant. All scientific party transferred by helicopter or attending vessel L'OLONNOIS (FA 76028) on July 21, Aug. 8-9 (Hurricane Belle), Aug. 12, 14, 21, 24, 29, 30, 31, Sep. 2, 13, 19, 1976.
Project = Atlantic Margin Coring Project (AMCOR), Atlantic Margin Coring Project (AMCOR)


U.S. Atlantic Continental Shelf and Slope, Southeast Georgia Embayment, South Carolina, North Carolina, Baltimore Canyon Trough, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Georges Bank, Maine, United States, North America, North Atlantic;

North: 42.2 South: 31.1 West: -80.55 East: -67.55


Glomar Conception


Abbott, W.H., 1980, Diatoms and stratigraphically significant silicoflagellates from the Atlantic Margin Coring Project and other Atlantic Margin sites: Micropaleontology, v. 26 no. 1, URL:

Buczkowski, B.J., and Kelsey, S.A., 2007, Archival policies and collections database for the Woods Hole Science Center's marine sediment samples: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1187, CD-ROM, URL:

Hathaway, J.C., Schlee, J.S., Poag, C.W., Valentine, P.C., Weed, E.G.A., Bothner, M.H., Kohout, F.A., Manheim, F.T., Schoen, R., Miller, R.E., and Schultz, D.M., 1976, Preliminary summary of the 1976 Atlantic Margin Coring Project of the U.S. Geological Survey: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76-844, 217 p., URL:

Hathaway, J.C., 1971, Data File: , Continental Margin Program, Atlantic Coast of the United States, Volume 2, Sample collection and analytical data. 491 p.

Mercado, L.G., 1981, Organic carbon, nitrogen, and calcium carbonate contents, chap. VII of Poppe, Lawrence J., ed., Data file; the 1976 Atlantic Margin Coring (AMCOR) Project of the U.S. Geological Survey: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 81-239, URL:

Popenoe, P., and Spalding, J.S., 1988, Isopach and structure contour maps of the Miocene and post-Miocene sediments in the southeast Georgia Embayment, Florida-Hatteras Shelf, offshore Georgia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 88-397, 12 p., URL:

Richards, A.F., 1977, Atlantic Margin Coring Project 1976 preliminary report on shipboard and some laboratory geotechnical data: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 78-123, 159 p..


Data Acquired

Survey EquipmentSurvey InfoData Type(s)Data Collected
Corer - slow --- Geology
Well drilling --- Geology
1976-027-FA-GP-001 ( Well logs)
1976-027-FA-SC-001 ( DRILL samples)
Loran-C --- Navigation

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