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Mapping Deep Corals in the U.S. South Atlantic to Conserve Vulnerable Fish Habitat and Ecosystems

For more information about the project or additional project publications, visit the Research Project Page

This project began in April 2009 and was completed in November 2012. Deep-sea corals provide important habitats for many marine species, including commercial fish. We collected available bathymetric information in the U.S. South Atlantic as part of an initiative of the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program. The data will be used to target areas for deep-sea coral surveys and to develop a predictive model to identify where deep-sea corals are likely to occur. The information will help coastal managers conserve these fragile ecosystems. For more information about this projects data contact Dan Dorfman, Tim Battista or John Christensen.

Data and Maps

Multibeam data were collected with a hull-mounted Simrad EM 1002 multibeam SoNAR aboard the NOAA ship Nancy Foster, and from a Kongsberg EM 122 aboard the NOAA Ship Ron Brown. It was processed by a NOAA contractor using CARIS HIPS/SIPS v.7.0 software. Slope (in degrees) and rugosity are derived from the gridded bathymetry surface, using ESRI’s Spatial Analyst extension and NOAA’s Benthic Habitat Modeler Toolbar. For more information about these derived surfaces, please see each dataset’s metadata (included in the zipped file).

Backscatter data were collected using a Simrad EM 1002 and Kongsburg Em 122 multibeam echosounder. Backscatter imagery is produced by deriving the acoustic intensity from the multibeam data.

Lost Coast Explorer 2010 Mission
NOTE: The 3m surfaces for the 2010 Lost Coast Explorer are high resolution data sets that cover very large areas of the seafloor. These 3m surfaces may take a longer time to download and display in GIS than the 10m surfaces because of the large transfer sizes of the data. Please be aware of your computer's hard disk space and RAM capacity in order to optimize download speed and processing of the dataset.

Ron Brown November 2010 Mission

Nancy Foster September 2009 Mission

Nancy Foster June 2007 Mission (Gray's Reef Cruise)

Thomas Jefferson 2007 Mission

Nancy Foster 2006 Mission

Little Hales 2003 Mission

Pathfinder 2003 Mission

Whiting 2001 Mission

Whiting 2000 Mission

Ewing 1997 Mission