The USGS Place Based Studies Program for San Francisco Bay investigates this sensitive estuarine system to aid in resource management. As part of the inter-disciplinary research program, the USGS collected side-scan sonar data and bed-sediment samples from north San Francisco Bay to characterize bed-sediment texture and investigate temporal trends in sedimentation. The study area is located in central California and consists of Suisun Bay, and Grizzly and Honker Bays, sub-embayments of Suisun Bay. During the study (1998-2002), the USGS collected three side-scan sonar data sets and approximately 300 sediment samples. The side-scan data revealed predominantly fine-grained material on the bayfloor. We also mapped five different bottom types from the data set, categorized as featureless, furrows, sand waves, machine-made, and miscellaneous. We performed detailed grain-size and statistical analyses on the sediment samples. Overall, we found that grain size ranged from clay to fine sand, with the coarsest material in the channels and finer material located in the shallow bays. Grain-size analyses revealed high spatial variability in size distributions in the channel areas. In contrast, the shallow regions exhibited low spatial variability and consistent sediment size over time.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Bed-sediment grain-size and morphologic data from Suisun, Grizzly, and Honker Bays, CA, 1998-2002
U.S. Geological Survey
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Report: 25 p.; Plate: 22.58 x 14.82 inches
Grizzly Bay;Honker Bay;San Francisco Bay;Suisun Bay