NOAA/NOS and USCGS Seabed Descriptions from Hydrographic SurveysAlternate Views: Get Data, FAQ, ISO Rubric, DOI Rubric, CSW, HTML, Components, XML
NOAA/NOS and USCGS Seabed Descriptions from Hydrographic Surveys
browse graphicThe 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 The descriptions were abstracted from unpublished data reports and Bottom Type "M" log sheets, and digitized from survey smooth sheets produced by the NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) and its predecessor, the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.

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AccessFormat(s)Distributor(s) / Contact InfoInstructions / Constraints
Text interface to subset, view data in table form, and/or download data in tab-delimited or KML form.
ArcGIS interactive map interface to view data locations and values, with links to survey products and information.
Format version: UTF-8
Format specification: American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) text format.
Format version: 2.1
Format specification: Keyhole Markup Language Uncompressed File
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
(303) 497-6339
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free online download

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Produced by the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. Not subject to copyright protection within the United States.

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Citation Recommendation: Cite as: National Ocean Service (2013): NOAA/NOS and USCGS Seabed Descriptions from Hydrographic Surveys. National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA, doi:10.7289/V5BG2KWG [date of access]

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Data are not to be used for navigation.


Access to this dataset is unrestricted.

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While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.

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