Side scan sonar image and geologic interpretation of the Ría de Pontevedra seafloor (Galicia, NW Spain)
Soledad García-Gil, Ruth Durán, Federico Vilas

High-resolution side scan sonar has been used for mapping the seafloor of the Ría de Pontevedra. Four backscatter patterns have been mapped within the Ría: (1) Pattern with isolated reflections, correlated with granite and metamorphic outcrops and located close to the coastal prominence and Ons and Onza Islands. (2) Pattern of strong reflectivity usually located around the basement outcrops and near the coastline and produced by coarse-grained sediment. (3) Pattern of weak backscatter is correlated with fine sand to mud and comprising large areas in the central and deep part of the Ría, where the bottom currents are weak. It is generally featureless, except where pockmarks and anthropogenic features are present. (4) Patches of strong and weak backscatter are located in the boundary between coarse and fine-grained sediments and they are due to the effect of strong bottom currents. The presence of megaripples associated to both patterns of strong reflectivity and sedimentary patches indicate bedload transport of sediment during high energy conditions (storms). Side scan sonar records and supplementary bathymetry, bottom samples and hydrodynamic data reveal that the distribution of seafloor sediment is strongly related to oceanographic processes and the particular morphology and topography of the Ría.

Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 64(4) : 393-402 Back PDF
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