Mapping Shipping Hazards in San Francisco Bay

Science Center Objects

Information about the 1997-1998 study by USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, to map the floor of San Francisco Bay in order to reveal the bay's shipping hazards.

Poster with illustrations of the underwater part of a bay, with text about the work done in the area.

Mapping Shipping Hazards in San Francisco Bay, 1997-1998

The USGS mapped western San Francisco Bay using sonar, in cooperation with NOAA and C&C Technologies. Some parts of the Bay floor are so shallow that a large tanker or container ship could run aground at low tide and create a massive oil spill. The maps show how the rock pinnacles could be lowered and the material deposited in holes in the Bay floor. Ships could navigate freely in the Bay, even at low tide, without having to avoid these areas. The maps will be used to help determine the environmental, economic, and social impact of lowering the rock pinnacles.