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Mapping nuclear craters on Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands

January 1, 1986

In 1984, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a detailed geologic analysis of two nuclear test craters at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, on behalf of the Defense Nuclear Agency. A multidisciplinary task force mapped the morphology, surface character, and subsurface structure of two craters, OAK and KOA. The field mapping techniques include echo sounding, sidescan sonar imaging, single-channel and multichannel seismic reflection profiling, a seismic refraction survey, and scuba and submersible operations. All operations had to be navigated precisely and correlatable with subsequent drilling and sampling operations.

 Mapping with a high degree of precision at scales as large as 1:1500 required corrections that often are not considered in marine mapping. Corrections were applied to the bathymetric data for location of the echo- sounding transducer relative to the navigation transponder on the ship and for transducer depth, speed of sound, and tidal variations. Sidescan sonar, single-channel seismic reflection, and scuba and submersible data were correlated in depth and map position with the bathymetric data to provide a precise, internally consistent data set. The multichannel and refraction surveys were conducted independently but compared well with bathymetry. Examples drawn from processing the bathymetric, sidescan sonar, and single- channel reflection data help illustrate problems and procedures in precision mapping.

Publication Year 1986
Title Mapping nuclear craters on Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands
DOI 10.1007/978-94-009-3885-4_22
Authors John C., Jr. Hampson
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70137315
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coastal and Marine Geology Program; Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center