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Open-File Report 00-124

Acoustic Mapping of the Regional Seafloor Geology in and Around Hawaiian Ocean Dredged-Material Disposal Sites

By Michael E. Torresan and James V. Gardner

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During January and February 1998 the U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Team (USGS) conducted regional high-resolution multibeam mapping surveys of the area surrounding EPA-designated ocean disposal sites located offshore of the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii. The sites are all located within 5 nautical miles of shore on insular shelves or slopes. Regional maps were required of areas much larger than the disposal sites themselves to assess both the regional seafloor geology and the immediate vicinity of the disposal sites. The purpose of the disposal site surveys was to delimit the extent of disposal material by producing detailed bathymetric and backscatter maps of the seafloor with a ± 1 m spatial accuracy and <1% depth error. The advantage of using multibeam over conventional towed, single-beam sidescan sonar is that the multibeam data are accurately georeferenced for precise location of all imaged features. The multibeam produces a coregistered acoustic-backscatter map that is often required to locate individual disposal deposits. These data were collected by the USGS as part of its regional seafloor mapping and in support of ocean disposal site monitoring studies conducted in cooperation with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE).

First posted December 12, 2000

For additional information, contact:
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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Suggested citation:

Torresan, Michael E. and Gardner, James V., 2000, Acoustic Mapping of the Regional Seafloor Geology in and Around Hawaiian Ocean Dredged-Material Disposal Sites: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-124,




A-1-98-HW Survey Methods

Regional Maps

Study Areas


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