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Publicity Being Planned for April-May Multibeam Mapping Cruise

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USGS public affairs specialist Dale Cox is planning a press conference and related events to call attention to high-resolution multibeam mapping that Jim Gardner will conduct off Long Beach, California, this month. The press conference will be scheduled for sometime in the middle of the cruise, which runs from April 10 to May 10. Dale hopes to attract not only the media, but also government officials who might have an interest in the uses of the new seafloor maps.

Dale organized a similar event during Jim's mapping of Lake Tahoe last summer. On that occasion, Secretary Babbitt joined Jim for a morning on the research vessel and helped collect data before talking to reporters later in the day. The Secretary's office has expressed interest in this month's event as well.

Seafloor Postcard
New postcard published by Coastal & Marine Geology (Western Region).

Dale plans to invite participants to the press conference with a postcard recently published by Coastal & Marine Geology (Western Region) showing Jim's mapping to date (see illustration above). The peninsula in the center of the coastline is the Palos Verdes Peninsula. In 1996, Jim mapped the shelf and slope off Santa Monica (left side of postcard), and in 1998 he mapped the slope from Newport Beach to the Palos Verdes Peninsula (right side).

This month's mapping will cover the shelf from Newport Beach to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the large shelf area on the right side of the postcard. Jim gave it a smooth, featureless appearance on the postcard image; the new mapping will allow him to fill in details. This bit of shelf is the last to be mapped in the region, in part because it is so shallow, with depths ranging from 5 to 100 m. To map it, Jim will use the Kongsberg Simrad EM3000D, a very high-resolution multibeam mapping system specially designed for use in shallow water.

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