EAARL Coastal Topography—Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Pre- and Post-Hurricane Isabel, 2003

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Frequently anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title:
EAARL Coastal Topography—Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Pre- and Post-Hurricane Isabel, 2003
Abstract:
ASCII XYZ data for Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, were produced from remotely sensed, geographically referenced elevation measurements collected post-Hurricane Isabel on September 21, 2003 by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Elevation measurements were collected over the area using the first-generation Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL-A), a pulsed laser ranging system mounted onboard an aircraft to measure ground elevation, vegetation canopy, and coastal topography. The system uses high-frequency laser beams directed at the Earth's surface through an opening in the bottom of the aircraft's fuselage. The laser system records the time difference between emission of the laser beam and the reception of the reflected laser signal in the aircraft. The plane travels over the target area at approximately 55 meters per second at an elevation of approximately 300 meters, resulting in a laser swath of approximately 240 meters. More than 100 kilometers of coastline can be surveyed easily within a 3- to 4-hour mission. When resultant elevation maps for an area are analyzed, they provide a useful tool to make management decisions regarding land development.
Supplemental_Information:
Raw lidar data are not in a format that is generally usable by natural-resource managers and research scientists for scientific analysis. Converting dense lidar elevation data into a readily usable format without loss of essential information requires specialized processing. The U.S. Geological Survey's Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) has developed custom software to convert raw lidar data into a GIS-compatible map product to be provided to GIS specialists, managers, and scientists. The primary tool used in the conversion process is Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS), a multitiered processing system developed originally by a USGS-NASA collaborative project. Specialized processing algorithms are used to convert raw waveform lidar data acquired by the EAARL-A to georeferenced spot (x,y,z) returns for "first surface" and "bare earth" topography. The terms first surface and bare earth refer to the digital elevation data of the terrain, although first-surface data include vegetation, buildings, and other manmade structures, bare-earth data do not. The zero crossing of the second derivative (that is, detection of stationary points) is used to detect the first return, resulting in "first surface" topography, whereas the trailing edge algorithm (that is, the algorithm searches for the location before the last return where direction changes along the trailing edge) is used to detect the range to the last return, or "bare earth" (the first and last returns being the first and last significant measurable part of the return pulse). Statistical filtering, known as the Random Consensus Filter (RCF), is used to remove false bottom returns and other outliers from the EAARL-A topography data. The filter uses a grid of non-overlapping square cells (buffer) of user-defined size overlaid onto the original point cloud. The user also defines the vertical tolerance (vertical width) based on the topographic complexity and point-sampling density of the data. The maximum allowable elevation range within a cell is established by this vertical tolerance. An iterative process searches for the maximum concentration of points within the vertical tolerance and removes those points outside of the tolerance (Nayegandhi and others, 2009). These data are then converted to the North American Datum of 1983 and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (using the GEOID96 model); please note that these data are not suitable for determining absolute elevation measurements.
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    U.S. Geological Survey, 2017, EAARL Coastal Topography—Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Pre- and Post-Hurricane Isabel, 2003: U.S. Geological Survey Data Release doi:10.5066/F76W9879, U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, FL.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -75.74692900
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -75.50760020
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 35.31414400
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 35.18710020
  3. What does it look like?
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Calendar_Date: 21-Sep-2003
    Currentness_Reference:
    ground condition
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: tabular digital data
  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.
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 1e-07. Longitudes are given to the nearest 1e-07. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees. The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983.
      The ellipsoid used is Geodetic Reference System 80.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.000000.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.25722210100002.
      Vertical_Coordinate_System_Definition:
      Altitude_System_Definition:
      Altitude_Datum_Name: North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (GEOID96)
      Altitude_Resolution: 0.20
      Altitude_Distance_Units: meters
      Altitude_Encoding_Method:
      Explicit elevation coordinate included with horizontal coordinates
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    Entity_and_Attribute_Overview:
    The input parameters for the random consensus filter (RCF) were: grid cell size (buffer) = 800 centimeters x 800 centimeters; vertical tolerance (vertical width) = 60 centimeters for bare-earth topography.
    Entity_and_Attribute_Detail_Citation: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2009/1078/
    CAHA2003_PostIsabel_EAARLA_BE_n88g96.xyz
    This file contains location and elevation data (.xyz), which is provided in ASCII space-delimited format. (Source: Internally devised to maintain naming consistency.)
    X
    Longitude in decimal degrees (Source: North American Datum of 1983)
    Range of values
    Minimum:-75.74692900
    Maximum:-75.50760020
    Y
    Latitude in decimal degrees (Source: North American Datum of 1983)
    Range of values
    Minimum:35.18710020
    Maximum:35.31414400
    Z
    Altitude in meters (Source: North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (GEOID96))
    Range of values
    Minimum:-2.03
    Maximum:11.22

