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Seabed maps showing topography, ruggedness, backscatter intensity, sediment mobility, and the distribution of geologic substrates in Quadrangle 6 of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Region offshore of Boston, Massachusetts

November 10, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Sanctuary Program, has conducted seabed mapping and related research in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) region since 1993. The area is approximately 3,700 square kilometers (km2) and is subdivided into 18 quadrangles. Seven maps, at a scale of 1:25,000, of quadrangle 6 (211 km2) depict seabed topography, backscatter, ruggedness, geology, substrate mobility, mud content, and areas dominated by fine-grained or coarse-grained sand. Interpretations of bathymetric and seabed backscatter imagery, photographs, video, and grain-size analyses were used to create the geology-based maps. In all, data from 420 stations were analyzed, including sediment samples from 325 locations. The seabed geology map shows the distribution of 10 substrate types ranging from boulder ridges to immobile, muddy sand to mobile, rippled sand. Mapped substrate types are defined on the basis of sediment grain-size composition, surface morphology, sediment layering, the mobility or immobility of substrate surfaces, and water depth range. This map series is intended to portray the major geological elements (substrates, topographic features, processes) of environments within quadrangle 6. Additionally, these maps will be the basis for the study of the ecological requirements of invertebrate and vertebrate species that utilize these substrates and guide seabed management in the region.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title Seabed maps showing topography, ruggedness, backscatter intensity, sediment mobility, and the distribution of geologic substrates in Quadrangle 6 of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Region offshore of Boston, Massachusetts
DOI 10.3133/sim3341
Authors Page C. Valentine, Leslie B. Gallea
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 3341
Index ID sim3341
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

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