Mapping and lithologic interpretation of the Territorial Sea, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kd17cw97v

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  • Seafloor lithologic maps have been widely used to identify conservation sites. In this study, a lithologic interpretation of Oregon's territorial seafloor was created as an interim product in response to the need for a comprehensive lithologic map that will be used in the identification, evaluation and design of marine reserves in Oregon. While future multibeam mapping of the Oregon Territorial Sea will likely replace this product in the next few years, the ground truth data from which the map is constructed will continue in use in future efforts. This mapping project utilized a classical geologic approach aided by GIS technology in which all relevant thematic geologic layers were applied to interpret patterns of seafloor lithology. The discovery of approximately 9,600 NOS bottom samples from the National Ocean Service (NOS) historic hydrographic smooth sheet archives has tremendously improved upon the original sample dataset (305 bottom samples) used in previous characterization of Oregon's territorial seabed. Supplementing the NOS bottom samples, other existing datasets including historic kelp distribution (used as proxy for rock), a triangulated irregular network (TIN) surface model derived from bathymetric soundings, rock outcrops digitized from 0.5 meter aerial photos, subsurface structure, and the adjacent onshore Oregon digital geologic map were used. While the collection of smooth sheet data from historic surveys utilized leadline sampling techniques and traditional navigation methods such as three-point sextant positioning, it was observed that the typical positional error averaged ~28 meters relative to contemporary aerial photography where comparison was possible. GIS software was used for simultaneous display of varied thematic layers, qualitative interpretation, quantitative accuracy assessment, and density mapping processes in this project. This current mapping effort showed that the NOS "smooth sheet" data collected from 1858 to 1958 compares well with modern data and that the NOS datasets and methods are able to capture the general outlines of rocky outcrops particularly in shallow areas. The territorial lithologic map shows a reasonable overall accuracy of 64 % relative to existing habitat interpretation of rocky reefs based on high-resolution multibeam data. Furthermore, the NOS bottom samples provide an opportunity to map additional sediment types that are not represented in the existing Surficial Geologic Habitat (SGH) map of the territorial sea. Finally, a companion product to the maps, a composite density map was created from the underlying datasets (kelp, bathymetry and bottom samples) to represent the spatial variation in data quality and quantity used in the interpretation of seafloor lithology. It is anticipated that the data obtained from this study will serve as a useful tool for scientific investigation and management efforts such as the ocean zoning in the nearshore region of the Oregon coast, which includes the upcoming designation and evaluation of marine reserves.
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