A 1-km(2) area located 2 km off the Florida Panhandle (30 degrees 22.6'N; 86 degrees 38.7'W) was selected as the site to conduct high-frequency acoustic seafloor penetration, sediment propagation, and bottom scattering experiments . Side scan, multibeam, and normal incidence chirp acoustic surveys as well as subsequent video surveys, diver observations, and vibra coring, indicate a uniform distribution of surficial and subbottom seafloor characteristics within the area. The site, in 18-19 m of water, is characterized by 1-2-m-thick fine-to-medium clean sand and meets the logistic and scientific requirements specified for the acoustic experiments. This paper provides a preliminary summary of the meteorological, oceanographic, and seafloor conditions found during the experiments and describes the important physical and biological processes that control the spatial distribution and temporal changes in these characteristics.
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