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Recent Cruise Completed for the North Carolina Regional Coastal Erosion Study

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The sea-floor-mapping group at the Woods Hole Field Center (WHFC) has completed its third year of cruises, compiling work that has imaged the inner continental shelf from False Cape, VA, to Cape Hatteras, NC, as part of the North Carolina Regional Coastal Erosion Study. This survey encompasses an area approximately 90 nautical miles long by 5 nautical miles wide, extending seaward from approximately 8-m water depth (nearshore) to 25- to 30-m water depth (inner continental shelf).

In June and July 2002, two scientific parties from the WHFC conducted a research cruise aboard the merchant vessel Atlantic Surveyor that mapped about half the survey area. Participants on the first leg were Rob Thieler, Dave Foster, Dave Nichols, Erika Hammar-Klose, Chris Polloni, and Chuck Worley. After a crew change halfway through the cruise, Tom O'Brien, Bill Danforth, Caroline Roberts, Mark Capone, and Seth Ackerman joined Rob and Chris for the second leg. Both the weather and the scientific equipment (interferometric sidescan/bathymetry, sidescan, CHIRP, and boomer subbottom profilers) were very cooperative, allowing maximum time for science.

It is clear from the data gathered over the past 3 years that the nearshore sediment budget is coupled to the inner-shelf sediment budget in complex but understandable ways, which are determined primarily by antecedent geology (the distribution and composition of ancient rocks and sediment) and modern physical processes. Cooperative work conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is extending this geophysical framework from the nearshore to the beach, where it ties into U.S. Geological Survey studies of beach change using LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) and SWASH (Surveying Wide-Area SHorelines) beach-survey techniques.

Related Sound Waves Stories
North Carolina Coastal Sedimentary System Cruises
September 2001
Inner-Shelf-Mapping Cruise off Northern North Carolina Outer Banks
December 1999

Related Web Sites
Seafloor Mapping Technology
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Woods Hole, MA
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
College of William and Mary

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in this issue: Fieldwork cover story:
Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate

Tampa Bay Coring

North Carolina Coastal Erosion

Endangered White Abalone

Marbled Murrelets

Research Sediment Core Drilling Proposal

African Dust Microbiology

Outreach Tall Ships

Gulf of Mexico Teacher Workshop

Coastal Louisiana Interview

MRIB Makes Headlines

Meetings U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy

Numerical-Modeling Workshop

Staff & Center News WHFC Employees Farewell

Sound Waves Staff

Publications September Publications List

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