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Poster of Sea Floor in Northern Monterey Bay, California, Depicts Complex Bathymetry, Including Bedrock Ridges that Cause Surf Breaks

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), along with the California Department of Boating and Waterways, the Santa Cruz County Redevelopment Agency, and the Santa Cruz Department of Public Works, has produced a poster displaying color-coded bathymetry, underwater photographs, and oblique views of the sea floor in northern Monterey Bay off the coast of Santa Cruz, California.

map showing five main areas where we mapped cold-water-coral habitat and collected specimens for paleoclimate studies
Above: Excerpt from "Views of the Sea Floor in Northern Monterey Bay, California" (USGS Scientific Investigations Map 3007), with index map superimposed. Labels of sea-floor features that cause surf breaks (for example, "Steamer Lane") have been darkened for greater visibility at reduced scale.

"Views of the Sea Floor in Northern Monterey Bay, California" (USGS Scientific Investigations Map 3007) is an outgrowth of a sonar survey by the USGS in 2005 and 2006 that produced unprecedented high-resolution images of the sea floor off Santa Cruz. Performed over 14 days, the survey consisted of 172 tracklines and more than 300 million soundings and covered an area of 12.2 km2 (4.7 mi2). The goals of the survey were to collect high-resolution bathymetry (depth to the sea floor) and acoustic-backscatter data (amount of sound energy bounced back from the sea floor, which provides information on sea-floor hardness and texture) from the inner continental shelf. These data will provide a baseline for future change analyses, geologic mapping, sediment- and contaminant-transport studies, benthic-habitat delineation, and numerical-modeling efforts. The survey shows that the inner shelf in this area is extremely varied, encompassing flat sandy areas, fault traces, boulder fields, and complex bedrock ridges that support rich marine ecosystems. Furthermore, many of these complex bedrock ridges form the "reefs" that result in a number of California's classic surf breaks.

The new poster, which measures 46 by 36 inches, features map and oblique views of the bathymetric data collected during the survey, plus underwater photographs from selected sites. The full reference for the poster is: Storlazzi, C.D., Golden, N.E. and Finlayson, D.P., 2008, Views of the sea floor in northern Monterey Bay, California: USGS Scientific Investigations Map 3007. Paper copies can be obtained from the USGS Science Information and Library Services (SILS) at 1-888-ASK-USGS, or the USGS online store (product number 208389). The poster can be downloaded as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file at URL http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3007/.

Related Web Sites
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3007 - U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3007
U.S. Geological Survey
The USGS Store
U.S. Geological Survey

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Fieldwork
cover story:
Corals, Habitats, and Paleoclimate in the Drake Passage

Outreach
Scientists and the Media: Impacts of Sea-level Rise

USGS NWRC Celebrates National Women's History Month

USGS Promoted at National Science Teachers Association Conference

Meetings Field Trip for Association of American Geographers Meeting

USGS Modeling Conference

Publications New Poster Depicts Complex Bathymetry in Northern Monterey Bay

August 2008 Publications List


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