The greater Los Angeles area of California is home to more than 10 million people. This large population puts increased pressure on the adjacent offshore continental shelf and margin with activities such as ocean disposal for dredged spoils, explosive disposal, waste-water outfall, and commercial fishing. The increased utilization of the shelf and margin in this area has generated accelerated multi-disciplinary research efforts in all aspects of the environment of the coastal zone. Prior to 1996 there were no highly accurate base maps of the continental shelf and slope upon which the research activities could be located and monitored. In 1996, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Pacific Seafloor Mapping Project began to address this problem by mapping the Santa Monica shelf and margin (Fig. 1) using a state-of-the-art, high-resolution multibeam sonar system (Gardner, et al., 1996; 1999). Additional seafloor mapping in 1998 provided coverage of the continental margin from south of Newport to the proximal San Pedro Basin northwest of Palos Verdes Peninsula (Gardner, et al., 1998) (Fig. 1). The mapping of the seafloor in the greater Los Angeles continental shelf and margin was completed with a 30-day mapping of the Long Beach shelf in April and May 1999, the subject of this report. The objective of Cruise C-1-99-SC was to completely map the broad continental shelf from the eastern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the narrow shelf south of Newport Beach, from the break in slope at about 120-m isobath to the inner shelf at about the 10-m isobath. Mapping the Long Beach shelf was jointly funded by the U.S. Geological Survey and the County of Orange (CA) Sanitation District and was conducted under a Cooperative Agreement with the Ocean Mapping Group from the University of New Brunswick (OMG/UNB). The OMG/UNB contracted with C&C Technologies, Inc. of Lafayette, LA for use of the RV Coastal Surveyor and the latest evolution of high-resolution multibeam sonars, a dual Kongsberg Simrad EM3000D.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Cruise report; RV Coastal Surveyor Cruise C1-99; multibeam mapping of the Long Beach, California continental shelf; April 12 through May 19, 1999