U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 620
The Chirp system uses a signal of continuously varying frequency. The towfish is a sound source and receiver, which is typically towed 1 - 2 m below the sea surface. The acoustic energy is reflected at density boundaries (such as the seafloor or sediment layers beneath the seafloor), detected by a receiver, and recorded by a PC-based seismic acquisition system. This process is repeated at timed intervals (for example, 0.125 s) and recorded for specific intervals of time (for example, 50 ms). In this way, a two-dimensional vertical image of the shallow geologic structure beneath the ship track is produced.
The seismic source employed for Chirp data collection consisted of an EdgeTech SB-512i towfish running Triton Imaging SB Logger (FSSB) v. 1.6.500.9 acquisition software and towed about 16.5 m behind the GPS antenna. The frequency range was 0.5 - 6 kHz. Sample frequency of the data was 21 kHz, and record length was approximately 75 ms. Shot spacing was about 0.386 m.
For each recorded shot of the Chirp data, 3 channels of trace data are collected. Channel 2 is the "real," or in-phase component of the signal, channel 1 is the "imaginary," or quadrature component of the signal, and channel 0 is the "envelope," or product of channels 1 and 2. Only channel 0 was used to produce the profiles presented here. However, all channels are included in the SEG-Y data files.
All the processed SEG-Y data were then exported to CTI SonarWeb software to produce an interactive, geospatial version of each profile that allows the user to obtain a geographic location and depth for a cursor position on the profile. Refer to the Supplemental Information section above for details on how to use the interactive profiles.