Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies


Coastal and Marine Systems Science

First Advisor

Paul T. Gayes

Second Advisor

Jenna C. Hill

Third Advisor

Till J.J. Hanebuth

Additional Advisors

Chris Taylor


A regional geophysical survey of the inner continental shelf off central South Carolina was completed on a cooperative cruise between NOAA and Coastal Carolina University in July 2015. An integrated mapping suite comprised of subbottom echosounder, side scan, multibeam and split beam sonars was used to define the regional geologic framework, including paleodrainage patterns across the shelf and to identify potential fish habitat locations that will provide additional inputs to a thematic habitat mapping routine developed by NOAA. Results from the thematic mapper characterization suggest that large-scale framework elements such as paleochannel networks may play a role in determining benthic habitat distribution. A large paleo-fluvial valley associated with the ancestral Santee and Pee Dee River system has been observed in the subbottom data and correlates with broad topographic lows identified by the thematic habitat mapping routine. The collective dataset provides opportunity to locally evaluate and provide a basis to refine the regional habitat mapping routine. Overall, the thematic mapper generally picked inshore complex features but did not pick up smaller detailed areas. This is where sub bottom data can be used to refine the habitat modeling scheme. Additional geophysical surveys are needed to connect the onshore and offshore framework and to further refine channel fill geometries, bottom habitat and Holocene reworking of the shelf system.