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Oculina Bank: Sidescan sonar and sediment data from a deep-water coral reef habitat off east-central Florida

Open-File Report 99-10

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Abstract

The Experimental Oculina Research Reserve (EORR) is located along the shelf edge off east-central Florida in water depths of about 60 to 100 meters. It is about 7.5 km wide and 43 km long and encompasses numerous high-relief rocky pinnacles where Oculina varicosa, a fragile deep-water coral, grows. These coral reefs have historically been the sites of prolific grouper spawning aggregations and have supported a large variety of other reef fish (Gilmore and Jones, 1992). Serious decline of the fishery in the area prompted the establishment of the EORR.

The data presented in this open-file report were collected as part of a cooperative project between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The project’s goal was to provide reconnaissance geologic maps of the Experimental Oculina Research Reserve and an unprotected control area north of the reserve to support the NMFS studies of grouper spawning aggregations. To accomplish this, we collected sidescan sonar data and sediment samples throughout both study areas and used video and observations from a manned submersible at selected sites. This report includes digital mosaics of the sidescan sonar data, tabulated sediment data, and interpretative maps of the seafloor geology. The video and submersible observations are not included in this report, but were used in the interpretation of the sidescan data.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Oculina Bank: Sidescan sonar and sediment data from a deep-water coral reef habitat off east-central Florida
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
99-10
ISBN:
0607922419
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Description:
1 computer optical disc