National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), NOAA Satellite and Information Service

Back to Collection NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC/MGG/Lidar
View Metadata As: Get Data, FAQ, HTML, 19139 XML
Assess Metadata For: Completeness, DOI Readiness, CSW Readiness, Components

2000 USACE Bathymetric LiDAR: Hawaiian Islands

browse graphicThis kmz file shows the extent of coverage for the 2000 USACE Hawaiian Isalnds bathymetric lidar data.
These data were collected by the SHOALS (Scanning Hydrographic Operational Airborne Lidar Survey) system which consists of an airborne laser transmitter/receiver capable of measuring 400 soundings per second. The system operates from a deHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter flying at altitudes between 200 and 400 meters with a ground speed of about 100 knots. The SHOALS system also includes a ground-based data processing system for calculating acurate horizontal position and water depth. Lidar is an acronym for LIght Detection And Ranging. The system operates by emitting a pulse of light that travels from an airborne platform to the water surface where a small portion of the laser energy is backscattered to the airborne receiver. The remaining energy at the water's surface propogates through the water column and reflects off the sea bottom and back to the airborne detector. The time difference between the surface return and the bottom return corresponds to water depth. The maximum depth the system is able to sense is related to the complex interaction of radiance of bottom material, incident sun angle and intensity, and the type and quantity of organics or sediments in the water column. As a rule-of-thumb, the SHOALS system should be capable of sensing bottom to depths equal to two or three times the Secchi depth.

Cite this dataset when used as a source.

Search and Download
    Distribution Formats
    • LAZ
    Distributor Distributor information not available
    Point of Contact
    Documentation links not available.
      • publication: 2013-03-01
      Data Presentation Form: Digital image
      Dataset Progress Status Complete
      Data Update Frequency: As needed
      Purpose: The purpose of the survey was to collect and map data from the shoreline to -30m depths.
      Time Period: Unknown  to  Unknown
      Spatial Reference System:
      Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
      N: 21.718898
      S: 18.900120
      E: -154.803683
      W: -158.275000
      Spatial Coverage Map:
      • Topography/Bathymetry
      • LiDAR
      • LAS
      • lidar survey
      • Hydrographic Survey
      • USA
      • Hawaii
      • Hawaii (The Big Island)
      • Oahu
      • Moloka'i
      • Lana'i
      Use Constraints No constraint information available
      Fees Fee information not available.
      Lineage Statement Lineage statement not available.
      Processing Steps
      • The SHOALS airborne system acquires a tremendous volume of raw data during a single mission. The lidar data are unique and require a specialized Data Processing System (DPS) for post-processing. The DPS main funcions 1) import airborne data stored on high density data tape; 2) perform quality control checks on initial depths and horizontal positions; 3) provide display and edit capabilities; 4) calculate depth and position (XYZ) values for each sounding; and 5) output final positions and depths for each sounding.
      • The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) received topographic files in ASCII format. The files contained bathymetric depth measurements. Some sections of the data were received in NAD27 Hawaii State Plane (various zones), other sections were received in NAD27 UTM Zones 4 and 5. The data were vertically referenced to MLLW (feet or meters). CSC performed the following processing for data storage and Digital Coast provisioning purposes: 1. The topographic las files were converted from Projected coordinates (State Plane or UTM) to Geographic coordinates. 2. If the vertical units were feet they were converted to meters. 3. The data were converted from ASCII to LAS V1.2 4. All points were classified to Class 11 (Bathymetry). 5. The data were converted to LAZ format.
      • The NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) received lidar data files via ftp transfer from the NOAA Coastal Services Center. The data are currently being served via NOAA CSC Digital Coast at The data can be used to re-populate the system. The data are archived in LAS or LAZ format. The LAS format is an industry standard for LiDAR data developed by the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS); LAZ is a loseless compressed version of LAS developed by Martin Isenburg ( The data are exclusively in geographic coordinates (either NAD83 or ITRF94). The data are referenced vertically to the ellipsoid (either GRS80 or ITRF94), allowing for the ability to apply the most up to date geoid model when transforming to orthometric heights.

      Metadata Last Modified: 2013-03-28

      For questions about the information on this page, please email: