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Open-File Report 03-088

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ARCHIVE OF BOOMER AND CHIRP
SEISMIC REFLECTION DATA COLLECTED
DURING USGS CRUISE 01RCE02,
SOUTHERN LOUISIANA, APRIL AND MAY 2001

by Karynna Calderon, Shawn V. Dadisman, James G. Flocks, and Dana S. Wiese
U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-88


In April and May of 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a geophysical study of the Mississippi River Delta, Atchafalaya River Delta, and Shell Island Pass in southern Louisiana. This study was part of a larger USGS River Contaminant Evaluation (RCE) Project. This disc serves as an archive of unprocessed digital seismic reflection data, trackline navigation files, shotpoint navigation maps, observers' logbooks, GIS information, and formal Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata. In addition, a filtered and gained digital GIF-formatted image of each seismic profile is provided. For your convenience, a list of acronyms and abbreviations frequently used in this report has also been provided.

This DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) document is readable on any computing platform that has standard DVD driver software installed. Documentation on this DVD was produced using Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) utilized by the World Wide Web (WWW) and allows the user to access the information by using a web browser (i.e. Netscape or Internet Explorer). To access the information contained on this disc, open the file 'index.htm' located at the top level of the disc using your web browser. This report also contains WWW links to USGS collaborators and other agencies. These links are only accessible if access to the internet is available while viewing the DVD.

The archived boomer and chirp seismic reflection data are in standard Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) SEG-Y format (Barry et al., 1975) and may be downloaded for processing with public domain software such as Seismic Unix (SU), currently located at http://www.cwp.mines.edu/cwpcodes. Examples of SU processing scripts are provided in the boom.tar and chirp.tar files located in the SU subfolder of the SOFTWARE folder located at the top level of this DVD. In-house (USGS) DOS and Microsoft Windows compatible software for viewing SEG-Y headers—DUMPSEGY.EXE (Zilhman, 1992)—is provided in the USGS subfolder of the SOFTWARE folder. Processed profile images, shotpoint navigation maps, logbooks, and formal metadata may be viewed with your web browser.


BACKGROUND

This archive consists of two-dimensional marine seismic reflection profile data collected in the Mississippi River Delta, Atchafalaya River Delta, and Shell Island Pass in southern Louisiana. These data were acquired in April and May of 2001 aboard the R/V G. K. Gilbert. The data are available in a variety of formats, including binary, ASCII, HTML, shapefiles, and GIF and JPEG images. Binary data are in SEG-Y format and may be downloaded for further processing or display. Reference maps and GIF images of the profiles may be viewed with your web browser. The GIS information provided is compatible with ESRI's GIS software.

Purpose:
Marine seismic reflection data are used to image and map sedimentary and structural features of the seafloor and subsurface. These data are useful in mapping stratigraphy and in assessing other submarine geologic characteristics and features. These data were collected as part of a larger
USGS River Contaminant Evaluation (RCE) Project.

Supplemental Information:
The
USGS Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies team in St. Petersburg, FL, assigns a unique identifier to all seismic data collected during each cruise or field activity. The method used to assign the identifier for the activity is as follows: YYPRO##, where YY stands for the last 2 digits of the year in which the fieldwork is conducted; PRO is a 3-digit acronym for the project the data are collected for; and ## is a 2-digit event tag that represents a discreet leg or time period of fieldwork. Here, 01RCE02 tells us the data were collected in 2001 for the River Contaminant Evaluation Project and that the data were collected during the second field activity for that calendar year. The trackline naming convention the center uses for each seisimic line is as follows: yye###a, where yy is the last 2 digits of the year in which the data were collected; e is a 1-digit abbreviation for the equipment type (i.e. c for chirp and b for boomer); ### is a 3-digit number representing a specific track; and a is a 1-digit alphanumeric representing the section of a track if recording was prematurely terminated.

Seismic reflection profiles are acquired by means of an acoustic source (usually generated electronically) and hydrophone or receiver arrays. Both elements are typically towed in the water behind a survey vessel. The sound source emits a short acoustic pulse that propagates through the water and sediment columns. The acoustic energy is reflected at density boundaries (such as the seafloor or sediment layers beneath the seafloor) and detected at the receiver. This process is repeated at intervals ranging between 100 ms and 1 s depending on the source type. In this way, a two-dimensional image of the geologic structure beneath the ship track is constructed.

