Sea Technology

SEP 2013

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Archived Hydrographic Smooth Sheet And Bottom Sample Recovery NOAA Metadata Accessible via Open, Integrated Database By Daniel Neumann H ydrographic survey metadata development at NOAA's tation or deepening from natural processes like onshore curoffce of Coast Survey has evolved from a localized oprents or storms. eration to an open and integrated database in cooperation The smooth sheets may become legal documents in state with NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). and local government boundary disputes. The bathymetry Coast Survey, in partnership with NGDC, is recovering botcan help predict areas of high coral abundance and diversity tom sample data to help researchers and planners with main order to protect that resource and can help the fshing rine habitat study, geologic research, coastal zone manageindustry's stock assessment for bottom trawling. A case in ment and analysis of environmental change. The samples point is the use of smooth sheets in the Aleutian Islands and may help them understand the impact of benthic habitat Gulf of Alaska where NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Seron fsheries and other biological communities, for instance, vice has used the data to outline areas that are too steep and how sediment texture potentially infuences distribution rough to trawl. and population size of ground fsh. The samples also idenThere are currently more than 600 United States hydrotify dredged material for beach replenishment, help estimate graphic surveys that have not been scanned and more than the impacts of events related to slope activity and are use300 bottom-sample forms that have not been compiled. This ful in locating offshore mineral resources. Coastal managtotal includes more than 130 coastal smooth sheets, more ers can use the sample data to determine sites for seabed than 280 Great Lakes smooth sheets and at least 120 smooth communication cables, drillsheets that need repair. REGIONAL BREAKDOWN OF MISSING COASTAL HYDROGRAPHIC SURVEY SCANS ing platforms and other strucThe recovery of misstures as well as proposed sites NUMBER ing scans of hydrographic REGION SURVEY DATES for offshore waste disposal. smooth-sheet and bot32 Maine-New Hampshire-Massachusetts 1856-1950 The samples also aid in envitom-sample metadata are 15 Connecticut-New York-New Jersey-Rhode Island 1838 to 2003 ronmental prediction as surongoing projects. Coast 24 Delaware-Maryland-Virginia-DC 1842-1980 rogates of past climate change, Survey, with cooperation 4 North Carolina-South Carolina-Georgia-Florida 1851 to 1955 ground truth for remotely from the National Archives 2 Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana-Texas 1872 to 1873 sensed data, and identifcation and Records Administra1 Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands 1908 of the extent, nature and transtion (NARA), is commit21 California-Oregon-Washington-Hawaii 1856 to 2002 port of pollutants. ted to providing users with 38 Alaska 1900-2002 Smooth sheets, the fnal scanned images of the missplots of hydrographic surveys, ing surveys. However, there are a snapshot of the best baare a small number of overREGIONAL BREAKDOWN OF RECOVERED SURVEY BOTTOM SAMPLES thymetry at the time. They sized and damaged surveys NUMBER REGION SURVEY DATES provide a historic record of which currently cannot be 5 Maine-New Hampshire-Massachusetts 1963 to 2007 coastal shoreline and water scanned and may not be 21 Connecticut-New York-New Jersey-Rhode Island 1969 to 2009 depth, and thus are critical in able to be completely re28 Delaware-Maryland-Virginia-DC 1984 to 2011 historic analysis of shoreline covered. Likewise, Coast 16 North Carolina-South Carolina-Georgia-Florida 1863 to 2010 movement and depth changes. Survey, in cooperation with 37 Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana-Texas 1970 to 2010 Studying surveys of a specifc NGDC is determined to 3 Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands 1968 to 1971 area can assist with documenprovide full bottom-sample tation of shoreline migration coverage from all available 19 California-Oregon-Washington-Hawaii 1967 to 2010 and erosion. The changes in NOAA hydrographic sur39 Alaska 1967 to 2009 water depth point to sedimenveys. www.sea-technology.com September 2013 / st 33

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