Evaluating integration of inland bathymetry in the U.S. Geological Survey 3D Elevation Program, 2014

Open-File Report 2016-1126



Inland bathymetry survey collections, survey data types, features, sources, availability, and the effort required to integrate inland bathymetric data into the U.S. Geological Survey 3D Elevation Program are assessed to help determine the feasibility of integrating three-dimensional water feature elevation data into The National Map. Available data from wading, acoustic, light detection and ranging, and combined technique surveys are provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other sources. Inland bathymetric data accessed through Web-hosted resources or contacts provide useful baseline parameters for evaluating survey types and techniques used for collection and processing, and serve as a basis for comparing survey methods and the quality of results. Historically, boat-mounted acoustic surveys have provided most inland bathymetry data. Light detection and ranging techniques that are beneficial in areas hard to reach by boat, that can collect dense data in shallow water to provide comprehensive coverage, and that can be cost effective for surveying large areas with good water clarity are becoming more common; however, optimal conditions and techniques for collecting and processing light detection and ranging inland bathymetry surveys are not yet well defined.

Assessment of site condition parameters important for understanding inland bathymetry survey issues and results, and an evaluation of existing inland bathymetry survey coverage are proposed as steps to develop criteria for implementing a useful and successful inland bathymetry survey plan in the 3D Elevation Program. These survey parameters would also serve as input for an inland bathymetry survey data baseline. Integration and interpolation techniques are important factors to consider in developing a robust plan; however, available survey data are usually in a triangulated irregular network format or other format compatible with the 3D Elevation Program so that data can be integrated with a minimal level of effort. Geomorphic site conditions are known to affect the success and accuracy of light detection and ranging and other bathymetric surveys, and a baseline that includes geomorphic data is recommended to help in evaluation of limitations imposed by geomorphology for surveys completed in the variable physiographic provinces across the United States. The geographic distribution for existing surveys identifies regions where inland bathymetry data have been collected and, conversely, where little or no survey data seem to be available to provide hydrologic and hydraulic information. This distribution, in conjunction with local to regional data needs to characterize and monitor river and lake resources, provides another important set of criteria to propose and guide acquisition of new bathymetry data for the 3D Elevation Program. An initial evaluation of needs can be based on the importance of water resources that provide primary water supplies for communities, agriculture, energy, and ecological systems; the importance of flood plain analyses; and projected population growth across the United States.

Suggested Citation

Miller-Corbett, Cynthia, 2016, Evaluating integration of inland bathymetry in the U.S. Geological Survey 3D Elevation Program, 2014: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1126, 44 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161126.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Bathymetry Survey Techniques
  • Importance of Geomorphic and Hydraulic Site Conditions
  • Integration and Interpolation Techniques for Topographic and Bathymetric Digital Elevation Models
  • Distribution and Coverage of Existing Inland Bathymetry Surveys
  • Framework for a Baseline Inland Bathymetry Program
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. National Geospatial Program Lidar Base Specification Requirements for Hydro-flattening and Breaklines
  • Appendix 2. Inland Bathymetry Surveys for Rivers and Lakes
  • Appendix 3. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Bathymetry

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Evaluating integration of inland bathymetry in the U.S. Geological Survey 3D Elevation Program, 2014
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2016-1126
DOI 10.3133/ofr20161126
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) NGTOC Denver
Description vi, 44 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y