GGE6022 - Special Topics in Ocean Mapping
Environmental Controls on Survey Design

Taught by:

   John Hughes Clarke  ( Room E32,  506-453-4568

    introductory powerpoint presentation

Learning Objectives

6022 is designed specifically for Ocean Mapping graduate students within GGE. Through the course the main objective is to  learn how to perform an in-depth analysis of the oceanographic and sedimentological framework of a geographic region (an area in which they would intend to conduct a hydrographic survey). The focus of the analysis is to be able to reasonably predict the performance of acoustic survey instrumentation in the region and thus influence the design of the most-economic and informative survey.

In doing the analysis they learn how to usefully extract information from publicly available oceanographic and sedimentological journals or reports, gleaning the information critical to understanding the likely distribution of watermass and seafloor physical properties. Where insufficient archived data and interpretations exist the student is encouraged to make inferences about the likely oceanography and sedimentology based on analogies to better know areas.

Prerequisites - or - Corequisites:

        GGE 3353
        GGE 5013

6022 builds on 3353 and 5013 which are ideally taken as prerequisities. For those however, pressed by time, the course can be taken in parallel (co-requisite). GGE3353 provides information on sonar systems and their sensitivity to the physical properties of the  watermass (sound speed and attenuation) and seabed (sound speed, density and roughness). GGE5013 provides relevant theory of tides, oceangraphy and sedimentology.

Difference between 5013 and 6022

5013 is a 5th year class designed to meet the syllabus of the Hydrographic Certificate.  It consists of a series of formal lectures. Students taking this course are required to attend the classes, do a subset of the field laboratories (tide and currents) and pass the midterm and final.

6022 is a graduate level course that is done through seminars and group discussions. The course is focussed around coastal oceanography and sedimentology. The students have to attend all the 5013 classes (either done previously  or in parallel) but the main focus will be a term paper and presentations on the oceanography and marine geology of a coastal or continental shelf  location and the impact of the environment on the choice of survey instruments and field procedures.

Choosing an Appropriate Region for Analysis

For the purposes of the exercise, the area chosen for analysis should be one for which there are sufficient journal articles or reports on the physical oceanography and surficial sedimentology in the open literature.

Previous studies include:

LocationStudent Name
Baffin BayIan Church
The Dutch Wadden SeaPim Kuus
Chilean Coastal FjordsMiquel Vasquez
The Strait of GibraltarAndres Millan
Amazon River DeltaAluizio Oliveira
Portuguese Continental ShelfRicardo Cordeiro de Almeida
The Northwest PassageJonathan Beaudoin
Strait of Juan De FucaAndrew Muir
Beaufort Sea / Amundsen GulfTravis Wert
Queen Charlotte BasinMeredith Hutchison
St. Lawrence GulfLeonel Manteigas
Gulf of MaineJennifer Coppola
Hudson River / New York BightNicole Delpeche

6022 Deliverables

Preliminary Study : - due by mid term

Background Literature Search - At least 20 references should be available (don't choose interesting but insufficiently studied areas!).

Geological Framework, Physical Constraints - describe the principal geological units that make up the lithified bedrock in the area. Define the contributing watersheds in the surrounding terrestrial topography.  Potential sources and sinks of terrigenous and/or carbonate sediment  (modern deltas, reefs, relict sediments) .  Obtain the best bathymetric model of the area outlining the boundary constraints (links to open ocean, headlands, constrictions, sources of freshwater).

Meterological Environment - seasonal rainfall, wind directions, temperature, sunshine, influence of ice formation.

Tidal Regime Analysis - Using the available tidal constituents for stations within the area of interest describe the type and range of the tides. Discuss the propagation (phase and amplitude variability) of the tides throughout the region of interest.

Preliminary study must be presented as a document accompanying an oral presentation to the class at the time of the mid-term....

Detailed Study - due by end of term

Oceanographic Environment - Description of the temperature and salinity structure of the region, its likely variability daily , tidally (if known), seasonally and geographically. An explanation of the driving forces on the hydrographic regime (open ocean forcing, tidal mixing, wave mixing, solar heating, fresh water influences).

Sedimentological Environment - Modern surficial sediment distribution - what fraction is active and what relict. Recent sealevel history transgressive-regressive.  Modern sources and sinks of sediment. Modes of sediment transport. Influence of tidal currents, v. unidirectional  v.  wave resuspension, ice rafting etc....

Detailed study must be presented as a document accompanying an oral presentation to the class at the time of the final.

last modified by Ian Church
April 2008