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2002 Willapa Bay LiDAR Project

NOAA contracted with Spencer B. Gross, Inc. (SBG) to obtain airborne LiDAR of Willapa Bay, Washington during low tide conditions. The LiDAR data was processed to deliver topographic surface elevation data of the exposed intertidal flats and surrounding terrestrial areas.

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    Distribution Formats
    • LAZ
    Distributor Distributor information not available
    Point of Contact
    Associated Resources
    • Lidar QA/QC Report
      • publication: 2003-02-27
      Data Presentation Form: Digital image
      Dataset Progress Status Complete
      Data Update Frequency: Not planned
      Supplemental Information: The tide patterns of Willapa Bay required that the project area be divided into three sections, and LiDAR flights had to be flown in an East/West orientation to capture the low, low tide conditions. As the tidal waters moved throughout the Bay, flights were completed according to tide data provided by the University of California - Davis (Evolution & Ecology Dept.). Flights were completed during all acceptable periods - day or night.
      Purpose: The elevation data will be used to investigate the impacts of invasive species on the local ecology.
      Time Period: 2002-03-26  to  2002-04-24
      Spatial Reference System:
      Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
      N: 46.7609
      S: 46.3479
      E: -123.616
      W: -124.277
      Spatial Coverage Map:
      • Bathymetry/Topography
      • LiDAR
      • laser
      • beach
      • invasive species
      • spartina alterniflora
      • DEM
      • erosion
      • US
      • Washington
      • Willapa Bay
      Use Constraints No constraint information available
      Fees Fee information not available.
      Lineage Statement Lineage statement not available.
      • Spencer B. Gross, Inc
      • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
      Processing Steps
      • The raw LiDAR data was checked for complete coverage following each mission and at the end of the flights. The data was pre-processed using SBG software to correctly establish the position of each x-y-z point. The data was checked again for completeness and conformance to specifications by comparisons to ground surveyed points. The LiDAR data was post-processed using a customized version of Terrasolid software and bare earth terrain models were developed.
      • The post-processed data from Spencer B. Gross were delivered in Washington State Plane (South) projection referenced to NAD27 with vertical elevations in US survey feet referenced to NGVD29. The data were converted to geographic coordinates using General Cartographic Transformation Program software developed by the United States Geological Survey. The data were then transformed to NAD83 using NADCON grids from the National Geodetic Survey (NGS). A final datum transformation was performed to convert vertical elevations referenced to NGVD29 to NAVD88 using NGS VERTCON grids. A comparison of the LiDAR data to a ground truth data set indciated a 0.137m bias, which was removed. The data were then converted to a binary format and loaded into the LiDAR Data Retrieval Tool (LDART) database.
      • 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: 2013-05-07

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