The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) has published, contributed to, and/or funded the following seafloor mapping publications. (Note: Any views or opinions presented in publications prepared for CZM are solely those of the author[s] and do not necessarily represent those of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please see our website policies.) See CZM Publications for the full list of materials published by CZM.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Open-File Reports in Massachusetts Waters

(Listed in Reverse Chronological Order)

  • High-Resolution Geophysical Data from the Inner Continental Shelf: Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts - This 2013 CZM/USGS report contains geophysical data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on three cruises conducted in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and additional bathymetry data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2004. The geophysical data include (1) swath bathymetry using interferometric sonar and multibeam echosounder systems, (2) acoustic backscatter from sidescan sonar, and (3) seismic-reflection profiles from a chirp subbottom profiler.
  • High-Resolution Geophysical Data From the Inner Continental Shelf at Vineyard Sound, Massachusetts - This 2013 CZM/USGS report contains geophysical data collected between 2009 and 2011. The data include (1) swath bathymetry from interferometric sonar, (2) acoustic backscatter from sidescan sonar, and (3) seismic-reflection profiles from a chirp subbottom profiler.
  • High-Resolution Geophysical Data From the Sea Floor Surrounding the Western Elizabeth Islands, Massachusetts - This 2011 data report contains high-resolution geophysical data from approximately 24.5 square-kilometers of the seafloor surrounding Cuttyhunk Island and western Nashawena Island and adds to the series of geophysical data reports published through a cooperative mapping program between USGS and CZM.
  • Geophysical and Sampling Data from the Inner Continental Shelf: Duxbury to Hull, Massachusetts - This 2010 CZM/USGS report contains geophysical and geological data collected by USGS on three cruises between 2006 and 2007. These data are supplemented with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hydrographic survey conducted in 2003 to update navigation charts. The geophysical data include (1) swath bathymetry from interferometric sonar and multibeam echosounders, (2) acoustic backscatter from sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounders, and (3) subsurface stratigraphy and structure from seismic-reflection profilers. The geological data include sediment samples, seafloor photographs, and bottom videos.
  • Geophysical and Sampling Data from the Inner Continental Shelf: Northern Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts - This 2010 CZM/USGS report contains geophysical and sampling data collected by USGS during five research cruises between 2006 and 2008. The geophysical data include (1) swath bathymetry from interferometric sonar, (2) acoustic backscatter from interferometric and sidescan sonars, and (3) subsurface stratigraphy and structure from seismic-reflection profilers. The seafloor sampling data include sediment samples, photographs, and video tracklines.
  • Geological Interpretation of the Sea Floor Offshore of Edgartown, Massachusetts - This 2009 USGS report contains gridded bathymetry and sidescan-sonar imagery, covering approximately 37.3 square kilometers of seafloor in the vicinity of Edgartown Harbor, Massachusetts.
  • High-Resolution Geologic Mapping of the Inner Continental Shelf: Cape Ann to Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts - This 2009 CZM/USGS report contains GIS data, maps, and technical explanations of data collection/processing and a discussion of the seafloor geology and topography from Cape Ann to Salisbury. The maps are based on marine geophysical data, sediment samples, and bottom photography obtained on two research cruises in 2004 and 2005.
  • Sea-Floor Character and Sedimentary Processes in the Vicinity of Woods Hole, Massachusetts - This 2008 report produced in cooperation with CZM includes digital terrain models, imagery, interpretive data layers, and data derived from multibeam echo-sounder and sidescan-sonar data collected in the vicinity of Woods Hole, the main passage between Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound, Massachusetts, and from the stations occupied to verify these acoustic data. Basic data layers show seafloor topography, sun-illuminated shaded relief, and backscatter intensity; interpretive layers show the distributions of surficial sediment, sedimentary environments, and seafloor features. Presented verification data include sediment grain-size analyses and a gallery of still photographs of the seabed.
  • Sea-Floor Character and Sedimentary Processes of Great Round Shoal Channel, Offshore Massachusetts - This 2007 report produced in cooperation with CZM includes imagery, interpretive data layers, and data derived from multibeam echo-sounder and sidescan-sonar data collected in the vicinity of Great Round Shoal Channel, the main passage through shoals located at the eastern entrance to Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts, and from the stations occupied to verify these acoustic data. Basic data layers show seafloor topography, sun-illuminated shaded relief, and backscatter intensity; interpretive layers show the distributions of surficial sediment, sedimentary environments, and seafloor features. Presented verification data include sediment grain-size analyses and a gallery of still photographs of the seabed.
  • Sea-Floor Character and Sedimentary Processes of Quicks Hole, Elizabeth Islands, Massachusetts - This 2007 report produced in cooperation with CZM includes imagery, interpretive data layers, and data derived from multibeam echo-sounder and sidescan sonar surveys conducted in the vicinity of Quicks Hole, a passage through the Elizabeth Islands, which extend in a chain southwest off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and from the stations occupied to verify these acoustic data. Basic data layers show seafloor topography, sun-illuminated shaded relief, and backscatter intensity; interpretive layers show the distributions of surficial sediment, sedimentary environments, and seafloor features. Presented verification data include sediment grain-size analyses and a gallery of still photographs of the seabed.
  • Geological Interpretation of Bathymetric and Backscatter Imagery of the Sea Floor Off Eastern Cape Cod, Massachusetts - This CZM/USGS report published in 2006 includes imagery, interpretive data layers, and data derived from multibeam echo-sounder data collected off Eastern Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and from the stations occupied to verify these acoustic data. The basic data layers show seafloor topography, sun-illuminated shaded relief, and backscatter intensity and interpretive layers show the distributions of surficial sediment and sedimentary environments. Presented verification data include new and historical sediment grain-size analyses and a gallery of still photographs of the seabed.
  • High-Resolution Geologic Mapping of the Inner Continental Shelf: Boston Harbor and Approaches, Massachusetts - This CZM/USGS report published in 2006 presents the surficial geologic framework data and information for the seafloor of Boston Harbor. The geophysical data for these maps were collected as part of hydrographic surveys carried out by NOAA in 2000 and 2001. Bottom photographs, video, and samples of the sediments were collected in September 2004 to help in the interpretation of the geophysical data. Included in this report are high-resolution maps of the seafloor and a gallery of photographs of the seafloor.
  • High-Resolution Geologic Mapping of the Inner Continental Shelf: Nahant to Gloucester, Massachusetts - This 2006 CZM/USGS report presents high-resolution maps of the seafloor offshore of Massachusetts, from Nahant to Gloucester. The maps are based on marine geophysical data, sediment sampling, and bottom photography obtained on two research cruises carried out in 2003 and 2004.
  • Photographs of the Sea Floor in Western Massachusetts Bay, Offshore of Boston, Massachusetts - Published in 1999, this report contains photographs and sediment sample analyses of the seafloor obtained at 142 sites in western Massachusetts Bay.

