Digital seafloor character data of the Gulf of Alaska from historical National Ocean Service (NOS) smooth sheets

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Frequently anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title:
Digital seafloor character data of the Gulf of Alaska from historical National Ocean Service (NOS) smooth sheets
Abstract:
This data release provides seafloor-characteristics point data across the Gulf of Alaska, as digitized directly from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service (NOS) smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001, and archived at the National Geophysics Data Center (NGDC). Geo-rectification and digitization methods were adapted from Zimmermann and Benson (2013). Each location includes information for the smooth sheet number (H#####), a unique site number location, latitude, longitude, collection date, seafloor notation, and the translation of the notation. Unique site numbers were assigned randomly to each notation on a smooth sheet, starting at “_0”. Examples of seafloor notations include: rk (= rock); bu C (= blue clay); hrd (= hard); fne S (= fine sand); Co (= coral) or similar codes; the full code key is given in the Department of Commerce and Department of Defense Chart 1 (2013). In some cases, a diagrammatic indication of the seafloor character is used on the smooth sheet, such as a “*”. During digitization, the corresponding value given in “Chart 1” is assigned to the location; in this case, “*” denotes “rk” or “rock”. Distribution of NOS seafloor-characteristics data across the Gulf of Alaska varies widely: nearer the shoreline, data are more densely distributed; on the mid and outer continental shelf, data are more sparsely spaced. The cited locations of the points were adjusted as necessary in GIS to match the location on the geo-rectified smooth sheet in GIS as projected in North American Datum of 1983. NOAA has published the companion regional bathymetric data and its derivatives and sediment characteristics data for Cook Inlet and areas of the Aleutian Islands at http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/RACE/groundfish/bathymetry/. The project was funded through the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, and Alaska Fisheries Science Center Interagency Agreement AKC-119 (May 2012).
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    Golden, Nadine E., Reid, Jane A., Zimmermann, Mark, Lowe, Erik N., and Hansen, Amalia S., 2016, Digital seafloor character data of the Gulf of Alaska from historical National Ocean Service (NOS) smooth sheets: data release doi:10.5066/F7CV4FT9, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA.

    Online Links:

    This is part of the following larger work.

    Golden, Nadine, Reid, Jane A., Zimmerman, Mark, Lowe, Erik N., and Hansen, Amalia S., 2016, Gulf of Alaska Digitization Project: Digital seafloor character data from NOS smooth sheets: data release doi:10.5066/F7CV4FT9, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -156.222581
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -134.259811
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 61.135883
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 56.120981
  3. What does it look like?
    https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/file/get/5699855be4b0ec051295ed8b?f=__disk__d6%2Fa8%2F22%2Fd6a8225cd0dd0f151d65c98dce0e333198c55b26&allowOpen=true (JPEG)
    map of sample points used to create seafloor character map
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Beginning_Date:
    Ending_Date: 2001
    Currentness_Reference:
    observed
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: shapefile, comma-delimited text
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      This is a Point data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):
      • Point (116750)
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      The map projection used is Albers Conical Equal Area.
      Projection parameters:
      Standard_Parallel: 55.0
      Standard_Parallel: 65.0
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -154.0
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 50.0
      False_Easting: 0.0
      False_Northing: 0.0
      Planar coordinates are encoded using coordinate pair
      Abscissae (x-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 0.002048
      Ordinates (y-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 0.002048
      Planar coordinates are specified in Decimal Degrees
      The horizontal datum used is NAD83.
      The ellipsoid used is Geodetic Reference System 80.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.0.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222.
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    DigitizedSeafloorCharacterizationData_GulfofAlaska
    The shapefile includes vector point data of observed geologic features when each observation was taken. The shapefile can be added to any ESRI ArcMap project. The attribute table of the shapefile is also available as a comma-delimited text file (.csv). (Source: USGS)
    FID
    Internal feature number. (Source: Esri) Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated. This field is not found in the .csv file.
    Shape
    Feature geometry. (Source: Esri) Coordinates defining the features. This field is not found in the .csv file.
    Survey
    The name of the Survey in the form of the naming convention for NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC (Source: NOAA) The name of the Survey in the form of the naming convention for NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC
    Pt_Name
    The name of the Survey in the form of the naming convention for NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC combined with sequential numbers for each smooth sheet (Source: USGS) The name of the Survey in the form of the naming convention for NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC combined with sequential numbers for each smooth sheet
    Latitude
    Latitude (Source: USGS)
    Range of values
    Minimum:55.4989269
    Maximum:61.1396275
    Units:Decimal degrees
    Longitude
    Longitude (Source: USGS)
    Range of values
    Minimum:-156.22258
    Maximum:-134.22158
    Units:Decimal degrees
    CruiseDate
    The date(s) of the survey in YYYYMMDD format (Source: NOAA)
    Range of values
    Minimum:18920101
    Maximum:20111231
    Units:Calendar dates
    NOSSedCode
    The coded description of the sediment in the naming convention for NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC (Source: NOAA)
    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:Sediment type from NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC
    Codeset Source:NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC
    Definition
    Defines the coded description of the sediment in the naming convention for NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC (Source: NOAA)
    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:Sediment Type from NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC
    Codeset Source:NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • Nadine E. Golden
    • Jane A. Reid
    • Mark Zimmermann
    • Erik N. Lowe
    • Amalia S. Hansen
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
    USGS and NOAA appreciate the assistance of Kalei Shotwell and Chris Rooper (both NOAA) and Jennifer Reynolds (University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK) in providing funding to the USGS to complete the project, and of Mega Prescott (NOAA) and Paul Waiters, Sara Kaiser, and Blake McBride (all University of California, Santa Cruz) who assisted with the digitization and proofing process
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    Nadine Golden
    U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
    2885 Mission St
    Santa Cruz, California
    USA

