Geological interpretation of a low-backscatter anomaly found on the New Jersey continental margin

TitleGeological interpretation of a low-backscatter anomaly found on the New Jersey continental margin
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year2012
AuthorsSweeney, E, Gardner, James V., Johnson, J, Mayer, LA
JournalMarine Geology
Volume326-328
Pages46-54
Date Published24-08-2012
PublisherElsevier
KeywordsChesapeake Drift, continental slope, multibeam backscatter, submarine canyons, U.S. mid-Atlantic continental margin, Western Boundary Undercurrent

An enigmatic low-backscatter, acoustic anomaly occurs on the New Jersey continental margin between Hudson and Wilmington Canyon channels. The presence of the low-backscatter anomaly, as seen with 6.5- and 12-kHz data, indicates a change in the physical properties of the seafloor or near sub-surface. Analyses of seafloor and sub-surface acoustic data with previously collected sediment cores suggest the low-backscatter feature corresponds to an outcrop of older strata uncovered by erosion and non-deposition by the Western Boundary Undercurrent (WBUC). The decrease in backscatter strength is enhanced by the presence of gas in the sub-surface sediments found in the buried Chesapeake Drift.