Integrative Acoustic Mapping Reveals Hudson River Sediment Processes and Habitats

Nitsche, Frank Oliver; Bell, Robin E.; Slagle, Angela L.; Ryan, William B. F.; Carbotte, Suzanne M.; Chillrud, Steven N.; Kenna, Timothy C.; Ferrini, Vicki Lynn; Flood, Roger D.; Cerrato, Robert M.; McHugh, Cecilia M.; Strayer, David L.

Rivers and estuaries around the world are the focus of human settlements and activities. Needs for clean water, ecosystem preservation, commercial navigation, industrial development, and recreational access compete for the use of estuaries, and management of these resources requires a detailed understanding of estuarine morphology and sediment dynamics. This article presents an overview of the first estuary-wide study of a heavily used estuary, the Hudson River, based on high-resolution acoustic mapping of the river bottom. The integration of three high-resolution acoustic methods with extensive sampling reveals an unexpected complexity of bottom features and allows detailed classification of the benthic environment in terms of riverbed morphology, sediment type, and sedimentary processes.

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