    8314607530 (voice)
    ngolden@usgs.gov

Why was the data set created?

In 2012, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) embarked on an ambitious project to digitize surficial seafloor data from existing National Ocean Service (NOS) smooth sheets in the Gulf of Alaska including numerous bays bordering the Gulf. USGS and NOAA are using the data for the nation-wide usSEABED (http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/usseabed) project that seeks to compile and unify existing seafloor characterization point data into GIS-friendly data using the dbSEABED program (Jenkins, 1997; Reid and others, 2005; Buczkowski and others, 2006; Reid and others, 2006) and for the North Pacific Research Board’s Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystems Research Program (NPRB, GOA-IERP, http://www.nprb.org/gulf-of-alaska-project) juvenile groundfish survival project. In addition, NOAA “Deepwater Sponges and Corals” project uses these data to predict viable habitat for those species. Smooth sheets are available through the National Geophysics Data Center’s online data portal (NDGC, http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov). Data on smooth sheets hold densely packed data including surficial seafloor character that variably includes: rockiness, hardness/softness, sediment size, color, and constituents; as well as navigational hazards including anthropogenic sites or remains, rocky reefs, and areas of kelp or sea grass.
Citations: Buczkowski, B.J., Reid, J.A., Jenkins, C.J., Reid, J.M., Williams, S.J., and Flocks, J.G., 2006, usSEABED: Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands) offshore surficial sediment data release: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 146, version 1.0, available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/2006/146/. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Department of Defense, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, 2013, U.S. Chart No. 1: Symbols, abbreviations and terms used on paper and electronic navigational charts, 12th edition, 132 p., available at http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/chartno1.htm. Jenkins, C.J., 1997, Building offshore soils databases: Sea Technology, v. 38, p. 25-28. Reid, J.A., Reid, J.M., Jenkins, C.J., Zimmermann, M., Williams, S.J., and Field, M.E., 2006, usSEABED: Pacific Coast (California, Oregon, Washington) offshore surficial-sediment data release: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 182, version 1.0., available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/2006/182/. Reid, J.M., Reid, J.A., Jenkins, C.J., Hastings, M.E., Williams, S.J., and Poppe, L.J, 2005, usSEABED: Atlantic coast offshore surficial sediment data release: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 118, version 1.0., available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/2005/118/. Zimmermann, M., and Benson, J., 2013, Smooth sheets: How to work with them in a GIS to derive bathymetry, features and substrates: U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-249, 52 p., available at http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Publications/AFSC-TM/NOAA-TM-AFSC-249.pdf.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: 31-Dec-2012 (process 1 of 1)
    Data Reference Datum Shapefile. In order to properly georeference a smoothsheet, and insure it has been referenced accurately, a shapefile containing all reference datums in the state of Alaska can be downloaded at http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/sf_archive.prl. The file is in the North American Datum of 1983 HARN. Smoothsheets. Smoothsheets are scans from NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center website (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/bathymetry/hydro.html) in MrSID format. Previously Digitized Bottom Characteristics. HYD93 Data contains the locations of soundings and other hydrographic data. It is in the form of an XYZ data table. The data is in a coded format, and for the purposes of this project, it was only used for the locations of rocks. The data can be retrieved from http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/bathymetry/hydro.html). Definitions and information on HYD93 Data can be found at: (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/dat/geodas/docs/hyd93.htm) NOAA/NOS and USCGS Data contain locations and descriptions of Bottom Characteristics. The data are in table form and can be copied and pasted directly from the website (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geosamples/survey.jsp). Georeferencing Alignment. All smoothsheets are aligned to the Reference Datum Shapefile. For all smoothsheets projected in the datum of NAD83, no datum shift/transformation needs to be applied. Smoothsheets are referenced by