Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 3
  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: January 2010

5 - Benthic Habitat Mapping in the Hudson River Estuary


abstract Successful management of underwater lands requires detailed knowledge of the terrain and the interrelationships between landscape and habitat characteristics. While optical techniques can be used where the water is shallow or clear, other techniques are needed where the water is deeper or where optical transmission is limited by water clarity. Marine geophysical techniques provide quantitative measures of the nature of the estuary floor that can provide constraints on the distribution and movement of contaminated sediments as well as the nature of benthic habitats. The Benthic Mapping Program, supported by the Hudson River Estuary Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Hudson River Action Project, is being conducted in the Hudson River to characterize the river bed from the Verrazano Narrows in New York Harbor to the Federal Dam at Troy, New York. The study is using a range of acoustic and sampling techniques to gain new information on the river bed. The first phase of the Benthic Mapping Program, which occurred from 1998 to 2000, focused on four areas (about 40 river miles; 65 km). The products from the study have been incorporated into a GIS data management system for NYSDEC (see for the DEC Benthic Mapper web site, an online version of the GIS database). This effort, supplemented by studies of benthic fauna and bathymetric change, is being continued under NYSDEC support for the remainder of the Hudson River. The second phase of the program worked in four areas in 2001 and 2002 (about 35 river miles; 57 km) and we completed the study by working in three areas in 2003 (about 66 river miles; 121 km).

Carbotte, S., Bell, R. E., McHugh, C., Rubenstone, J. L., Ryan, W. B. F., Nitsche, F., Chillrud, S., and Slagle, A. 2001. Recent evolution of the Hudson Estuary within the Tappan Zee (abstract). Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 33: 453
Carbotte, S. M., Bell, R. E., Ryan, W. B. F., McHugh, C., Slagle, A., Nitsche, F. O., and Rubenstone, J. 2004. Environmental change and oyster colonization within the Hudson River estuary linked to Holocene climate. Geo-Marine Letters, 24(4): 212–24
Flood, R. D. 2002. Complex circulation patterns in the Hudson River Estuary as revealed by bed form patterns (abstract). AGU Fall Meeting, Abstracts and Programs, San Francisco, CA
Gardner, J. V., Butman, P. B., Mayer, L. A., and Clarke, J. H. 1998. Mapping US continental shelves, Sea Technology, 39(6): 10–17
Haeni, F. P., Powers, C. J., White, E. A., and Versteeg, R. 1999. Continuous seismic-reflection and ground-penetrating radar methods for subsurface mapping in water-covered glaciated areas (abstract). Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 31: 142
Hughes Clarke, J. E., Mayer, L. A., and Wells, D. E. 1996. Shallow-water imaging multibeam sonars: A new tool for investigating seafloor processes in the coastal zone and on the continental shelf. Marine Geophysical Researches, 18: 607–29
Iocco, L. E., Wilbur, P., and Diaz, R. J. 2000. Benthic Habitats of Selected Areas of the Hudson River, Based on Sediment Profile Imagery NY. Final Report, NOAA Coastal Services Center, Charleston, SC
McHugh, C. M. G., Ryan, W. B. F., Pekar, S. F., Zheng, Y., Bell, R. E., Carbotte, S., Chillrud, S., and Rubenstone, J. L. 2001. Dynamic equilibrium of the Hudson Estuary revealed by the sedimentary record (abstract). Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 33: 453
McHugh, C. M., Pekar, S. F., Christie-Blick, N., Ryan, W. B. F., Carbotte, S., and Bell, R. E. 2004. Spatial variations in a condensed interval between estuarine and open-marine settings: Holocene Hudson River estuary and adjacent continental shelf. Geology, 32(2): 169–72
Nitsche, F. O., Bertinato, C., Carbotte, S., Ryan, B., and Bell, R. 2001. Comparison of different seabed classifiers based on different acoustic data in the Hudson River estuary (abstract). Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 33: 274–5
Nitsche, F. O., Bell, R., Carbotte, S. M., Ryan, W. B. F., and Flood, R. 2004. Process-related classification of acoustic data from the Hudson River Estuary. Marine Geology, 209: 131–45
Rhoads, D. C., and Germano, J. D. 1982. Characterization of organism-sediment relations using sediment profile imaging; an efficient method of remote ecological monitoring of the seafloor (remote TM system). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 8: 115–28
Stockwell, J. W. Jr. 1999. The CWP/SU; Seismic Un*ⅹ package. Computers & Geosciences, 25: 415–19