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Sediment Study in Bonneville Reservoir on the Columbia River

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R/V Estero docked on Bonneville Reservoir, Oregon
USGS researchers mobilize a bottom sampler with underwater cameras on the R/V Estero, Bonneville Reservoir, Oregon.
Researchers from CMGP in Menlo Park (Walter Barnhardt, Guy Gelfenbaum, Laura Kerr, and Mike Boyle) and Woods Hole (Jane Denny and Chuck Worley) recently joined BRD colleagues (Darren Gallion, Jim Seelye) for a three-week geophysical and sampling cruise on the Columbia River. The main objective was to study sediment composition and distribution in Bonneville Reservoir.

The crew first collected a nearly complete, high-quality sidescan-sonar mosaic from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles, and then re-mobilized to collect bottom samples and underwater photographs. These ground-truthed data are important for developing a sediment budget for the Pacific Northwest coast and can be incorporated into habitat models that describe fishery dynamics in the region.

Note from the author: Don't let the word "reservoir" conjure up images of placid waters and gentle breezes. One section of the Columbia River Gorge is known as "Swell City" for a reason: 40-kt winds are common in August and blow upstream against a 5- to 6-kt current. The elements conspire to create short-period, steep swells up to 10 ft high and spaced only 2 seconds apart. Such conditions, although a lure for wind surfers worldwide, were tough on geologists in the 30-ft R/V Estero. Thanks to herculean efforts by the captain and marine techs, all crewmembers and every piece of gear returned safely home.

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in this issue: Fieldwork Geophysical Survey of Hawaiian Coral Reefs

Sediment Study on the Columbia River

Outreach cover story:
St. Petersburg Open Houses

Earth Science Week 2001

Woods Hole's First Annual Open House

Shark Festival and Sanctuary Celebration 2001

Meetings Metadata Workshop with Peter Schweitzer

Awards Geochemistry Study Award

Staff & Center News Richie Williams Speaks on Science and Religion

Farewell to Ardis Greatorex

Welcome to Chris Sherwood

USGS Mendenhall Post-doc Fellowship

WHFC Visitors

Publications Passing the Torch for Production of Sound Waves

New South Florida Ecosystem Sourcebook Released

November Publications List U. S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
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