Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Exploring rippled scour depressions offshore Huntington Beach, CA

January 1, 2007

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists used 1999 multibeam data, and 2002 lidar data collected on the inner shelf off southern California to investigate a field of (<1 m) features, termed "Rippled Scour Depressions" (RSDs). RSDs are elongate, shore-normal, and bathymetrically depressed features; their morphology was determined from multibeam and lidar bathymetry. Wavelengths of ripples seen within RSDs and on the surrounding seafloor were calculated from photography and video collected in 2004 and related to sediment samples collected in the same year. The RSDs were divided into two areas: Region I RSDs contained large (∼80 cm wavelength), straight-crested ripples with coarse-grained lag, and decreased in area between 1999 and 2002; Region II RSDs were smaller, in shallower water, closer to shore, and contained shorter (∼30 cm wavelength) ripples, and increased in area from 1999–2002. The RSDs did not display marked alongshore asymmetry.