Shoreface and Holocene Sediment Thickness Offshore of Rockaway Peninsula, New York

Open-File Report 2021-1100
Prepared in cooperation with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
By: , and 



During September and October 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey mapped the shoreface and inner continental shelf offshore of the Rockaway Peninsula in New York using high-resolution chirp seismic reflection and single-beam bathymetry geophysical techniques. The results from this study are important for assessing the Quaternary evolution of the Rockaway Peninsula and determining coastal sediment availability, which is crucial for establishing sediment budgets, understanding sediment dispersal, and managing coastlines. This report presents preliminary interpretations of seismic profiles and maps of shoreface and Holocene sediment thickness from the shoreline to about 2 kilometers offshore. The results indicate that shoreface and Holocene sediment thickness demonstrates zonal variability because of underlying geology and sediment availability. Based on geomorphic features and underlying stratigraphy, the study area is separated into west, west-central, east-central, and east zones. Holocene sediment, which includes the shoreface and seafloor features with positive morphology (for example, nearshore bars, ebb-tide deltas, and sorted bedforms), thickens to the west and may be related to accommodation and westward dip of the regional unconformity. Shoreface units, which are thought to represent the active volume of littoral sediment, are thickest in the west-central peninsula where the geologic base of the shoreface is deeper. Shoreface units with moderate thickness are in the western and eastern peninsula where there are positive morphological features (for example, deposits accumulating updrift from the jetty, ebb-tide deltas, and so on). The thinnest shorefaces are in the east-central Rockaway Peninsula because of less accommodation caused by the shoaling regional unconformity.

Suggested Citation

Wei, E.A., Miselis, J.L., and Forde, A.S., 2021, Shoreface and Holocene sediment thickness offshore of Rockaway Peninsula, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1100, 14 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Purpose and Scope
  • Regional Geologic Setting
  • Data Collection and Processing
  • Seismic Stratigraphy
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Shoreface and Holocene sediment thickness offshore of Rockaway Peninsula, New York
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2021-1100
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211100
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description Report: iv, 14 p.; 2 Data Releases
Country United States
State New York
Other Geospatial Rockaway Peninsula
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details