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Multibeam backscatter data collected in the vicinity of Buffalo Reef, Michigan, within Lake Superior during USGS Field Activity 2018-043-FA using a dual-head Reson T20-P multibeam echosounder (8-bit GeoTIFF, UTM Zone 16N, NAD 83, 2-m resolution)

Metadata Updated: October 28, 2023

In September 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, conducted high-resolution geophysical mapping and sediment sampling to determine the distribution of historical mine tailings on the floor of Lake Superior. Large amounts of waste material from copper mining, locally known as “stamp sands,” were dumped into the lake in the early 20th century, with wide-reaching consequences that have continued into the present. Mapping was focused offshore of the town of Gay on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, where ongoing erosion and re-deposition of the stamp sands has buried miles of native, white-sand beaches. Stamp sands are also encroaching onto Buffalo Reef, a large area of cobble/boulder substrate that supports productive fisheries in the lake. The objectives of this cooperative mapping project are to develop a framework for scientific research and provide baseline information required for management of resources within the coastal zone of northern Michigan. High-resolution bathymetry and backscatter data reveal the irregular topography of the shallow, cobble-covered Buffalo Reef and the relatively smooth surface of finer-grained sediment that covers adjacent, deeper parts of the lake floor. Previous research used numerous sediment samples to determine the general distribution of mine tailings on the lake floor in this area, but little information exists on the extent and thickness of the surficial deposits. The main priority of this project is to image the near-surface stratigraphy, specifically the thickness of surficial sand and mud that threaten to cover the reef, with seismic-reflection profiling systems. In addition to continuous coverage of bathymetric and backscatter data, this report includes a dense grid of closely spaced seismic profiles, which will guide efforts to mitigate the environmental impacts of the shifting stamp sands.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 28, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 28, 2023
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:5ddc10fee4b06957976a5739
Data Last Modified 20210125
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 30fa7d4b-adfd-4a35-88b1-d240f2fef22a
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -88.241749,47.14963,-88.104936,47.22475
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 29d6cb9e3f090b0870886508141eeef83eec9e737b1187e1bbdc359b6da05851
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -88.241749, 47.14963, -88.241749, 47.22475, -88.104936, 47.22475, -88.104936, 47.14963, -88.241749, 47.14963}

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