This series of raster data is a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data Series release from the Florida Shelf Habitat Project (FLaSH). This disc contains two raster images in Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) raster grid format, jpeg image format, and Geo-referenced Tagged Image File Format (GeoTIFF). Data is also provided in non-image ASCII format. Rugosity grids at two resolutions (250 m and 1000 m) were generated for West Florida shelf waters to 250 m using a custom algorithm that follows the methods of Valentine and others (2004). The Methods portion of this document describes the specific steps used to generate the raster images.
Rugosity, also referred to as roughness, ruggedness, or the surface-area ratio (Riley and others, 1999; Wilson and others, 2007), is a visual and quantitative measurement of terrain complexity, a common variable in ecological habitat studies. The rugosity of an area can affect biota by influencing habitat, providing shelter from elements, determining the quantity and type of living space, influencing the type and quantity of flora, affecting predator-prey relationships by providing cover and concealment, and, as an expression of vertical relief, can influence local environmental conditions such as temperature and moisture. In the marine environment rugosity can furthermore influence current flow rate and direction, increase the residence time of water in an area through eddying and current deflection, influence local water conditions such as chemistry, turbidity, and temperature, and influence the rate and nature of sedimentary deposition.
State-of-the-art computer-mapping techniques and data-processing tools were used to develop shelf-wide raster and vector data layers. Florida Shelf Habitat (FLaSH) Mapping Project (http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/flash) endeavors to locate available data, identify data gaps, synthesize existing information, and expand our understanding of geologic processes in our dynamic coastal and marine systems.