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Multibeam Water Column Data
NOAA collects and uses multibeam sonar data for a variety of mapping requirements. NGDC, as the US national archive for multibeam bathymetric data, manages over 15 million nautical miles of ship tracklines data from sources worldwide. In 2011 NGDC initiated a new archive for high resolution data collected with scientific multibeam echo sounders capable of mapping the water column. The scientific multibeam echo sounder can yield assessments of the underwater physical and biological characteristics, including mapping spatial distribution of oil and gas, fish, plankton, and marine mammals. NGDC is working with scientists at NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Joint Hydrographic Center to incorporate scientific multibeam echo sounder water column sonar data into the NOAA long-term archive.
NGDC will provide access to these data via an interactive map (ArcGIS) Web interface.
Data are available for free, but may require the requestor to provide an
external hard drive.