Side-scan sonar along the north wall of the Hess Deep Rift: Processing, texture analysis, and geologic ground truth on an oceanic escarpment

Stephen D. Hurst, Jeffrey A. Karson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Side-scan sonar data collected along the steep, faulted north wall of the Hess Deep Rift provide images of a cross section of the upper oceanic crust. These data are integrated with ground truth from the submersible Alvin and the Argo II remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to evaluate faulting and mass wasting associated with the opening of the rift and to help trace geologic contacts between widely spaced dives and ROV surveys. Initial shipboard and subsequently processed data show excellent backscatter returns with well-imaged textures and distinctive patterns corresponding to specific rock units and surficial deposits. Four backscatter textures are widely developed and found to correspond to outcrops of basaltic lavas, outcrops of sheeted dikes and gabbroic rocks, surficial talus and rubble deposits, and pelagic sedimentary material. Using test areas identified by Alvin dives, the side-scan sonar data were processed to automatically classify the backscatter returns in terms of major rock units. The resultant processed image is used for further manual and computer-aided classification of the scarp geology. These techniques are evaluated for mapping the geology in rugged terrains similar to the steep walls of Hess Deep Rift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B02107 1-12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume109
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Crustal structure
  • Image processing
  • Mid-ocean ridge processes
  • Ocean crust
  • Sheeted dikes
  • Side-scan sonar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Side-scan sonar along the north wall of the Hess Deep Rift: Processing, texture analysis, and geologic ground truth on an oceanic escarpment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this