Seafloor Survey Reports

(Listed Alphabetically)

  • ENV12 CZM 01 Benthic Infaunal Analysis Report pdf format of benthic-infauna-report-2011.pdf
file size 14MB - This 2012 report prepared for CZM by AECOM Environment presents the results of the analysis of 214 seafloor grab samples collected in 2011 during a seafloor sediment survey of southern Cape Cod Bay, south of the Islands (including Vineyard Sound), and in Buzzards Bay. The survey was conducted by CZM and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s OSV Bold. Sediment type and infauna (small, sediment-dwelling animals) were sampled.
  • ENV13 CZM 01 Benthic Infaunal Analysis Report pdf format of ENV13 CZM 01 Benthic Infaunal Analysis Report
file size 2MB - This 2013 report prepared for CZM by AECOM Environment presents the results of an August 2012 seafloor sediment survey between Boston Harbor and the New Hampshire border. The report presents the results of the analysis of the 207 benthic infaunal grabs.
  • Sediment Grain Size and Benthic Infaunal Analysis in Support of CZM's Survey on the OSV Bold: Validation of Seafloor Sediment Maps in Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay pdf format of benthic-infauna-report-2010.pdf
file size 5MB - This 2010 report, prepared for CZM by Normandeau Associates, Inc., presents the results of a seafloor sediment survey conducted by CZM and MarineFisheries in Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay during the summer of 2010. Samples were collected to analyze sediment grain size and infauna (small, sediment-dwelling animals).

Other Seafloor and Habitat Mapping Publications

(Listed Alphabetically)

  • Gulf of Maine Marine Habitat Primer - Written by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center Fellow hosted by CZM, this publication of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment provides an overview of the Gulf of Maine’s coastal and offshore habitats. Illustrated with color photographs and drawings, the primer describes habitat characteristics, ecological functions, economic and recreational values, human impacts, and management considerations.
  • Habitat Classification Feasibility Study for Coastal and Marine Environments in Massachusetts pdf format of ma-habitat-classification-study.pdf
file size 1MB - This 2007 CZM report reviews 11 approaches to classifying coastal and ocean habitats and summarizes and evaluates four of these approaches to determine the most suitable framework or combination of frameworks for classifying coastal and marine habitats in Massachusetts.