Multibeam bathymetric data from selected U.S. continental margins are being collected for use in the future development of potential submissions that the United States may make to the United Nations Commission on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to extend the nation's sovereign rights over the resources of the seafloor and the subsurface.

However, the new data also represent a valuable resource for the next generation of marine geologists to study the complexity of surficial processes of several U.S. continental margins. For example, the details of the morphology of large sediment slides on the U.S.Atlantic continental slope and rise have been mapped, and enigmatic features such as a meandering channel on a channel levee on the U.S.Alaskan Pacific margin have been discovered.