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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Field Activity Details for field activity 1976-033-FA

Other ID: FAY 021

Status: Completed

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

Funding Program(s):

Principal Investigator(s): Kim D. Klitgord

Affiliate Investigator(s):

Information Specialist(s):

Data Type(s): Electro-Magnetic: Gravity, Location-Elevation: Navigation, Seismics: Air Gun / Water Gun, Seismics: Boomer, Seismics: Sparker, Sonar: Sidescan, Sonar: Single Beam

Scientific Purpose/Goals: Primary objectives were to look for geophysical evidence for the continuation of fracture zones from the Mesozoic sea-floor spreading anomalies into the continental margin, investigate the source of lineated magnetic anomalies in the Jurassic Quiet Zone, and obtain additional seismic data on the continental rise and slope.


Start Port/Location: Woods Hole, MA

End Port/Location: Woods Hole, MA

Start Date: 1976-08-28

End Date: 1976-09-07

Equipment Used: Air gun, Echosounder, Gravity meter (wh), Seismic Engineering streamer, Klein 400 sidescan sonar, Western Geophysical Integrated Navigation System

Information to be Derived: Morphology;

Summary of Activity and Data Gathered: FAY departed Woods Hole the afternoon of August 28, delayed 2.5 days awaiting a new crew. We steamed around the west end of Martha's Vineyard and deployed the airgun, magnetometer and minisparker at a point south of the channel between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Most tracks were run perpendicular to the continental margin for better coverage of the continental slope/rise area. At the end of Line 21-4, we pullled in the airgun and magnetometer and steamed along the edge of the continental shelf (Line 21-5) to the mouth of Wilmington Canyon. Dave Twichell conducted a 1-day sidescan sonar survey of the sand waves at the mouth of the canyon. The USGS ORE sidescan system worked remarkably well from the beginning. Unfortunately LORAN-C navigation was extremely bad and final navigation was based on bridge LORAN-A. After departing Wilmington Canyon, we headed into deep water for one final traverse parallel to the continental margin. At this point USGS-Woods Hole contacted us to conduct a sidescan survey on the edge of Georges Bank where the drill ship GLOMAR CONCEPTION had lost the on-floor drill assembly. The water depth was too deep for the sidescan cable and could get only 50 fathoms from the bottom; we could see nothing. It was very difficult to survey at slow speeds because of fast currents. We returned to Woods Hole with only the minisparker deployed and arrived about noon, Sep. 7, 1976. Gravity: 2885 km; Airgun: 2150 km; Magnetics: 2150 km; Minisparker: 2750 km; 3.5 kHz: 140 km; Sidescan sonar: 140 km.

Staff: Sandra Conley, David Egelson, Frank W. Jennings, Kim D. Klitgord, C. Wesley Lombard

Affiliate Staff:
Gerard McCarthy - mech. tech.
David Kinney - mech. tech.
Claire Reimers - nav. watch
Lin Morse - seismic watch
Chris Schoen - seismic watch
Nicholas Lefteriou - seisimic watch; Don Moller - Nav./Grav. Engineer
WHOI; Paul Bereznak - Western rep.; Hans Schouten - seismic watch
WHOI; Dave Twichell - Seismic watch

Notes: Original Center People field contained: Kim Klitgord - Ch. Sci., Frank Jennings - seismic engineer, Gerard McCarthy - mech. tech., David Kinney - mech. tech., Wes Lombard - mech. tech., David Egelson - nav. watch, Claire Reimers - nav. watch, Lin Morse - seismic watch, Chris Schoen - seismic watch, Sandra Conley - seismic watch, Nicholas Lefteriou - seisimic watch.


Mid-Atlantic Continental Margin, North Atlantic Continental Margin, United States, North America, North Atlantic;

North: 41.5 South: 36 West: -74 East: -67


photo of Fay


Chaytor, J.D., ten Brink, Uri S., Solow, Andrew R., and Andrews, Brian D., 2009, Size distribution of submarine landslides along the U.S. Atlantic margin: Marine Geology, v. 264 no. 1-2, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2008.08.007.

Geist, E.L., Lynett, Patrick J., and Chaytor, Jason D., 2009, Hydrodynamic modeling of tsunamis from the Currituck landslide: Marine Geology, v. 264 no. 1-2, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2008.09.005.

Klitgord, K.D., 1979, Availability of single channel seismic refraction profiles collected over U.S. Atlantic Continental Slope and Rise north of Cape Hatteras - USGS Cruises FAY 20 and FAY 21 - August/September, 1976: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 79-578, 4 p..

Paskevich, V.F., and Soderberg, Nancy K., 1997, Navigation and geophysical data collected onboard the R/V FAY from 1975-1976: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-512, CD-ROM, URL:

ten Brink, U.S., Barkan, R., Andrews, B.D., and Chaytor, J.D., 2009, Size distributions and failure initiation of submarine and subaerial landslides: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 287 no. 1-2, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2009.07.031.

Twichell, D.C., Chaytor, Jason D., ten Brink, Uri S., and Buczkowski, Brian, 2009, Morphology of late Quaternary submarine landslides along the U.S. Atlantic continental margin: Marine Geology, v. 264 no. 1-2, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2009.01.009.


Data Acquired

Survey EquipmentSurvey InfoData Type(s)Data Collected
Gravity meter (wh) --- Gravity
1976-033-FA-GP-001 ( Digital tape(s) of NV1-7, NV-FINAL, BT-FINAL, MG, MG-FINAL, NV-TRKCHTS, GR-FINAL, NV-INS-FINAL, GRAV, )
Seismic Engineering streamer --- Air Gun / Water Gun
1976-033-FA-SE-001-01 ( Electronic scans of some paper profiles.)
1976-033-FA-SE-003 ( analog tape of seismic data)
1976-033-FA-SE-001 ( Collection of paper profiles of seismic data (airgun, minisparker, 3.5kHz, and SSS) for lines 1-9 and A-S (see listing).)
1976-033-FA-SE-002 ( microfilm of REPLAYS ADDED FEB 79)
Air gun --- Air Gun / Water Gun
Western Geophysical Integrated Navigation System --- Navigation
1976-033-FA-LN-002-01 ( Navigation data)
1976-033-FA-LN-001-04 ( Trackline - Northern Area (pdf file) Trackline map for Aug. 28-29 and Sep. 1, 1976 with dates and hourly fixes.)
1976-033-FA-LN-001-07 ( Trackline - Southern Area (pdf file) Trackline map with hour and date marks every six hours, hourly tics: Inv. # TK00300.)
1976-033-FA-LN-001-01 ( Trackline Map for FAY 020 and 021 (pdf file) Composite trackline map for cruises FAY 020 and 021 with dates, hourly fixes, and line numbers.)
1976-033-FA-LN-001-02 ( Washington Canyon Survey (pdf file) Washington Canyon sidescan survey with fifteen minute fixes.)
1976-033-FA-LN-001-03 ( Trackline - Southern Area (pdf file) Trackline map for Aug. 30 - Sep. 1 and Sep. 3-5, 1976 with dates and hourly fixes.)
1976-033-FA-LN-001-05 ( Final Navigation Track Map (pdf file) Trackline map for Aug. 23-24, 1976 with dates and hourly fixes.)
Echosounder --- Single Beam
1976-033-FA-BA-001 ( Digital tape(s) of NV1-7, NV-FINAL, BT-FINAL, MG, MG-FINAL, NV-TRKCHTS, GR-FINAL, NV-INS-FINAL, GRAV, )
Klein 400 sidescan sonar --- Sidescan
1976-033-FA-SO-001 ( microfilm of REPLAYS ADDED FEB 79)

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