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St. Thomas and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands Coastal Digital Elevation Model

browse graphicPerspective view of DEM
NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) is building high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) for select U.S. coastal regions. These integrated bathymetric-topographic DEMs are used to support tsunami forecasting and warning efforts at the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). The DEMs are part of the tsunami forecast system SIFT (Short-term Inundation Forecasting for Tsunamis) currently being developed by PMEL for the NOAA Tsunami Warning Centers, and are used in the MOST (Method of Splitting Tsunami) model developed by PMEL to simulate tsunami generation, propagation, and inundation. Bathymetric, topographic, and shoreline data used in DEM compilation are obtained from various sources, including NGDC, the U.S. National Ocean Service (NOS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other federal, state, and local government agencies, academic institutions, and private companies. DEMs are referenced to the vertical tidal datum of Mean High Water (MHW) and horizontal datum of World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84). Cell size for the DEMs ranges from 1/3 arc-second (~10 meters) to 3 arc-seconds (~90 meters).

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Distribution Formats
  • ESRI Arc ASCII (Version: 1)
    • File Compression: WINZIP
Distributor Distributor information not available
No point of contact available for this dataset
General Documentation
Associated Resources
  • NOAA Tsunami Inundation Gridding Project
  • Digital Elevation Models of the U.S. Virgin Islands: Procedures, Data Sources, and Analysis
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • publication: 2010-10-08
Edition: First
Data Presentation Form: mapDigital
Dataset Progress Status Complete
Data Update Frequency: As needed
Purpose: Developed for the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), NOAA Center for Tsunami Research program in support of NOAA's tsunami forecasting and warning efforts.
Time Period: 1909-01-01  to  2010-01-01
Spatial Reference System:
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
N: 18.48
S: 18.17
E: -64.64
W: -65.15
Spatial Coverage Map:
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Seafloor Topography
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Bathymetry
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Water Depth
  • Earth Science > Land Surface > Topography > Terrain Elevation
  • Earth Science > Land Surface > Topography > Topographical Relief Maps
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coastal Elevation
  • DEM > Digital Elevation Model
  • H: 1 meter - < 30 meters
  • V: < 1 meter
  • Coastal Relief
  • Gridded elevations
  • Integrated bathymetry and topography
  • Ocean > Atlantic Ocean > North Atlantic Ocean > Caribbean Sea > U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Vertical Location > Land Surface
  • Vertical Location > Sea Floor
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • St. Thomas
  • St. John
Use Constraints No constraint information available
Fees Fee information not available.
Source Datasets
  • NOS Hydrographic Surveys
  • NGDC Multibeam Bathymetry Database
  • Electronic Navigational Charts
  • NGDC Marine Geophysical Trackline Database
  • Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM)
  • USGS gridded interferometric bathymetry survey data collected in the U.S. Virgin Islands
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: Bathymetry collected using interferometric bathymetric sonar operating on a frequency of 234 kHz. Data were gridded at 5 meters. ; Source Type: ftp
    • Temporal extent used:  unknown  to 
  • NStxRonBrown_50m
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: Gridded multibeam files ; Source Type: ftp
    • Temporal extent used:  unknown  to 
  • USGS EAARL Lidar
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: Topographic and submerged topographic lidar DEM ; Source Type: cd
    • Temporal extent used:  unknown  to 
  • CCMA Biogeography Gridded Multibeam
  • Bench Mark Data Sheets with Tidal Datum References
  • Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hybrid Model
    • Description of Source: Source Contribution: Hybrid Model of Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands relating NAD 83 Ellisoid with the VIVD09 datum ; Source Type: email
    • Temporal extent used:  unknown  to 
Lineage Statement Lineage statement not available.
Processing Steps
  • All datasets obtained by NGDC were converted to common horizontal datums of WGS 84 geographic, respectively, using FME. They were also converted to common file formats, ESRI point shapefiles and xyz files, for visualization and inspection.
  • Conversion grids were created to convert all data from common vertical datums of MHW. Grids were created using the difference values from tide stations from the Virgin Islands region and the Inverse Distance Weighting tool in ArcMap. Data were converted to MHW by subtracting the grid value from the data elevation value.
  • Datasets were visually inspected with ArcGIS for identification and editing of data anomalies. Datasets were then compared with overlapping datasets to ensure data consistency.
  • Multibeam sonar surveys were gridded to 3 arc-second spacing (~90 meters) using MB-System's 'mbgrid' tool. The resulting Arc ASCII grids were imported into ArcGIS.
  • xyz files of the bathymetric data were surfaced using ESRI's ArcGIS onto a 3 arc-second grid that was then converted to an xyz file.
  • xyz files for each input dataset were gridded using MB-System's 'mbgrid' tool, which utilizes a high-tension spline interpolation method to fill grid cells with no input elevation values. Preferential weighting was given to more recent, higher-accuracy datasets.
  • The DEM was quantitatively evaluated by comparing with NGS geodetic monuments. It was visually evaluated by converting to UTM-zone coordinates (units of meters horizontally and vertically) and then creating a slope grid to identify gridding artifacts in the DEM.
Processing Environment Native Dataset Environment: Microsoft Windows 2000 Version 5.2 (Build 3790) Service Pack 2; ESRI ArcCatalog

Metadata Last Modified: 2015-09-03

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