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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02–411

Multibeam Mapping of Selected Areas of the Outer Continental Shelf, Northwestern Gulf of Mexico—Data, Images, and GIS

By James V. Gardner,1 Jonathan D. Beaudoin,2 John E. Hughes Clarke,2 and Peter Dartnell3

1University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.

2University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick

2U.S. Geological Survey, Santa Cruz, Calif.


West Bright shaded relief 

Shaded relief bathymetry (color-coded by depth) of Rankin Banks 1 and 2, Northwestern Gulf of Mexico. The width of the image is about 11.6 km.


Following the publication of high-resolution (5-meter spatial resolution) multibeam echosounder (MBES) images of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary area of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico (Gardner et al., 1998), the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) and the Minerals Management Service (MMS) have been interested in additional MBES data in the area. A coalition of FGBNMS, MMS, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was formed to map additional areas of interest in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico (fig. 1) in 2002. FGBNMS chose the survey areas, and the USGS chose the MBES. MMS and FGBNMS funded the mapping, and the USGS organized the ship and multibeam systems through a cooperative agreement between the USGS and the University of New Brunswick. The objective of the cruise was to map 12 regions of interest to MMS and the FGBNMS, including Alderdice, Sonnier, Geyer, Bright, Rankin (1 and 2), Jakkula, McNeil, Bouma, McGrail, Rezak, and Sidner Banks.


Location map

Figure 1. Location map showing the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and the areas mapped in 1997 and 2002 using a high-resolution multibeam echosounder (MBES).

This report provides the multibeam bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data, images, FGDC-compliant metadata, and a geographic information system (GIS) project from the 2002 surveys. This report also provides the multibeam bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data, images, and metadata from the 1997 USGS survey of East and West Flower Garden Bank and Stetson Bank.

For more information, see the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico Multibeam Cruise Report, or visit our Pacific Seafloor Mapping website.



Gardner, J.V., Mayer, L.A., Hughes Clarke, J.E., and Kleiner, A., 1998, High-resolution multibeam bathymetry of East and West Flower Gardens and Stetson Banks, Gulf of Mexico: Gulf of Mexico Science, v. 16, p. 131–143.

Beaudoin, J.D., Gardner, J.V., and Hughes Clarke, J.E. 2002. Cruise Report; R.V. Ocean Surveyor Cruise O1–02–GM; bathymetry and acoustic backscatter of selected areas of the outer continental shelf, northwestern Gulf of Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-410 [URL].

FGDC Metadata

The multibeam bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data are available in this report in two formats; ASCII XYZ and ArcInfo GRID. FGDC metadata is provided for each format and is available in three different forms, FAQ (Frequently Anticipated Questions), HTML, and text.


ArcInfo GRID


These data not intended for navigational purposes.

Although these data have been used by the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, these data and information are provided with the understanding that they are not guaranteed to be usable, timely, accurate, or complete. Users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of these data and information before using them for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences. Conclusions drawn from, or actions undertaken on the basis of, such data and information are the sole responsibility of the user.

Neither the U.S. Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, contractors, or subcontractors, make any warranty, express or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any data, software, information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, nor represent that its use would not infringe on privately owned rights.


For additional information:
Contact Information, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Pacific Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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