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Representatives from the USGS' Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, met in Boulder in late June to discuss the ever-expanding marine-sedimentary data coverages held within usSEABED. An information-processing system for diverse types of sea-floor data, usSEABED is the collaborative effort of CMGP, INSTAAR, and NGDC.
The meeting was attended by Jeff Williams (Woods Hole, MA), Jane Reid (Santa Cruz, CA), and Jim Flocks (St. Petersburg, FL) for the USGS, George Sharman and Carla Moore for NGDC, and Chris Jenkins for INSTAAR. It provided discussions between the primary agency for archiving marine-geologic data (NGDC), the agency tasked with making scientific, analytical, and interpretive products (USGS), and the group that facilitates the connection between the two (INSTAAR).
Started in 1999 on the West Coast, usSEABED has expanded in the past year to the East and Gulf Coasts through its use by CMGP's Benthic Habitats and Marine Aggregates (sand and gravel) projects; it now contains more than 100,000 processed data points and an untold number of potential data sources. Given this new breadth of coverage and the proposed Regional Synthesis task for the central Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Maine in 2003, the three groups collaborating on usSEABED are eager to coordinate their efforts more closely and strengthen their collaborative ties.
The implementation of a recent memorandum of understanding between INSTAAR and the USGS facilitates the expansion of usSEABED data into the third dimension (depth below the sea floor) by using currently held sediment-core data and by correlating core data with geophysical data. These correlations will be used by the Marine Aggregates project and, eventually, by many other CMG projects.
In 2003, scientists in the Benthic Habitats project will continue to use usSEABED for making maps of sea-floor habitats and sediment grain size, thickness, and other properties. Scientists in the Marine Aggregates project will use usSEABED to identify potential offshore sources of sand for shoreline restoration in four pilot regionsthe New York Bight, south-central Louisiana, Hawaii, and the Gulf of Maineand choose areas for higher-resolution surveys.
A Web site describing usSEABED is under development and will list the data sets included, but other sediment data sets from around the United States are being sought. Other collaborators interested in contributing to usSEABED are encouraged to contact Jane Reid (email@example.com).
in this issue:
usSEABED - Seabed Characteristics
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