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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1153

Sea-Floor Texture and Physiographic Zones of the Inner Continental Shelf From Salisbury to Nahant, Massachusetts, Including the Merrimack Embayment and Western Massachusetts Bay

By Elizabeth A. Pendleton, Walter A. Barnhardt, Wayne E. Baldwin, David S. Foster, William C. Schwab, Brian D. Andrews, and Seth D. Ackerman

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Abstract

A series of maps that describe the distribution and texture of sea-floor sediments and physiographic zones of Massachusetts State waters from Nahant to Salisbury, Massachusetts, including western Massachusetts Bay, have been produced by using high-resolution geophysical data (interferometric and multibeam swath bathymetry, lidar bathymetry, backscatter intensity, and seismic reflection profiles), sediment samples, and bottom photographs. These interpretations are intended to aid statewide efforts to inventory and manage coastal and marine resources, link with existing data interpretations, and provide information for research focused on coastal evolution and environmental change. Marine geologic mapping of the inner continental shelf of Massachusetts is a statewide cooperative effort of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.

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