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Measurements of Geologic Characteristics and Geophysical Properties of Sediments From the New England Mud Patch

July 3, 2022
The characterization of physical, geological, and geophysical properties of sediments within the New England Mud Patch (NEMP) was undertaken to provide a physical basis for acoustic inversions associated with the SeaBed Characterization EXperiment 2017 (SBCEX17). Using a suite of 89 sediment cores (piston/trigger, gravity [acoustic], and vibracore), a comprehensive database of laboratory-based sediment analyses, geophysical core logs, and the results of seismic reflection profiling, we formulate a three-layer lithostratigraphic model of the area within and immediately adjacent to the SBCEX17 focus area, referred to as the seabed experiment area (SEA). The uppermost lithostratigraphic unit, Unit 1, is relatively homogenous clayey- to sandy silt, with consistent downcore textural, mineralogical, and physical property attributes. Unit 2 is a variable-thickness transitional layer between Unit 1 and Unit 3, whose properties reflect a decrease in proximal erosion and transition to a lower energy depositional environment. Unit 3 is clean quartz sand containing abundant shells and shell fragments that was regionally deposited during Holocene sea-level rise. 210Pb and 14C radiocarbon geochronologies spanning the past 13 000 years are used to facilitate intercore comparison across the SEA. Analytical results and laboratory methods used in the derivation of those results are described in detail, serving as a reference for ongoing and future investigation of the SEA and entire NEMP. Although the derived lithostratigraphic model of the SEA is in good agreement with past evaluations of the regional sedimentology, comparisons of the lithostratigraphic and seismostratigraphic models highlight several significant incompatibilities that remain to be satisfactorily explained.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Measurements of Geologic Characteristics and Geophysical Properties of Sediments From the New England Mud Patch
DOI 10.1109/JOE.2021.3101013
Authors Jason Chaytor, Meagan Ballard, Brian J. Buczkowski, John A. Goff, Kevin M. Lee, Allen Reed, Allyson Anne Boggess
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title IEEE Journal of Ocean Engineering
Series Number
Index ID 70233401
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center