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Open-File Report 2014–1234

Prepared in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Bathymetry, Acoustic Backscatter, and Seafloor Character of Farallon Escarpment and Rittenburg Bank, Northern California

By Peter Dartnell, Guy R. Cochrane, and David P. Finlayson

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (5.6 MB)Abstract

In 2011, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Coastal and Marine Geology Program acquired bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter data along the upper slope of the Farallon Escarpment and Rittenburg Bank within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary offshore of the San Francisco Bay area. The surveys were funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program to identify potential deep sea coral habitat prior to planned sampling efforts. Bathymetry and acoustic-backscatter data can be used to map seafloor geology (rock, sand, mud), and slope of the sea floor, both of which are useful for the prediction of deep sea coral habitat. The data also can be used for the prediction of sediment and contaminant budgets and transport, and for the assessment of earthquake and tsunami hazards. The surveys were conducted aboard National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Sanctuary Program’s 67-foot-long research vessel Fulmar outfitted with a U.S. Geological Survey 100-kHz Reson 7111 multibeam-echosounder system. This report provides the bathymetry and backscatter data acquired during these surveys, interpretive seafloor character maps in several formats, a summary of the mapping mission, maps of bathymetry and backscatter, and Federal Geographic Data Committee metadata

First posted November 24, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Pacific Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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Suggested citation:

Dartnell, P., Cochrane, G.R., and Finlayson, D.P., 2014, Bathymetry, acoustic backscatter, and seafloor character of Farallon Escarpment and Rittenburg Bank, northern California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1234, 18 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)




Multibeam-Echosounder Survey Results

Seafloor Character



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