Archive of Digital Chirp Subbottom Profile Data Collected During USGS Cruise 14BIM05 Offshore of Breton Island, Louisiana, August 2014

Data Series 972
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By: , and 



From August 11 to 31, 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), conducted a geophysical survey to investigate the geologic controls on barrier island framework and long-term sediment transport offshore of Breton Island, Louisiana as part of a broader USGS study on Barrier Island Mapping (BIM). Additional details related to this activity can be found by searching the USGS's Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System (CMGDS), for field activity 2014-317-FA (also known as 14BIM05). These surveys were funded through the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) and the Louisiana Outer Coast Early Restoration Project. This report serves as an archive of unprocessed digital chirp subbottom data, trackline maps, navigation files, Geographic Information System (GIS) files, Field Activity Collection System (FACS) logs, and formal Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata. Gained digital images of the seismic profiles are also provided. Refer to the Abbreviations page for explanations of acronyms and abbreviations used in this report.

All chirp systems use an acoustic signal of continuously varying frequency; the EdgeTech 512i system used during this survey produced high-resolution, shallow-penetration (typically less than 50 milliseconds [ms]) profile images of sub-seafloor stratigraphy. The towfish contains a transducer that transmits and receives acoustic energy and typically is towed 1–2 meters (m) below the sea surface. As transmitted acoustic energy intersects density boundaries, such as the seafloor or sub-surface sediment layers, some energy is reflected back toward the transducer, received, and recorded by a Personal Computer (PC)-based seismic acquisition system. This process is repeated at regular intervals (for example, 0.125 seconds (s)) and returned energy is recorded for a specific duration (for example, 50 ms). In this way, a two-dimensional (2-D) vertical image of the shallow geologic structure beneath the ship's track is produced. Figure 2 displays the acquisition geometry. Refer to table 1 for a summary of acquisition parameters and table 2 for trackline statistics.

The archived trace data are in standard SEG Y rev. 0 format (Barry and others, 1975); the first 3,200 bytes of the card image header are in American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format instead of Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC) format. The SEG Y files are available on the DVD version of this report or online, downloadable via the USGS Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System ( The data are also available for viewing using GeoMapApp ( and Virtual Ocean ( multi-platform open source software. The Web version of this archive does not contain the SEG Y trace files. To obtain the complete DVD archive, contact USGS Information Services at 1-888-ASK-USGS or The SEG Y files may be downloaded and processed with commercial or public domain software such as Seismic Unix (SU) (Cohen and Stockwell, 2010). See the How To Download SEG Y Data page for download instructions. The printable profiles are provided as Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) images processed and gained using SU software and can be viewed from theProfiles page or by using the links located on the trackline maps; refer to the Software page for links to example SU processing scripts.

Suggested Citation

Forde, A.S., Flocks, J.G., Wiese, D.S., and Fredericks, J.J., 2016, Archive of digital chirp subbottom profile data collected during USGS cruise 14BIM05 offshore of Breton Island, Louisiana, August 2014: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 972, 2 DVDs,

ISSN: 2327-638X (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Information Statement
  • System Requirements
  • Getting Started
  • Disc Organization
  • Project Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Archive of Digital Chirp Subbottom Profile Data Collected During USGS Cruise 14BIM05 Offshore of Breton Island, Louisiana, August 2014
Series title Data Series
Series number 972
DOI 10.3133/ds972
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description HTML Document
Time Range Start 2015-07-06
Country United States
State Louisana
Other Geospatial Offshore of Breton Island
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details