The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have been working cooperatively to map and study the coastal sea floor. The sidescan-sonar imagery collected during NOAA hydrographic surveys has been included as part of these studies. However, the original sonar imagery contains tonal artifacts from environmental noise (for example, sea state), equipment settings (for example, power and gain changes), and processing (for example, inaccurate cross-track and line-to-line normalization), which impart a quilt-like patchwork appearance to the mosaics. These artifacts can obscure the normalized backscatter properties of the sea floor. To address this issue, sidescan-sonar imagery from surveys H11076 and H11079 offshore of southeastern Massachusetts was enhanced by matching backscatter tones of adjacent sidescan-sonar lines. These mosaics provide continuous grayscale perspectives of the backscatter, more accurately reveal the sea-floor geologic trends, and minimize the environment-, acquisition-, and processing-related noise.
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USGS Numbered Series
Enhanced Sidescan-Sonar Imagery Offshore of Southeastern Massachusetts