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Title: Identifying fossil shell resources via geophysical surveys : Chesapeake Bay Region, Virginia
Authors: Wadman, Heidi M.
McNinch, Jesse E.
Keywords: Fossils
Oyster shell
Geophysical surveys
Chesapeake Bay Region (Md. and Va.)
Publisher: Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical Report (Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)) ; no. ERDC/CHL TR-16-4
Abstract: Methodology capable of identifying fossil oyster shell (FOS) buried under several meters of sediment is needed to quantitatively assess the availability of FOS for oyster reef restoration in Virginia. Evaluated here is the feasibility of using acoustic sub-bottom seismic surveys for determining the location and quantity of buried FOS. Over 280 miles of seismic surveys and 117 cores were collected in seven regions of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Traditional methods of seismic interpretation were able to successfully identify buried FOS regions throughout the geologically complex study area. The acoustic nature of buried FOS is site specific, however, and requires groundtruthing and geologic expertise to identify in the seismic data. Buried FOS deposits range in thickness from 1 to 3 ft, are located 2 to 8 ft below the seafloor, and are comprised of 12% to 55% shell. Overall, the seven sites contain a minimum of ~877,300 ft³ of buried FOS sediment, of which a minimum of ~288,000 ft³ is shell material. Although a purely quantitative assessment of acoustic data is possible, it is empirical and must be tuned from site to site. Ultimately, it is recommended that a combination of geologic digitizing and quantitative assessment be used to identify buried FOS regions in future seismic studies.
Description: Technical Report
Gov't Doc #: ERDC/CHL TR-16-4
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Size: 58 pages / 2.821 Mb
Types of Materials: PDF
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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