U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1150
Sea-Floor Geology and Topography Offshore in Eastern Long Island Sound
A gridded multibeam bathymetric dataset covers approximately 133.7 square kilometers of sea floor offshore in eastern Long Island Sound. Although originally collected for charting purposes during National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hydrographic survey H11997, these acoustic data, and the sea-floor sampling and photography stations subsequently occupied to verify them during USGS cruise 2010-015-FA, are part of an expanding series of studies that provide a fundamental framework for research and resource management (for example, cables, pipelines, and dredging) activities in this major East Coast estuary. Results show the composition and terrain of the seabed and provide information on sediment transport and benthic habitat. Bedrock outcrops, erosional outliers, lag deposits of boulders, scour depressions, and extensive gravel pavements are common in the eastern part of the study area. These features, which result from the near-constant exposure to strong tidal currents, indicate sedimentary environments dominated by processes associated with erosion. Large fields of transverse and barchanoid sand waves in the western part of the study area reflect slightly lower energy levels and sedimentary environments where processes associated with coarse bedload transport prevail.