False Pass, AK, USA, is the eastern-most passage through the Aleutian Islands between the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean and provides a passage for small to mid-size vessels. The passage is considered an alternative route to Unimak Pass, AK for vessels from mainland Alaska and is estimated to be shorter by 160 to 240km. False Pass is closed every winter due to sea-ice cover that freezes the inlet system around OctoberNovember and melts only towards the spring (around March). As a result, the soft sediment of the seafloor contains mud and sand that may change the path of the channel after the sea ice has melted. Preparation of False Pass for the Summer/Fall vessel traffic requires many resources in a narrow springtime window to identify the main channel and to delineate it with Aids to Navigation. The surveys are typically conducted by the US Coast Guard (USCG) buoy tenders using small boats and reconnaissance-style single-beam lines. This paper demonstrates the potential of using a turbidity map generated from a single-image Satellite-derived Bathymetry (SDB) to play a key role in the future of the survey planning and determination of survey priorities


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Hydro International


19, Issue 7



Conference Date

Oct., 2015

Document Type

Journal Article