Western Coastal and Marine Geology

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2006-1288
Version 1.0

Measurements of Slope Current and Environmental Geochemistry near the Western Boundary of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

By Marlene A. Noble, Jingping Xu, Jon Kolak, Anne L. Gartner, and Kurt J. Rosenberger


For nearly a decade, dredged material from San Francisco Bay has been deposited at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region IX designated disposal site on the continental slope west of the Farallon Islands. Over the past several years, annual disposal volumes have ranged from 136,170 m3 (61 barge loads) to 2,407,600 m3 (1,173 barge loads) (Ota, personal communication, 2000). The EPA has conducted extensive studies to evaluate the fate and effects of the disposed material (Abdelrhman, 1992; Tetra-Tech, 1992; SAIC, 1992). The EPA has also maintained a long-term monitoring program to collect hydrodynamic, sedimentary, chemical, and biological data that are used to determine whether the dredged material adversely affects the ecology of adjacent water bodies and whether it moves from the disposal site, especially into the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. As part of this monitoring program, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) deployed arrays of instruments on three moorings near the EPA disposal site from November 1997 to November 1998. This report describes the results and findings of this field monitoring experiment.

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For questions about the content of this report, contact Marlene Noble or Jingping Xu

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