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High-resolution geophysical data collected aboard the U.S. Geological Survey research vessel Rafael to supplement existing datasets from Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound, Massachusetts

March 28, 2014

Geophysical and geospatial data were collected in Buzzards Bay, in the shallow-water areas of Vineyard Sound, and in the nearshore areas off the eastern Elizabeth Islands and northern coast of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on the U.S. Geological Survey research vessel Rafael between 2007 and 2011, in a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. This report describes results of this collaborative effort, which include mapping the geology of the inner shelf zone of the Elizabeth Islands and the sand shoals of Vineyard Sound and studying geologic processes that contribute to the evolution of this area. Data collected during these surveys include: bathymetry, acoustic backscatter, seismic-reflection profiles, sound velocity profiles, and navigation. The long-term goals of this project are (1) to provide high-resolution geophysical data that will support research on the influence of sea-level change and sediment supply on coastal evolution and (2) to inventory subtidal marine habitats and their distribution within the coastal zone of Massachusetts.