This data set includes pseudo-colored backscatter intensity of the sea floor offshore of northeastern Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The data were collected with a multibeam sea floor mapping system during USGS survey 98015, conducted November 9 - 25, 1998. The surveys were conducted using a Simrad EM 1000 multibeam echosounder mounted aboard the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Frederick G. Creed. This multibeam system utilizes 60 electronically aimed receive beams spaced at intervals of 2.5 degrees that insonify a strip of sea floor up to 7.5 times the water depth (swath width of 100 to 200 m within the survey area). The horizontal resolution of the beam on the sea floor is approximately 10% of the water depth. Vertical resolution is approximately 1 percent of the water depth.
With pseudo-colored backscatter intensity, the backscatter intensity is combined with the topography to display the distribution of intensity in relation to the topography. In the image shown here, the backscatter intensity is represented by a suite of eight colors ranging from blue, which represents low intensity, to red, which represents high intensity. These data are draped over a shaded relief image created by vertically exaggerating the topography four times and then artificially illuminating the relief by a light source positioned 45 degrees above the horizon from an azimuth of 0 degrees. The resulting image displays light and dark intensities within each color band that result from a feature's position with respect to the light source. For example, north-facing slopes, receiving strong illumination, show as a light intensity within a color band, whereas south-facing slopes, being in shadow, show as a dark intensity within a color band.
Note: The north and south sections of this data set were mosaiced and then reprojected from their native projection into North American Datum 1983 (NAD83) / Massachusetts State Plane coordinate system, Mainland Zone (Fipszone 2001) meters by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management on Sept. 5, 2006.