Seismic data were stored in SEG-Y format, which is a standard digital format that can be read and manipulated by most seismic processing software packages. The SEG-Y file format includes a 3,200-byte descriptive header that contains detailed information regarding the data acquisition and processing parameters. All data presented here are stored in SEG-Y, integer, Motorola format. The SEG-Y formatted trace data files have a .TRA extension. Additional recording parameters for each seismic data file can also be found in the .PAR file associated with each .TRA file. However, the .PAR, UTM_401_1.pln, and cent_rmc.pln files are only needed to process or display the data with Triton Elics Delph Seismic software. These files are all stored in the SEGY folder located at the top level of this disc.

The boomer energy source consists of capacitors that are charged to a high voltage and then discharged through a transducer in the water. The frequency range of the source is between 300 and 3000 Hz. The transducer was towed on a sled at the sea surface providing 100 joules per shot. The reflected energy was received by an Innovative Technologies, Inc. (ITI) ST-5 solid core streamer and recorded by PC-based Triton Elics Delph Seismic acquisition software. The streamer contains 10 hydrophones evenly spaced over 6 m. Only data received by elements 3, 4, 5, and 6 were summed. The streamer was positioned parallel to the boomer sled and laterally separated from it by about 7 m. The sled was towed about 20 m behind the GPS antenna, and no correction for this offset has been made. The sample frequency of the data was 12 kHz, and the total record length was 100 ms. The fire rate was every 0.5 s, which resulted in a shot spacing of about 1 m based on survey speeds of 3.5 - 4 knots.

The chirp data use a signal of continuously varying frequency. The seismic source employed for the chirp data consisted of an EdgeTech X-Star SP424 tow fish running Triton Elics FSSB software. The tow fish was routinely flown 2 - 5 m above the seafloor. Therefore, water depths shown on the chirp profiles are relative to the depth of the tow fish and not to sea level. Furthermore, the raising or lowering of the tow fish during a survey to avoid obstacles or follow relief produces a relative shift in the multiple reflections seen in the profile, which may be confused as a geologic feature. Any elevation change of the tow fish is recorded in the crew logbook. The fish was towed about 10 m behind the GPS antenna, and no correction for this offset has been made. The sample frequency of the data was 25 kHz. Tracklines 01c001 - 01c009 were shot every 0.25 s to a record length of 50 ms, and tracklines 01c010 - 01c011b were shot every 0.125 s to a record length of 33 ms. Based on survey speeds of 3.5 - 4 knots, the shot spacing for the fire rate of 0.25 s was about 0.5 m, and the shot spacing for the fire rate of 0.125 s was about 0.25 m. For each recorded shot of the chirp data, 3 channels of trace data were collected. Channel 3 is the “real,” or in-phase component of the signal, channel 2 is the “imaginary,” or quadrative component of the signal, and channel 1 is the “envelope,” or product of channels 2 and 3. Only channel 1 was used to produce the profiles presented here. However, all channels are included in the SEG-Y data files. The original trackline 01c011 was divided into 01c011a and 01c011b because the number of traces exceeded the maximum allowed by the processing system.

GPS navigation was provided to the acquisition system every second by a Trimble-Centurian P-Code receiver. The accuracy of this receiver is to within 100 m. However, the data required some editing to remove spurious data values. The edited results were used to generate the trackline maps presented here. In addition, we have converted the latitude and longitude coordinates to UTM coordinates for UTM Zone 15. The navigation data have not been corrected to reflect the offset between the source and the GPS antenna. Position fixes for every 500 shots and for the start of line are also provided as an aid for registering of the data after plotting. Because boomer and chirp data are collected at different frequencies, position fixes for each system are provided. All navigation files are stored as flat ASCII text files within the NAV folder located at the top level of this DVD. Edited navigation files are located in the EDITNAV subfolders of the BOOMER and CHIRP subfolders of the NAV folder, and the 500-shot interval files are located in the SHOTNAV subfolders of the BOOMER and CHIRP subfolders.

The trackline maps provided in this archive are in geographic projection. They were created using ESRI's GIS software ArcView 3.2, exported to Adobe Illustrator for further editing, and saved for the web in JPEG format. These JPEG images are viewable with your WWW browser and can be found within the BOOMER and CHIRP subfolders of the MAPS folder located at the top level of this DVD. Also included on this disc are the ArcView projects and associated shapefiles used to create the trackline maps presented here. They can be found within the ARC subfolder of the SOFTWARE folder located at the top level of this DVD. The projects were created with ArcView 3.2 and are compatible with ArcView 3.x (Unix or Windows) and ArcGIS 8.x (Windows). The shapefiles can also be viewed using the public domain software ArcExplorer 2.0 (Windows) and 4.0 (Windows, Unix, Linux), which can be downloaded from the ESRI website at http://www.esri.com/software/arcexplorer/index.html.

