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Marine geophysical data collected in a shallow back-barrier estuary, Barnegat Bay, New Jersey

June 26, 2015

In 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, began a multidisciplinary research project to better understand the water quality in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. This back-barrier estuary is experiencing degraded water quality, algal blooms, loss of seagrass, and increases in oxygen stress, macroalgae, stinging nettles, and brown tide. The spatial scale of the estuary and the scope of challenges within it necessitate a multidisciplinary approach that includes establishing the regional geology and the estuary’s physical characteristics and modeling how the estuary’s morphology interacts to affect its water quality. This report presents the data collected during this project for use in understanding the morphology and the distribution of sea-floor and sub-sea-floor sediments within Barnegat Bay, describes the methods used to collect and process those data, and includes links to the final processed datasets. These data can be used by scientists to understand the links between geomorphology, geologic framework, sediment transport, and estuarine water quality and circulation.