locating the intersections of latitude and longitude and specifying their locations. Transformations. As many smoothsheets were surveyed prior to establishment of NAD83, a datum shift, or transformation will be required. For the purposes of this manual, a shift will be referred to as a manual shift the user defines and a transformation refers to using ArcMap’s “on-the-fly transformation” tool to switch between datums with a known transformation algorithm. Digitization Attributes. There are several attributes that are collected from the smoothsheet. Attributes include: Survey- The name of the Survey in the form H#####, the naming convention for NOS smooth sheets published from 1892 to 2001 and archived at NGDC Latitude and Longitude- location of each description Sediment- The coded description of the sediment or object SedType- the interpreted description of the sediment or object Name- A general description of the area surveyed (no longer collected) Cruisedate- The date(s) of the survey Interpretations of Descriptions. Descriptions are not interpreted until after the digitization is complete and data has been merged. However, as some symbols may not be intuitively recognized, two documents were used to help in deciding what should be digitized: Chart No. 1 United States of America Nautical Chart Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms. Hydrographic Manual Fourth Edition Defining Locations of Bottom Characteristics. Bottom characteristics are written in a slanted black font and are generally placed to the bottom right of the associated sounding, and if not placed in the bottom right, it is placed in an area that still represents that area of the seabed. The location of the point placed on the description is directly on the top left corner of the description. Objects such as rocks, marked on the smoothsheet with an asterisk (*) had the point placed directly centered on the asterisk. Quality Assurance and Quality Control of Digitized Sediments. Individual datasets are proofed at least once before being merged. Each dataset is plotted with its corresponding smoothsheet and checked for errors in point location, and attributes. Proofed shapefiles do not overwrite previous versions. Instead, shapefiles are copied and given a new name, which indicates the number of times the shapefile has been reviewed.
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
    Observations are of variable unknown accuracy.
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    Variable due to time span of smoothsheet data
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
    No formal positional accuracy tests were conducted
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    Data set is considered complete for the information presented, as described in the abstract. Users are advised to read the rest of the metadata record carefully for additional details.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    Point features present

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: none
Use_Constraints:
USGS-authored or produced data and information are in the public domain from the U.S. Government and are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. Please recognize and acknowledge the U.S. Geological Survey as the originator(s) of the dataset and in products derived from these data. This information is not intended for navigation purposes.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
    Denver Federal Center, Building 810, Mail Stop 302
    Denver, CO

    1-888-275-8747 (voice)
    sciencebase@usgs.gov
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? GulfofAlaskaDigitizationProject_NOSSeafloorCharacter .zip contains a shapefile (.shp) and associated files (.cpg, .dbf, .prj, .sbn, .sbx, .shx) and FGDC-compliant metadata in .xml format. GulfofAlaskaDigitizationProject_NOSSeafloorCharacter.csv contains the same information as the shapefile attribute table (.dbf) but in comma-delimited text format.
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.
  4. How can I download or order the data?
  5. What hardware or software do I need in order to use the data set?
    The shapefile can be viewed with ESRI ArcGIS or other GIS software. The .csv file may be read by Excel or any standard spreadsheet program.

Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 14-Mar-2017
Metadata author:
Nadine Golden
U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Geographer
2885 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA
USA

831-460-7530 (voice)
ngolden@usgs.gov
Metadata standard:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

This page is <https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/catalog/pcmsc/alaska/GulfofAlaskaDigitizationProject_NOSSeafloorCharacter_metadata.faq.html>
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