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Discovery of 100-160-year-old iceberg gouges and their relation to halibut habitat in Glacier Bay, Alaska

January 1, 2005

Side-scan sonar and multibeam imagery of Glacier Bay, Alaska, revealed complex iceberg gouge patterns at water depths to 135 m on the floor of Whidbey Passage and south to the bay entrance. These previously undiscovered gouges likely formed more than 100 years ago as the glacier retreated rapidly up Glacier Bay. Gouged areas free of fine sediment supported greater biodiversity of Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepsis than nearby sediment-filled gouges, probably due to increased habitat complexity. Small Pacific halibut were forund more frequently in sediment-free gouged areas, presumably due to higher prey abundance. In contrast, large Pacific halibut were found more frequently on soft substrates such as sediment-filled gouges, where they could bury themselves and ambush prey.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2005
Title Discovery of 100-160-year-old iceberg gouges and their relation to halibut habitat in Glacier Bay, Alaska
Authors P. R. Carlson, P.N. Hooge, G.R. Cochrane
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title American Fisheries Society Symposium
Index ID 1012930
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center