In 1976, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted the Atlantic Margin Coring Project (AMCOR) to obtain information on stratigraphy, hydrology and water chemistry, mineral resources other than petroleum hydrocarbons, and geotechnical engineering properties at sites widely distributed along the Continental Shelf and Slope of the Eastern United States (Hathaway and others, 1976, 1979). This program‘s primary purpose was to investigate a broad variety of sediment properties, many of which had not been previously studied in this region. Previous studies of sediments recovered by core drilling in this region were usually limited to one or two aspects of the sediment properties (Hathaway and others, 1979, table 2).
The AMCOR program was limited by two factors: water depth and penetration depth. Because the ship selected for the program, the Glomar Conception, lacked dynamic positioning capability, its anchoring capacity determined the maximum water depth in which drilling could take place. Although it was equipped to anchor in water 450 m deep and did so successfully at one site, we attmepted no drilling in water depths greater than 300 m. Strong Gulf Stream currents at the one attempted deep (443 m) site frustrated attempts to "spud in" to begin the hole.