This GeoTIFF contains multibeam backscatter (acoustic reflexivity) imagery extracted from gridded bathymetry data of the Ascension Slope region of Monterey Bay, California. Original bathymetric data were collected in 1998 using a 30kHz hull-mounted Simrad EM300 multibeam echo sounder system. Grids for this coverage area have cell size of 40 meters. This layer is part of the MBARI Monterey Bay Multibeam Survey collection, a compilation of data and imagery of the Monterey Bay and the adjacent seafloor, including coastline, imagery, and bathymetry. This collection of data provides documented layers of of the Monterey Bay to persons/institutions of interest throughout the research and educational communities. These maps help define the geological variability of the seafloor and provide a detailed framework for future oceanographic research, monitoring, and management activities. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. (2000) Acoustic Backscatter Image: Ascension Slope, Monterey Bay, California, 1998. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Available at: http://purl.stanford.edu/fm332pw8163 North of the Ascension-Monterey Canyon system, the Ascension continental slope is incised with many gullies but does not contain sizable submarine canyons. The multibeam data show the presence of features that appear to be rills, rotational slumps, thin sediment flows, and possible carbonate mounds scattered about the upper slope and flat outer shelf floor (Greene et al., 1999).
Many of the gullies are similar to groundwater morphology described on land (Jones, 1990). These features converge at the distal edge of the continental shelf and upper slope (100-300 meters deep) to form incipient canyons which may be associated with fluid sapping (Greene et al., 1999). Landslides are prominent along this slope. Underlying the landslides and Quaternary sediment cover are rocks of Pliocene age (Purisima Formation equivalent), Miocene age (Monterey Formation) and Jurassic Cretaceous age.