USGS scientists successfully acquire repeat geophysical data at Fire Island National Seashore

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The objective of the field effort was to remeasure seafloor elevations and sub-seafloor geology in areas that were surveyed in 2014 in order to quantify change in shoreface sediment availability and flux, some of the first data of its kind.

USGS personnel Jennifer Miselis (Research Geologist), BJ Reynolds (Engineering Technician), Nancy DeWitt (Geologist), Andy Farmer (CNT), Jake Fredericks (Hydrographic Technician), Mitch Lemon (Field Technician), Chelsea Stalk (CNT), Nesti Stathakopoulos (Oceanographer), and Hunter Wilcox (CNT) traveled to Fire Island National Seashore along the south shore of Long Island, New York, to conduct a geophysical survey in coordination with the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The objective of the field effort was to remeasure seafloor elevations and sub-seafloor geology in areas that were surveyed in 2014 in order to quantify change in shoreface sediment availability and flux, some of the first data of its kind. The bathymetry of Wilderness Breach, which has remained open since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, was also remapped to help better understand the post-storm morphological evolution of a natural inlet. Seafloor elevations were mapped using two personal watercraft (PWC) equipped with echosounders. Unlike the 2014 survey, when an amphibious vessel was used to map the shoreface geology, this survey was the first time SPCMSC researchers launched an Edgetech 512i from the beach using a wheeled sled and SPCMSC Research Vessel (R/V) Sallenger. The specialized sled was the result of a collaborative effort of the SPCMSC Marine Operations group and the survey could not have been completed without it. Over approximately 3 weeks and with incredible effort, the PWCs covered 715 km and the sled covered 330 km to successfully complete the field work.