|NOAA/NOS and USCGS Seabed Descriptions from Hydrographic Surveys
||The NOAA/NOS and USCGS Seabed Descriptions from Hydrographic Surveys database is a
compilation of surficial sediment composition from multiple sources for over 200,000
seafloor sediment samples primarily around U.S. coastal areas. The descriptions were
abstracted from unpublished data reports and Bottom Type "M" log sheets, and digitized
from survey smooth sheets produced by the NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) and its
predecessor, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (USCGS). Prior to August 2001, many
physical sediment samples were routinely sent to the Smithsonian Institution Museum
of Natural History (NMNH) for archive with accompanying "M" log forms from which bottom
type and other information were coded into the NMNH sediment database. In 2001, NMNH
sent a copy of the database to NGDC to be incorporated into the Index to Marine and
Lacustrine Geological Samples database, and for distribution to data users needing
access to the bottom type information in the files. With support from NOS, NGDC digitized
several thousand additional bottom type observations from historic NOS Hydrographic
Survey smooth sheets and added them to the database. NOS is coding thousands more
bottom type observations for entry into the database from survey Data Reports, or
DRs. In 2011, NOS began adding standardized digital bottom type descriptions to the
database using the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) SF57 standard "NATSUR"
(nature of surface) and "NATQUA" (nature of surface qualifier) coding scheme, transferring
the data to NGDC in KML form for archive and upload to the geospatially-enabled database.
Hydrographic Technical Directive (HTD)2011-6 contains the official new directive.
Data are free for online search and download.