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Open-File Report 02-006

Multibeam Mapping of the Pinnacles Region, Gulf of Mexico

By James V. Gardner, Peter Dartnell, and Kenneth J. Sulak

Alabama Aalps Reef, Northern Gulf of MexicoIntroduction

Recent USGS mapping shows an extensive deep (~100 m) reef tract occurs on the Mississippi-Alabama outer continental shelf (Figure 1). The tract, known as "The Pinnacles", is apparently part of a sequence of drowned reef complexes along the "40-fathom" shelf edge of the northern Gulf of Mexico (Ludwick and Walton, 1957). It is critical to determine the accurate geomorphology of these deep-reefs because of their importance as benthic habitats for fisheries. The Pinnacles have previously been mapped using a single-beam echo sounder (Ludwick and Walton,1957), sidescan sonar (Laswell et al., 1990), and the TAMU2 towed single-beam sidescan-sonar system (Anonymous, 1999). These existing studies do not provide the quality of geomorphic data necessary for reasonable habitat studies.

First posted January 9, 2002

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:

Gardner, James V., Dartnell, Peter, Sulak, Kenneth J., 2002, Multibeam Mapping of the Pinnacles Region, Gulf of Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-006,


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