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Open-File Report 2010–1100

Surficial Geology of the Sea Floor in Long Island Sound Offshore of Orient Point, New York

By K.Y. McMullen,1 L.J. Poppe,1 W.W. Danforth,1 D.S. Blackwood,1 J.D. Schaer,2 M.R. Guberski,3 D.A. Wood,4 and E.F. Doran5

1Coastal and Marine Geology Program, U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA 02543
2Office of Coast Survey, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD 20910
3NOAA Research Vessel Bay Hydro II, Solomons, MD 20688
4NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, Norfolk, VA 23510
5Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford, CT 06106


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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) are working cooperatively to map and interpret features of the sea floor along the northeastern coast of the United States. This report presents multibeam bathymetry and sidescan-sonar data obtained during NOAA survey H11446, which was conducted in a 12-km² area in Long Island Sound offshore of Orient Point, NY. In addition, sediment and photographic data from 26 stations obtained during a USGS verification cruise are presented. Overall, the sea floor slopes gently seaward, but topography is more complex in sand-wave and boulder areas, which are evident in the multibeam and sidescan-sonar data from the study area. Sand waves generally have north-south-oriented crests with 10- to 20-m wavelengths. Sand-wave asymmetry indicates eastward net sediment transport in the east and westward net sediment transport in the northern and western parts of the study area. Areas with boulders on the sea floor are typically hummocky and are part of a glacial moraine system. Boulders are typically encrusted with seaweed, sponges, and anemones as shown in the bottom photography.

Posted March 30, 2011

For additional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
384 Woods Hole Road
Quissett Campus
Woods Hole, MA 02543
(508) 548-8700

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Suggested citation:

McMullen, K.Y., Poppe, L.J., Danforth, W.W., Blackwood, D.S., Schaer, J.D., Guberski, M.R., Wood, D.A., and Doran, E.F., 2011, Surficial geology of the sea floor in Long Island Sound offshore of Orient Point, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1100, CD-ROM. (Also available at

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