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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Field Activity Details for field activity 1990-002-FA

Other ID: W2-90

Status: Completed

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

Funding Program(s):

Principal Investigator(s): Michael Bothner

Affiliate Investigator(s):

Information Specialist(s):

Data Type(s): Imagery: Video, Location-Elevation: Navigation, Sampling: Geology, Time Series: Mooring (physical oceanography), Visual Identification: Submersible Observations

Scientific Purpose/Goals: The objective of the program is to make long-term measurements of currents and sediment transport in the vicinity of the proposed ocean outfall in Massachusetts Bay. The purpose of this cruise was to recover and redeploy the instrumented moorings. Samples of bottom sediments are collected on each cruise required to service the instruments. This was the second in a series of six cruises during the 2 year period of the present Joint Funding Agreement between the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and the USGS.


Start Port/Location: Boston Coast Guard Base, Boston, MA

End Port/Location: Boston Coast Guard Base, Boston, MA

Start Date: 1990-03-27

End Date: 1990-03-29

Equipment Used: Bottom platform, Corer - piston, Grab sampler - Van Veen , Mooring tripod, Video camera - deep sea, Northstar 6000 LORAN-C, Sextant, Submersible Observation

Information to be Derived: Time series data; Samples and chemical analysis; Suspended sediment concentrations;

Summary of Activity and Data Gathered: This cruise was extended to 3 days in order to recover the tripod which would not release its float on command. Using careful acoustic ranging and highly accurate triangulation, the position of the instrument was pinpointed. On the second day of the cruise (Mar. 28), divers from WHOI were placed within 50 ft. of the instrument and attached a retrieval line. All our equipment was recovered without damage. The divers reported that the recovery rope canister was detached from the tripod. A piece of fishing net remained on the tripod suggesting how the rope canister might have been damaged. Moorings deployed: 2 (#340 and 341, recovered FA 90016 WHITE HEATH July 10-11, 1990). Moorings recovered: 2 (#338 and 339, deployed FA 89035 WHITE HEATH Dec. 5-6, 1989).

Staff: Dann Blackwood, Michael Bothner, Adam Brown, Bradford Butman, Carol M. Parmenter, Richard Rendigs, William J. Strahle

Affiliate Staff:
Barbanti - mooring work
sampling; Wayne Spencer (WHOI) - tripod recovery diver; Lary Ball (WHOI) - tripod recovery diver

Notes: Original Center People field contained: Barbanti - mooring work, sampling; Dann Blackwood - mooring work, sampling; Mike Bothner - mooring work, sampling; Brad Butman - mooring work; Richard Rendigs - mooring work, sampling; William Strahle - mooring work; Adam Brown - sampling; Carol Parmenter - sampling.
Project = Circulation, Pollutant Transport - MA Coastal Water, Circulation, Pollutant Transport - MA Coastal Water


Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts, United States, North America, North Atlantic,

North: 42.43 South: 42.35 West: -70.85 East: -70.75


photo of White Heath
White Heath


Bothner, M.H., Butman, B., Alexander, P.S., Baldwin, S.M., Blackwood, D.S., Borden, J., Casso, M.A., Crusius, J., Goudreau, J., Kalnejais, L.H., Lamothe, P.J., Martin, W.R., Martini, M.A., Rendigs, R.R., Sayles, F.L., Signell, R.P., Valentine, P.C., and Warner, J.C., 2007, Processes influencing the transport and fate of contaminated sediments in the coastal ocean - Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1302, 89 p., URL:

Butman, B., Bothner, M.H., Alexander, P.S., Lightsom, F.L., Martini, M.A., Gutierrez, B.T., and Strahle, W.S., 2004, Long-term oceanographic observations in western Massachusetts Bay offshore of Boston, Massachusetts; data report for 1989-2002: U.S. Geological Survey Digital Data Series DDS-74, Version 2.0, DVD-ROM, URL:

Butman, B., Dalyander, P.S., Bothner, M.H., and Lang, W.N., 2008, Time-series photographs of the sea floor in western Massachusetts Bay, Version 2, 1989 - 1996: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 265, Version 2.0, DVD-ROM, URL:

Warner, J.C., Butman, B., and Dalyander, P. S., 2008, Storm-driven sediment transport in Massachusetts Bay: Continental Shelf Research, v. 28 no. 2, doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2007.08.008.

Warner, J.C., Sherwood, Christopher R., Signell, Richard P., Harris, Courtney K., and Arango, Hernan G., 2008, Development of a three-dimensional, regional, coupled wave, current, and sediment-transport model: Computers and Geosciences, v. 34 no. 10, doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2008.02.012.


Data Acquired

Survey EquipmentSurvey InfoData Type(s)Data Collected
Video camera - deep sea --- Video
Mooring tripod --- Ground Truthing
Grab sampler - Van Veen --- Geology
Corer - piston --- Geology
1990-002-FA-SC-001 ( CORE samples)
Sextant --- Navigation
Northstar 6000 LORAN-C --- Navigation
Bottom platform --- Mooring (physical oceanography)
1990-002-FA-OM-001 ( Western Mass Bay mooring data)
Submersible Observation --- Submersible Observations
1990-002-FA-NL-001 ( Audio tape tape for sub dive )

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