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NEWS ITEM! USGS plans to use sound blasting to map seabed resources

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07/27/2014 01:15 PM
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NEWS ITEM! USGS plans to use sound blasting to map seabed resources
The federal government is planning to use sound blasting to conduct research on the ocean floor along most of the East Coast, using technology similar to that which spawned a court battle between environmentalists and researchers in New Jersey this summer.

John Haines, coordinator of the Geological Survey's coastal and marine geology program, said his research will be low-impact. It is designed to more precisely map the far reaches of the continental shelf to better determine where the United States' exclusive rights to undersea resources such as fish and shellfish extend.

It is not being done to map potential oil, gas or mineral deposits, he said.

''As hard as it is to believe, we don't know in the U.S. where on the seabed our right to protect and use resources ends,'' he said. ''We could extend our ability to use and protect resources hundreds of miles offshore.''

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