Because of the increasing use and importance of lakes for water supply to communities, a repeatable and reliable procedure to determine lake bathymetry and capacity is needed. A method to determine the accuracy of the procedure will help ensure proper collection and use of the data and resulting products. It is important to clearly define the intended products and desired accuracy before conducting the bathymetric survey to ensure proper data collection.
A survey-grade echo sounder and differential global positioning system receivers were used to collect water-depth and position data in December 2003 at Sugar Creek Lake near Moberly, Missouri. Data were collected along planned transects, with an additional set of quality-assurance data collected for use in accuracy computations. All collected data were imported into a geographic information system database. A bathymetric surface model, contour map, and area/capacity tables were created from the geographic information system database.
An accuracy assessment was completed on the collected data, bathymetric surface model, area/capacity table, and contour map products. Using established vertical accuracy standards, the accuracy of the collected data, bathymetric surface model, and contour map product was 0.67 foot, 0.91 foot, and 1.51 feet at the 95 percent confidence level. By comparing results from different transect intervals with the quality-assurance transect data, it was determined that a transect interval of 1 percent of the longitudinal length of Sugar Creek Lake produced nearly as good results as 0.5 percent transect interval for the bathymetric surface model, area/capacity table, and contour map products.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Procedural Documentation and Accuracy Assessment of Bathymetric Maps and Area/Capacity Tables for Small Reservoirs