ISOPACHOUS MAPPING OF THE LOWER PATUXENT ESTUARY SEDIMENTS BY CONTINUOUS SEISMIC PROFILING TECHNIQUES

Newell T. Stiles, Donald R. Wiesnet

Abstract


The thickness and extent of the sediment cover in the Patuxent Estuary has been determined using a high-frequency, high-spatial resolution, shallow penetration, continuous seismic profiling system. From these data, an isopachous map was prepared The isopachous map provides the subbottom information required to determine optimum locations for placing test equipment on the river bottom Mud filled depressions, acoustically transparent to 12-kHz sound pulses, occur mainly to the north of Half Pone Point, and east of the present channel Based on the identification of first subbottom reflectors, these depressions are as much as 16 feet thick The dominance of the thicker deposits east of the channel and evidence of a submerged terrace indicates that either the channel has migrated to the west, or that the channel of the Patuxent River at this location was larger in the past and has subsequently filled in much of the material in the eastern edge Maximum penetration at the scarp of the submerged terrace was 36 feet beneath the water-sediment interface This study demonstrates the use of seismic profiling techniques for collecting and presenting data required for coastal engineering applications.

Keywords


isopachous mapping; estuary; estuary sediment; seismic profiling

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