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Bathymetry and geomorphology of Shelikof Strait and the western Gulf of Alaska

September 21, 2019

We defined the bathymetry of Shelikof Strait and the western Gulf of Alaska (WGOA) from the edges of the land masses down to about 7000 m deep in the Aleutian Trench. This map was produced by combining soundings from historical National Ocean Service (NOS) smooth sheets (2.7 million soundings); shallow multibeam and LIDAR (light detection and ranging) data sets from the NOS and others (subsampled to 2.6 million soundings); and deep multibeam (subsampled to 3.3 million soundings), single-beam, and underway files from fisheries research cruises (9.1 million soundings). These legacy smooth sheet data, some over a century old, were the best descriptor of much of the shallower and inshore areas, but they are superseded by the newer multibeam and LIDAR, where available. Much of the offshore area is only mapped by non-hydrographic single-beam and underway files. We combined these disparate data sets by proofing them against their source files, where possible, in an attempt to preserve seafloor features for research purposes. We also attempted to minimize bathymetric data errors so that they would not create artificial seafloor features that might impact such analyses. The main result of the bathymetry compilation is that we observe abundant features related to glaciation of the shelf of Alaska during the Last Glacial Maximum including abundant end moraines, some medial moraines, glacial lineations, eskers, iceberg ploughmarks, and two types of pockmarks. We developed an integrated onshore–offshore geomorphic map of the region that includes glacial flow directions, moraines, and iceberg ploughmarks to better define the form and flow of former ice masses.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Bathymetry and geomorphology of Shelikof Strait and the western Gulf of Alaska
DOI 10.3390/geosciences9100409
Authors Mark Zimmermann, Megan M. Prescott, Peter J. Haeussler
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geosciences
Index ID 70217590
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center Geology Minerals