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James E. Conrad

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The Palos Verdes Fault (PVF) is one of few active faults in Southern California that crosses the shoreline and can be studied using both terrestrial and subaqueous methodologies. To characterize the near-seafloor fault morphology, tectonic influences on continental slope sedimentary processes and late Pleistocene to present slip rate, a grid of high-resolution multibeam bathymetric data, and chirp subbottom profiles were acquired with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) along the main trace of PVF in water depths between 250 and 600 m. Radiocarbon dates were obtained from vibracores collected using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and ship-based gravity cores. The PVF is expressed as a well-defined seafloor...
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Hyperpycnal gravity currents rapidly transport sediment across shore from rivers to the continental shelf and deep sea. Although these geophysical processes are important sediment dispersal mechanisms, few distinct geomorphic features on the continental shelf can be attributed to hyperpycnal flows. Here we provide evidence of large depositional features derived from hyperpycnal plumes on the continental shelf of the northern Santa Barbara Channel, California, from the combination of new sonar, lidar, and seismic reflection data. These data reveal lobate fans directly offshore of the mouths of several watersheds known to produce hyperpycnal concentrations of suspended sediment. The fans occur on an upwardly concave...
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The San Diego trough fault zone (SDTFZ) is part of a 90-km-wide zone of faults within the inner California Borderland that accommodates motion between the Pacific and North American plates. Along with most faults offshore southern California, the slip rate and paleoseismic history of the SDTFZ are unknown. We present new seismic reflection data that show that the fault zone steps across a 5-km-wide stepover to continue for an additional 60 km north of its previously mapped extent. The 1986 Oceanside earthquake swarm is located within the 20-km-long restraining stepover. Farther north, at the latitude of Santa Catalina Island, the SDTFZ bends 20° to the west and may be linked via a complex zone of folds with the...
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We investigated the benthic foraminiferal faunal and stable carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of a 15-cm push core (NA075-092b) obtained on a Telepresence-Enabled cruise to the Southeast Seep on Kimki Ridge offshore southern California. The seep core was taken at a depth of 973 m in the vicinity of a Beggiatoa bacterial mat and vesicomyid clams (Calyptogena) and compared to previously published data of living assemblages from ~ 714 m, four reference cores obtained at ~ 1030 m, and another one at 739 m. All of the reference sites are also from the Inner Continental Borderland but with no evidence of methane seepage.No endemic species were found at the seep site and most of the taxa recovered there have been...
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In February 2016 the University of Washington in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (USGS, PCMSC) collected multibeam bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data in the Catalina Basin aboard the University of Washington's Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson. Data was collected using a Kongsberg EM300 multibeam echosounder hull-mounted to the 274-foot R/V Thomas G. Thompson. The USGS, PCMSC processed these data and produced a series of bathymetric surfaces and acoustic backscatter images for scientific research purposes. A 25-m bathymetric surface produced from this work was merged with publically available multibeam bathymetry data as well as 2015, 2016, and 2017 multibeam...
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