David Finlayson, U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Modern Seafloor Mapping at the USGS

  • DINNER MEETING - Tuesday, January 10, 2012
  • Location: Stanford University

  • 5:30 PM-Social (3/4) Hour, Hartley (in Mitchell Earth Sciences)
  • 6:15 PM-Dinner, Hartley
  • 7:30 PM-Meeting, Also in Hartley

    Map and driving instructions

    Anyone wishing to attend the lecture only is welcome at no cost.

    This will be the 429th meeting since 1954


    map of the seafloor with the water missing

    The USGS seafloor mapping program supports scientific studies across most marine disciplines, including traditional geologic and geophysical mapping, mineral exploration, and environmental characterization. In this presentation, we will look at how state-of-the-art sonar systems are being used by USGS scientists. A few interesting examples include a high-resolution map of the San Andreas Fault beneath the Crystal Springs Reservoir, the now-famous submerged dune field beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, 3-D images of methane plumes offshore of Santa Barbara and the Macondo Prospect oil field Gulf of Mexico (site of the Deepwater Horizon accident), and a fantastic map of tsunami-generating landslide debris and pro-glacial sedimentation collected in Passage Canal near Whittier Alaska this past September. All of these data are rendered using modern 3-D processing software giving unprecedented images of the seafloor to marine geologists and oceanographers for their interpretation and study.

    About the Speaker

    photo of David wearing the classic watchcap
    David Finlayson

    David Finlayson is a Geologist for the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) of the US Geological Survey. He is an expert in acoustic remote sensing and serves as the seafloor mapping specialist for PCMSC. David received his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington. He started his acoustic career tracking submarines for the US Navy from P-3 Orions based at Moffett Field.

    Reservations: The preferred way to make reservations is simply to email Mike Diggles at by Jan. 8, tell him you will attend, commit to pay, and bring your payment to the meeting. Mike always emails a confirmation; if you don’t get one, assume email crashed yet again and email him a second time. A check made to “PGS” is preferred, payable at the meeting.

    If you want to pay in advance:

    Everyone (including Stanford folks now) Please make dinner reservations by Dec. 7. Contact Mike Diggles, at U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, MS-951 Menlo Park, CA 94025, Tel.: (650) 329-5404. Send check made out to “PGS” to Mike.

    Dinner and the social hour is $35.00; this includes $5 that we use to help pay for students who are only $8.00 (also partially subsidized thanks to the School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University (Note, no-show reservations owe the full price).

    Doris, whose wonderful crew prepares our meals, asked that we let you know that people who are late RSVPing and people who show up without a reservation will be welcome but that they will be eating on paper plates with plastic utensils (food supply permitting).

    Dues for Academic Year 2011-2012 ($10.00) should be sent to Mike Diggles, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, MS-951, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Mike’s phone: (650) 329-5404.

    Officers: Mireya Berrios, President; Joe Colgan, Vice President; Mike Diggles, Secretary-Treasurer; Elizabeth Miller, PGS Stanford University Coordinator

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    Date created: January 3, 2012
    Last modified: January 25, 2012
    Created by: Mike Diggles, Webmaster-Secretary-Treasurer, PGS.

    c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404. email Mike Diggles at

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