Archive of digital chirp subbottom profile data collected during USGS cruise 10BIM04 offshore Cat Island, Mississippi, September 2010

Data Series 724

For DVD ordering information see: DS 724.
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In September of 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), conducted a geophysical survey to investigate the geologic controls on barrier island framework of Cat Island, Miss., as part of a broader USGS study on Barrier Island Mapping (BIM). These surveys were funded through the Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP) and the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility Project as part of the Holocene Coastal Evolution of the Mississippi-Alabama Region Subtask. This report serves as an archive of unprocessed digital chirp subbottom data, trackline maps, navigation files, GIS files, Field Activity Collection System (FACS) logs, and formal FGDC metadata. Gained (showing a relative increase in signal amplitude) digital images of the seismic profiles are also provided. Refer to the Acronyms page for expansions of acronyms and abbreviations used in this report. The USGS Saint Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) assigns a unique identifier to each cruise or field activity. For example, 10BIM04 tells us the data were collected in 2010 during the fourth field activity for that project in that calendar year. Refer to for a detailed description of the method used to assign the field activity identification (ID). All chirp systems use a signal of continuously varying frequency; the EdgeTech SB-512i system used during this survey produces high-resolution, shallow-penetration (typically less than 50 milliseconds (ms)) profile images of sub-seafloor stratigraphy. The towfish contains a transducer that transmits and receives acoustic energy; it was housed within a float system (built at the SPCMSC), which allows the towfish to be towed at a constant depth of 1.07 meters (m) below the sea surface. As transmitted acoustic energy intersects density boundaries, such as the seafloor or sub-surface sediment layers, some energy is reflected back toward the transducer, received, and recorded by a Personal Computer (PC)-based seismic acquisition system. This process is repeated at regular time intervals (for example, 0.125 seconds (s)), and returned energy is recorded for a specific duration (for example, 50 ms). In this way, a two-dimensional (2-D) vertical image of the shallow geologic structure beneath the ship track is produced. Figure 1 displays the acquisition geometry. Refer to table 1 for a summary of acquisition parameters and table 2 for trackline statistics. The archived trace data are in standard Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) SEG Y rev. 0 format (Barry and others, 1975); the first 3,200 bytes of the card image header are in American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format instead of Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC) format. The SEG Y files may be downloaded and processed with commercial or public domain software such as Seismic Unix (SU) (Cohen and Stockwell, 2010). See the How To Download SEG Y Data page for download instructions. The printable profiles provided here are GIF images that were processed and gained using SU software, and they can be viewed from the Profiles page or from links located on the trackline maps; refer to the Software page for links to example SU processing scripts. The SEG Y files are available on the DVD version of this report or on the Web, downloadable via the USGS Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System ( The data are also available for viewing using GeoMapApp ( and Virtual Ocean ( multi-platform open source software.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Archive of digital chirp subbottom profile data collected during USGS cruise 10BIM04 offshore Cat Island, Mississippi, September 2010
Series title:
Data Series
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
HTML Document; 2 DVDs
United States
Other Geospatial:
Cat Island
Additional Online Files (Y/N):