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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Field Activity Details for field activity 1978-023-FA

Other ID: CI 7-78-1

Status: Completed

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

Funding Program(s):

Principal Investigator(s): James M. Robb

Affiliate Investigator(s):

Information Specialist(s):

Data Type(s): Location-Elevation: Navigation, Seismics: Air Gun / Water Gun, Seismics: Sparker, Seismics: Sub Bottom Profiler, Sonar: Sidescan

Scientific Purpose/Goals: Study slumping or mass movements of sediments on the continental slope using high-resolution geophysical profiling gear.


Start Port/Location: Miami, FL

End Port/Location: Woods Hole, MA

Start Date: 1978-08-18

End Date: 1978-09-04

Equipment Used: 3.5 kHz, Air gun, Single channel hydrophone, Teledyne single-channel 300-500J 40-tip minisparker, Northstar 6000 LORAN-C, ORE sidescan

Information to be Derived: Sea floor map; Morphology;

Summary of Activity and Data Gathered: Slumping and mass downslope sediment movement occurs widely over the continental slope at small scale (small thickness, small displacement) as well as large scale. Individual slump features, although readily identifiable as large masses on individual seismic profiles, may have small lateral extent or may change considerably in their form and location on the slope within the 0.5 nautical mile spacing of our profiles. Continental slope topography cannot be described by dip (offshelf) profiles. Strike (longslope) lines show much rougher topography on the upper continental slope than a series of dip lines would imply. Rough and smooth upper slope topography give the same appearance on dip lines. Sidescan sonar data may show a grain of small (several meter) features paralleling the continental slope. Airgun: 2050 km; Minisparker: 2100 km; 3.5 kHz: 2100 km; Sidescan: 22 km.

Staff: Alan Goodman, John C., Jr. Hampson, Jack Kirby, Valerie Paskevich, James M. Robb, Phil Shea, David Twichell

Affiliate Staff:
Peter Stinger
Patricia Brady
Timothy Bishop
Gerard McCarthy
Nicholas Lefteriou; David Mason - WHOI

Notes: Original Center People field contained: Jim Robb - Ch. Sci., Dave Twichell, John Hampson, Peter Stinger, Valerie Paskevich, Patricia Brady, Timothy Bishop, Phillip Shea, Gerard McCarthy, Nicholas Lefteriou, Alan Goodman, John Kirby.
Project = Mid-Atlantic OCS Environmental Assessment, Mid-Atlantic OCS Environmental Assessment


Mid-Atlantic outer continental shelf and slope, United States, North America, North Atlantic;

North: 40 South: 37.75 West: -74 East: -72


photo of Columbus Iselin
Columbus Iselin


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.

Robb, J.M., 1980, High-resolution seismic-reflection profiles collected by the R/V COLUMBUS ISELIN, Cruise CI 7807-1, in the Baltimore Canyon Outer Continental Shelf area, offshore New Jersey: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 80-935, 3 p..

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
Air gun --- Air Gun / Water Gun
Teledyne single-channel 300-500J 40-tip minisparker --- Sparker
3.5 kHz --- Sub Bottom Profiler
1978-023-FA-BA-001 ( Digital tape(s) of NV,BT-LAT/LON, NV-FINAL, NV-TRKCHTS, )
1978-023-FA-SE-004 ( Collection of paper 3.5 kHz high-resolution seismic-reflection profiles fan-folded in folders #FD0854-FD0862.)
ORE sidescan --- Sidescan
1978-023-FA-SO-001 ( Collection of paper sidescan-sonar records #FD0853, collected Sept 2-3, 1978.)
Northstar 6000 LORAN-C --- Navigation
1978-023-FA-LN-002-01 ( Navigation data recovered from 9 track tape)
1978-023-FA-LN-001-01 ( Hand drawn track map with times and line numbers.)
Single channel hydrophone --- Air Gun / Water Gun
Bubble Gun
Sub Bottom Profiler
1978-023-FA-SE-003 ( Collection of paper airgun single-channel seismic-reflection profiles fan-folded in folders numbered FD#0845-FD0852.)
1978-023-FA-SE-002 ( Collection of paper displays of minisparker high-resolution seismic-reflection records fan-folded in folders #FD0822-FD0844.)
1978-023-FA-SE-001 ( analog tape of seismic data)

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