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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Field Activity Details for field activity 1981-032-FA

Other ID: AST 81-2

Status: Completed

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

Funding Program(s):

Principal Investigator(s): Sally Needell

Affiliate Investigator(s): Ralph Lewis - CT DEP, LISRC

Information Specialist(s):

Data Type(s): Location-Elevation: Navigation, Seismics: Boomer, Seismics: Sub Bottom Profiler, Sonar: Sidescan

Scientific Purpose/Goals: Define the geology and shallow structure of Block Island Sound and eastern Long Island Sound; determine the geologic framework and Quaternary development of Block Island Sound; identify and map potential geologic hazards; and complement a similar study in Rhode Island Sound.


Start Port/Location: Woods Hole, MA

End Port/Location: Woods Hole, MA

Start Date: 1981-09-10

End Date: 1981-09-18

Equipment Used: Single channel hydrophone, EG&G 234, Edo Western Sidescan and 2.5 kHz sub-bottom system, Loran-C

Information to be Derived: Sea floor map; Morphology;

Summary of Activity and Data Gathered: High-resolution seismic reflection profiling: 702 km; Sidescan sonar recording: 402 km.

Staff: Frank W. Jennings, Sally Needell

Affiliate Staff:
Ralph Lewis - geologist

Notes: Operational procedures: Seismic sound source/receiver position = 10 m astern; Seismic sound source/receiver separation = 10 m; Seismic recorder sweep rate = 0.25 s; Seismic sound source trigger interval = 0.5 s; Band pass filter setting = 400-4000 Hz; Sidescan sonar fish off starboard beam; Sidescan slant range varied 400, 200, 100 m each side of vessel; LORAN-C master transmitter in Seneca, NY (9960 Northeast chain); LORAN-C slave transmitters: W = Caribou, ME and Y = Carolina Beach, NC (9960 Northeast chain); Position logged at 5 min. intervals; Average ship speed = 5 kts. Original Center People field contained: Sally Wood Needell - Ch. Sci., Frank Jennings - ET.
Project = New England Coastal Geology, New England Coastal Geology


Block Island Sound, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Long Island Sound, United States, North America, North Atlantic;

North: 41.3 South: 40.9 West: -72.5 East: -71.5


photo of Asterias


Needell, S.W., and Lewis, Ralph S., 1982, High-resolution seismic-reflection profiles and sidescan-sonar records collected on Block Island Sound by U.S. Geological Survey, R/V ASTERIAS Cruise AST 81-2: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 82-322, 2 p..

Poppe, L.J., Paskevich, V.F., Lewis, R.S., and DiGiacomo-Cohen, M.L., 2002, Geological framework data from Long Island Sound, 1981-1990; a digital data release: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-002, DVD-ROM, URL:


Data Acquired

Survey EquipmentSurvey InfoData Type(s)Data Collected
EG&G 234 --- Boomer
Edo Western Sidescan and 2.5 kHz sub-bottom system --- Sub Bottom Profiler
1981-032-FA-SO-001 ( microfilm of )
Loran-C --- Navigation
1981-032-FA-LN-001 ( Navigation trackline plot for field activity 81032)
1981-032-FA-LN-002 ( Navigation data)
Single channel hydrophone --- Air Gun / Water Gun
Bubble Gun
Sub Bottom Profiler
1981-032-FA-SE-003 ( analog tape of seismic data)
1981-032-FA-SE-002 ( microfilm of )
1981-032-FA-SE-001-01 ( 31 scanned record sections in TIFF format.)

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