This report is a summary of the second year of marine environmental research activities by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on the southeaster U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin, in accordance with with Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) AA551-MU8-13 between the USGS and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The report covers studies whose fieldwork was conducted during the period from 1 October 1977 to 30 September 1978. The results of the first year of study are reported in Popenoe (1978a and b) and as U.S. Department of Commerce NTIS report PB 300-820.
The purpose of these investigations is to provide basic geologic and oceanographic data to the BLM Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Marine Environmental Studies Program in support of management decisions which relate to possible development of oil and gas resources of the continental shelf. The objectives of the USGS-BLM geologic research program for fiscal year 1978 (FY-78) were 1) to determine the sedimentation rates and processes on the upper slope and inner Blake Plateau; 2) to determine the distribution, areal extent, and vertical characteristics of geological features supportive of biological communities; 3) to monitor the transport of bottom sediment across the OCS, evaluate its possible effect on pollutant transfer along the seabed and the potential of sediment as a pollutant sink, determine the implications of erosion/deposition on pipeline emplacement, and aid the interpretation of chemical, biological, and physical data; 4) to determine the concentration levels of chosen trace metals and silica in three chemically defined fractions of the suspended particulate matter (seston); 5) to study the shelf edge and slope near areas of oil and gas interest, and the northern portion of the Blake Plateau for evidence of slope instability and other geologic hazards, and 6) to determine the depth and rate of sediment mixing caused by large storms and/or by benthic organisms and where possible to estimate the rate of active sediment accumulation.
Environmental geologic studies on the southeastern United States Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, 1977-1978