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In a significant stride towards fostering scientific exploration and understanding of the ocean floor and below, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have collaborated to expand data access on the National Archive of Marine Seismic Surveys (NAMSS) portal.

The NAMSS portal is a web platform that grants unrestricted public access to an extensive collection of offshore 2D and 3D seismic data within the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). A map-searchable web interface, the NAMSS portal provides access to more than 1,100 marine seismic data sets, along with associated navigation and shapefiles. This trove of data facilitates in-depth exploration and analysis of the complex geological processes beneath the ocean's surface.

Seismic data are instrumental in scientific investigations of the seafloor, particularly in the study of offshore marine geohazards. Researchers can access detailed information about fault systems, submarine landslides, and other geological phenomena that shape the underwater landscape. 

The NAMSS portal also provides data on the size and extent of seafloor gas hydrates within the U.S. EEZ, which are of particular interest due to their potential impact on climate change and as a potential energy resource.  

By making these datasets freely available, the USGS and BOEM aim to foster collaboration and innovation in seafloor studies. The ability to continually conduct seismic reflection-based research along the U.S. EEZ is crucial for monitoring changes, assessing potential hazards, and developing sustainable management practices.

Read a news story about the NAMSS portal in AGU Perspectives of Earth and Space Scientists.

Example of National Archive of Marine Seismic Surveys search result
Map search display filtered to show recently added three-dimensional (3D) surveys, acquired between 1996 and 1998 within the Gulf of Mexico. These surveys were permitted over 25 years ago and are therefore eligible for public release. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management protraction areas are labeled.

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