Use of Seafloor Electromagnetic and Acoustic Backscatter Data for Seafloor Classification: An Example from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts


Near surface offshore geophysical data allow sediment classification in coastal settings at high levels of spatial detail. We present data from offshore Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts collected as part of the Office of Naval Research\'s Mine Burial Prediction program. Seafloor electromagnetic data provide estimates of near surface porosity at approximately 10m intervals along each tow-line. In addition, the area has undergone repeat surveys with high resolution acoustic backscatter and bathymetry. In some locations, the geophysical data has been groundtruthed by grab sampling and coring. We examine the spatial variability in near surface sediment properties on the basis of the geophysical data. The EM data are particularly well suited to constructing semi-variograms to display length scales of variability. Preliminary examination does not show any obvious correlation between the EM data and acoustic backscatter, however, further processing of the backscatter is being carried out and so this result is tentative.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union (AGU)


87, Issue 52

Conference Date

Dec 11 - Dec 15, 2006

Publisher Place

San Francisco, CA, USA


American Geophysical Union Publications

Document Type

Conference Proceeding