Map the sea floor and shallow stratigraphy of Apalachicola Bay using sidescan sonar, bathymetry and high-resolution seismic to determine the controls on the distribution of oyster beds.
St. George Sound, eastern Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Apalachicola Bay, Florida, United States, Gulf of Mexico, North America, North Atlantic;
This first year of a two-year program to map the floor of Apalachicola Bay focused on the eastern part of the Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve known as St. George Sound. Weather had a major impact on the amount of data collected during this field program. Because of the shallow depth of the bay (average depth 3 m), the sidescan sonar had to be towed close to the sea surface. When the wind exceeded approximately 15 kts the surface noise degraded the sidescan sonar imagery below an acceptable quality. The only areas not mapped were the crests of the oyster bars where water was less than 2 m deep, and a narrow band in the central part of the bay that could not be completed due to weather conditions. Sidescan sonar imagery, Submetrix bathymetry, and chirp sub-bottom profiles were collected simultaneously and were navigated using RTK DGPS. Tracklines were spaced 75-100 m apart and allowed complete sidescan sonar coverage, while the line spacing was such that, in these water depths, the interferometric bathymetry imaged 30-50% of the sea floor. Some parts of the floor of the bay were covered by muddy gas-charged sediment, and in these areas the sub-bottom penetration was minimal.
Original Center People field contained: Boat operator: Barry Irwin; Technicians: Chuck Worley, Emile Bergeron; Data processors: William Danforth, Brian Andrews; Transport: Barry Irwin, Dave Nichols.
Project = Geologic/habitat mapping in Apalachicola Bay, FL, Geologic/habitat mapping in Apalachicola Bay, FL
Data interpretation and ground truth operations: Linda Rowe, NOAA Coastal Services Center; Assist with operations and participate in ground truth studies: Director, Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Reserve
Data types and categories
Imagery, Location-Elevation, Seismics, Sonar
Photo, Navigation, Sub Bottom Profiler, Sidescan, Interferometric