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U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection

Current and Sediment Transport Studies on Georges Bank

Description: Data from a series of field experiments carried out in the Georges Bank and New England Shelf region are provided here. Long-term observations of currents and near-seafloor processes were collected to document the causes, frequency, and magnitude of near-seafloor sediment resuspension and transport. Experiments were conducted to assess the around-bank flow (the Georges Bank gyre), the along-shelf variability in flow (simultaneous observations on the southern flank of Georges Bank and in the Middle Atlantic Bight), the seasonal changes in flow (long-term observations at two stations on the southern flank of Georges Bank), and the flux of water westward south of Nantucket Shoals (the Nantucket Shoals Flux Experiment). As part of this program, simultaneous observations were also collected in the Middle Atlantic Bight. The Lydonia Canyon experiment, the Oceanographer Canyon experiment, and the Slope experiment were follow-on studies; each has an experiment page.

Duration: 1975-1984

USGS Principal Investigators: B. Butman and M. Noble

Collaborators: NOAA/NMFS, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Bureau of Land Management (subsequently Minerals Management Service, now Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)


Beardsley, Robert C., Alessi, Carol A., Vermersch, John A., Brown, W. Steven, Pettigrew, Neal R., Irish, James D., Ramp, Steven R., Schlitz, Ronald J., Butman, Bradford, "Nantucket shoals flux experiment (NSFE79) : part 2, moored array data report", DOI:10.1575/1912/8859.

Butman B., 1987, Physical processes causing surficial-sediment movement: chapter 13 in Backus, R.H., ed., Georges Bank, Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, p. 147-162.

Butman, B., and Beardsley, R.C., 1987, Long-term observations on the southern flank of Georges Bank. Part I: A description of the seasonal cycle of currents, temperature, stratification and wind stress: Journal of Physical Oceanography, v. 17, p. 367-384.PDF version.

Butman, B., Beardsley, R.C., Magnell, B., Frye, D., Vermersch, J.A., Schlitz, R.J., Limeburner, R., Wright, W.R., and Noble, M.A., 1982, Recent observations of the mean circulation on Georges Bank: Journal of Physical Oceanography, v.12, 6, p. 569-591. PDF version

Lyne, V.P., Butman, B., and Grant, W.D., 1990, Sediment movement along the U.S. East Coast Continental Shelf Part l: Estimates of bottom stress using the Grant-Madsen model and near-bottom wave and current measurements: Continental Shelf Research, v. 10(5), p. 397-428.

Moody, J.A., Butman, B., and Bothner, M.H., 1987, Near-bottom suspended matter concentration during storms: estimates based on in situ observations of light transmission and a particle size dependent transmissometer calibration: Continental Shelf Research, v. 7, p. 609-628.

Moody, J.A., Butman, B., Beardsley, R.C., Brown, W.S., Daifuku, P., Irish, J.D., Mayer, D.A., Mofjeld, H.O., Petrie, B., Ramp, S., Smith, D., and Wright, W.R., 1984, Atlas of tidal elevation and current observations on the northeast American Continental Shelf and Slope: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1611, 122 p.

Noble, M., Butman, B., and Williams, E., 1983, On the longshelf structure and dynamics of subtidal currents on the eastern United States Continental Shelf: Journal of Physical Oceanography, v.13, p.2125-2147.

Twichell, D.C., McClennen, C.E., and Butman, B., 1981, Morphology and processes associated with the accumulation of the fine-grained sediment deposit on the southern New England Shelf: Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 51, p. 269-280.

Wright, W. Redwood, 1983. Nantucket Shoals Flux Experiment Data Report I. Hydrography; NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-F /NEC-23.

Field Activity Reports: 1975-004-FA, 1975-015-FA, 1975-020-FA, 1975-031-FA, 1976-006-FA, 1976-008-FA, 1976-031-FA, 1976-049-FA, 1976-050-FA, 1977-009-FA, 1977-032-FA, 1978-001-FA, 1978-010-FA, 1978-031-FA, 1978-035-FA, 1979-004-FA, 1979-021-FA, 1979-035-FA, 1979-037-FA, 1980-001-FA, 1980-009-FA, 1980-030-FA, 1980-034-FA, 1982-011-FA, 1982-015-FA.

Revision History

  • Description and publications updated: August, 2018
  • Original data publication prior to 2006

Please use the following citation when referencing this dataset:

Butman, Bradford, Noble, M.A. Lightsom, F.L., Oceanographic Measurements-- Georges Bank, Massachusetts, 1975-1984: U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Data Access

table imageCatalog of Data

Catalog of Data Averaged to Hourly

Data Access via THREDDS (EPIC)

Data Access via THREDDS (CF)

FGDC metadata for this experiment.

Station Locations


For more detail about the measurements collected at each site, browse GB_SED.kml (using Google Earth).

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