Observing Cable Laying and Particle Settlement During the Construction of the Block Island Wind Farm

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Key Researchers: J. Elliot, K. Smith, D. Gallien, A. Khan

This study presents key observations, data, findings, and results from environmental monitoring surveys conducted during the installation of a submarine cable from the mainland at Scarborough State Beach to Block Island’s Fred Benson Town Beach. The cable was installed by use of a customized jet plow.  Real-time monitoring gathered data that included visual observations of the installation process and measurements of suspended sediment concentrations in the water column.


  • No sediment plume was observed as a result of the jet plow operations.
  • Suspended sediment levels on site during jet plow activity were found to be up to 100 times lower than those predicted by the modeling work.
  • Most of the overspill sediments deposited within the overspill levee.

How BOEM will use this information

  • Provide additional information necessary for BOEM’s evaluation of environmental effects of future facilities
  • Generate data to improve the accuracy of models and analysis criteria employed to establish monitoring controls and mitigations