Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Sediments and the sea floor of the continental shelves and coastal waters of the United States—About the usSEABED integrated sea-floor-characterization database, built with the dbSEABED processing system

May 21, 2020

Since the second half of the 20th century, there has been an increase in scientific interest, research effort, and information gathered on the geologic sedimentary character of the continental margins of the United States. Data and information from thousands of sources have increased our scientific understanding of the character of the margin surface, but rarely have those data been combined and integrated. Initially, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado Boulder, created the usSEABED database to provide surficial sea-floor-characterization data for USGS assessments of marine-based aggregates and for studies of sea-floor habitat. Since then, the USGS has continued to build up the database as a nationwide resource for many uses and applications.

Previously published data derived from the usSEABED database have been released as three USGS data series publications containing data covering the U.S. Atlantic margin, the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean regions, and the Pacific coast. An updated USGS data release unifies the three publications, incorporates additional data and sources including data from Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. overseas territories, and provides revised output files that fix known errors and add known or inferred sampling dates. This report accompanies the data release and contains information on the methodology and products of the usSEABED database.