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TitleHabitat mapping and assessment in Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf wind energy areas
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorKentner, V; Guida, V; Johnson, D; Brink, J
SourceProgram and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada; by Todd, B JORCID logo; Brown, C J; Lacharité, M; Gazzola, V; McCormack, E; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8295, 2017 p. 65, Open Access logo Open Access
LinksGeoHab 2017
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Meeting2017 GeoHab: Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping; Dartmouth, NS; CA; May 1-4, 2017
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Program and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
File formatpdf
AreaAtlantic Ocean; United States of America
Lat/Long WENS -78.0000 -62.0000 43.0000 33.0000
Subjectsmarine geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; geophysics; engineering geology; mapping techniques; oceanography; marine environments; coastal studies; conservation; marine organisms; marine ecology; resource management; biological communities; environmental studies; ecosystems; continental margins; continental shelf; energy resources; bathymetry; seafloor topography; bedforms; marine sediments; photography; benthos; geophysical surveys; acoustic surveys, marine; sonar surveys; side-scan sonar; grain size analyses; salinity; temperature; modelling; Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf; Biology; Wind energy; Fisheries; Fisheries management; Fisheries resources
ProgramOffshore Geoscience
Released2017 09 26
AbstractThe Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries to conduct a comprehensive study of eight wind energy areas (WEAs) located along the Northwest Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) from North Carolina to Massachusetts. The purpose of the study is to assess the current state of the WEAs and determine their suitability for the development of wind turbines.
To assess each WEA, NOAA NEFSC has compiled data from a variety new and existing data sources. The data collected includes high-resolution bathymetry from multibeam sonar (2m) and microtopography from side scan sonar (cm level), physical sediment samples from USGS and visual analysis of imagery from HabCam IV and SMAST camera pyramid, CTD scans, benthic infauna samples from sediment samples, and epifauna from trawls. The compiled data will serve as a comprehensive benthic habitat database that can be used as a baseline for evaluating impacts within the WEAs and across the entire OSC. The goal of this study is to create a comprehensive habitat assessment of each WEA including establishing relationships between physical and biological features in an effort to describe habitat distributions.
This study is utilizing several techniques to assess the habitats within the WEAs. We are applying the coastal and marine ecological classification standard (CMECS) to describe and classify the biological communities and the ecosystems within the WEAs. We are conducting various interpolations of the sediment compositions and grain size analysis to characterize the seafloor. We are also mapping multidimensional habitat features in 3D by combining benthic sediment and community data with the ranges of salinity and temperature across depth as well as across time. This assessment can be used in modeling habitat suitability for fisheries stocks and ecosystem assemblages. When combined, these techniques give insight into the environmental and community interactions in each wind energy area, providing area-specific overviews of marine habitat characteristics and vulnerability to wind energy-related development in WEAs for consideration by BOEM and offshore wind developers.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The sixteenth annual GeoHab Conference was held this year (2017) at the Waterfront Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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