Field Activity Collection System (FACS) logs are available in both HTML and Rich Text format (.rtf). They can be found in the FACS folder located at the top level of this DVD. Scanned GIF images of the original FACS logbooks and crew logbooks are also provided. They can be found within the FACS and CREW subfolders of the LOGBOOKS folder located at the top level of this DVD.

Also included on this DVD are Seismic Unix (SU) scripts that allow the user to strip off navigation fixes from the SEG-Y headers, along with a fix for every 500 shots (boomer data) or every 1,000 shots (chirp data), and produce a filtered (boomer data only) and gained GIF image of each profile. These images can then be displayed using a variety of shareware programs such as ImageMagick (Unix or Linux) or a web browser. The example scripts are included in the boom.tar and chirp.tar files which can be found in the SU subfolder of the SOFTWARE folder located at the top level of this disc.


DISC CONTENTS

index.htm: a home page for viewing this report using a WWW browser

README.RTF: a Rich Text formatted version of this page

DISCLAIM.RTF: the USGS disclaimer for this report in Rich Text format

METADATA.RTF: formal Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata for the seismic reflection data and for the associated shotpoint navigation maps in Rich Text format

FACS Folder: contains the FACS logs that document the cruise overview, operations, equipment, and crew in Rich Text format

HTML Folder: contains all HTML documents used in this report and GIF and JPEG images used by the HTML hyperlinks

LOGBOOKS Folder: contains the CREW and FACS subfolders

MAPS Folder: contains the BOOMER and CHIRP subfolders

NAV Folder: contains the BOOMER and CHIRP subfolders, each of which contains an EDITNAV and a SHOTNAV subfolder

SEGY Folder: contains the BOOMER and CHIRP subfolders, each of which contains the unprocessed digital seismic reflection data in SEG-Y format. Also included in these subfolders are the companion .PAR files and the UTM_401_1.pln and cent_rmc.pln files used by Delph Seismic software to process or display the data.

    • BOOMER Subfolder
    • CHIRP Subfolder

PROFILES Folder: contains the BOOMER and CHIRP subfolders, each of which contains a FULLSIZE and T_NAILS subfolder

    • BOOMER Subfolder
      • FULLSIZE Subfolder: contains full-size GIF images of the processed boomer seismic profiles
      • T_NAILS Subfolder: contains GIF thumbnail images of the boomer profiles
    • CHIRP Subfolder
      • FULLSIZE Subfolder: contains full-size GIF images of the processed chirp seismic profiles
      • T_NAILS Subfolder: contains GIF thumbnail images of the chirp profiles

SOFTWARE Folder: contains the ARC, SU, and USGS subfolders

    • ARC Subfolder: contains boomer.zip and chirp.zip, zip files containing the ArcView projects and shapefiles used to create the trackline maps. Also contains README.rtf, a file that describes the project in detail.
    • SU Subfolder: contains boom.tar and chirp.tar, Linux tar files that contain example Seismic Unix scripts used to process and plot the seismic reflection data and extract shot navigation from the SEG-Y headers, and README.rtf, a file that explains how to use the SU scripts
    • USGS Subfolder: contains the DOS program DUMPSEGY.EXE, used for viewing SEG-Y headers, and associated reference documentation

    DISCLAIMER

    This Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) publication was prepared by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed in this report, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. Any views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

    Although all data published on this DVD have been used by the USGS, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS as to the accuracy of the data and related materials and/or the functioning of the software. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the USGS in the use of these data, software, or related materials.


    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    We thank Gina M. Peery and Greg Berman of the USGS in St. Petersburg, FL, for their field support during data collection. Boat captains Dave Bennett of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, and Keith Ludwig of the USGS in St. Petersburg, FL, also assisted in data collection. We also thank reviewers Peter W. Swarzenski and Jack L. Kindinger of the USGS in St. Petersburg, FL, whose comments improved this document.


    REFERENCES

    Barry, R.M., Cavers, D.A., and Kneale, C.W., 1975, Recommended standards for digital tape formats: Geophysics, v. 40, p. 344-352.

    Zihlman, F.N., 1992, DUMPSEGY V1.0: A program to examine the contents of SEG-Y disk-image seismic data: U.S. Geological Survey Open File 92-590.


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