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Research

New Publication Depicts Seafloor Rocks and Sediments of the Continental Shelf, Monterey Bay Area


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The continental shelf of the greater Monterey Bay area between Point Año Nuevo and Point Sur exposes complex patterns of Mesozoic and Cenozoic rock outcrops, and coarse Quaternary sand bodies that occur in distinct depressions on the inner and mid-shelves. Exposures of familiar geologic formations from onshore central California, such as the Santa Cruz Mudstone and the Purisima and Monterey Formations, are present in the offshore. Steve Eittreim, Roberto Anima, Andy Stevenson, and Florence Wong have published a new map and digital database of the area based on high-resolution (as fine as 40 cm) sidescan-sonar and seismic-reflection data. Entitled "Seafloor Rocks and Sediments of the Continental Shelf from Monterey Bay to Point Sur, California" (U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map 2345), the new publication can be viewed on-line at http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/map-mf/mf2345/. This publication portrays the seafloor components in a 36- by 48-inch map sheet at a 1:100,000 scale and provides an ArcInfo coverage of the interpreted geology.

graphic showing exposures of geologic formations near Santa Cruz, California
Exposures of Santa Cruz Mudstone (orange), Purisima Formation (red), Quaternary sand (yellow), and mud (tan) near Santa Cruz, California (box D is 1 km wide).

photograph showing acoustic backscatter image of finely layered Monterey Formation
Acoustic backscatter image of finely layered Monterey Formation (bar = 100 m).


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