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • U.S. Geological Survey
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
    Acknowledgment of the U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, as a data source would be appreciated in products developed from these data, and such acknowledgment as is standard for citation and legal practices for data source is expected. Sharing of new data layers developed directly from these data would also be appreciated by the U.S. Geological Survey staff. Users should be aware that comparisons with other datasets for the same area from other periods may be inaccurate because of inconsistencies resulting from changes in photointerpretation, mapping conventions, and digital processes over time. These data are not legal documents and are not to be used as such.
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    Xan Fredericks
    U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, St. Petersburg, FL
    Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator
    600 4th Street South
    St. Petersburg, FL
    USA

    727 502-8086 (voice)
    727 502-8182 (FAX)
    afredericks@usgs.gov
    Hours_of_Service: M-F, 8:00-4:00 ET

Why was the data set created?

The purpose of this project was to produce a highly detailed and accurate digital elevation map for a portion of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, for use as a management tool and to make these data available to natural-resource managers and research scientists. To ensure that SPCMSC data management protocols were followed, this survey was retroactively assigned a USGS field activity number (FAN), 03LTS01. Additional survey and data details are available at https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/fan_info.php?fan=03LTS01.

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: 11-Oct-2011 (process 1 of 3)
    The data are collected using a Cessna 310 aircraft. The Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) laser scanner collects the data using a green-wavelength (532-nanometer) raster scanning laser, while a digital camera acquires a visual record of the flight. The data are stored on hard drives and archived at the U.S. Geological Survey office in St. Petersburg, Florida. The navigational data are processed and then, along with the raw data, are downloaded into ALPS, or the Airborne Lidar Processing System (20110812 - 20111011). Data are converted from units of time to x,y,z points for elevation and formatted into .xyz files, with quality checks built into the software. Synchronously (or nearly synchronously) with the post-Hurricane Isabel (20030921) airborne mission, a Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB), a rolling 35-foot tripod survey station features instrumentation to survey transects from the dry beach out to approximately 25 feet of water, was conducted. This instrument was used to measure elevations along the beach and shallow water areas. The expected root mean square error (rmse) accuracy of these ground data was approximately 10 cm. Based on comparison to data collected for this mission, the mean offset between the ground-based surveys and bare earth lidar was 27 cm (lidar elevations higher than the ground-based measurements) and the rmse between the two measurements was 1.94 m. The data are then datum converted to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 using GEOID96. Person who carried out this activity:
    Xan Fredericks
    U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, St. Petersburg, FL
    Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator
    600 4th Street South
    St. Petersburg, FL
    USA

    727 502-8086 (voice)
    afredericks@usgs.gov
    Hours_of_Service: M-F, 8:00-4:00 ET
    Date: 13-Oct-2016 (process 2 of 3)
    Metadata imported into ArcCatalog 10.2.2 from XML file. Person who carried out this activity:
    Xan Fredericks
    U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, St. Petersburg, FL
    Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator
    600 4th Street South
    St. Petersburg, FL
    USA

    727 502-8086 (voice)
    afredericks@usgs.gov
    Hours_of_Service: M-F, 8:00-4:00 ET
    Date: 23-May-2018 (process 3 of 3)
    Keywords section of metadata optimized by adding USGS theme keywords. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: Arnell S. Forde
    Geologist
    600 4th Street South
    St. Petersburg, FL

    727-502-8000 (voice)
    aforde@usgs.gov
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?
    Nayegandhi, A., Brock, J.C., and Wright, C.W., 2009, Small footprint, waveform-resolving lidar estimation of submerged and subcanopy topography in coastal environments: International Journal of Remote Sensing v. 30 no. 4, p. 861-878.


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

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
    The expected accuracy of the measured variables are as follows: attitude within 0.07 degree, 3-cm nominal ranging accuracy, and vertical elevation accuracy of +/-30 cm for the topographic surface. Quality checks are built into the data-processing software.
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    Raw lidar measurements have been determined to be within 1 meter in horizontal accuracy.
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
    Typical vertical elevation accuracies for these data are consistent with the point elevation data, +/-30 centimeters. However, a ground-control survey is not conducted simultaneously with every lidar survey. Vertical accuracies may vary based on the type of terrain and the accuracy of the GPS and aircraft-attitude measurements.
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    These point-cloud data may appear sparse or nonexistent in some areas, which may be a result of manual removal during the editing process, or from lack of survey coverage.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    These data are located in UTM Zone 18.

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:
Public domain data from the U.S. Government are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. The U.S. Geological Survey requests to be acknowledged as originator of these data in future products or derivative research.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: Xan Fredericks
    Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator
    600 4th Street South
    St. Petersburg, FL
    USA

    727 502-8086 (voice)
    Hours_of_Service: M-F, 8:00-4:00 ET
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? CAHA2003_PostIsabel_EAARLA_BE_n88g96.xyz
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    Although these data have been processed successfully on a computer system at 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. The USGS shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described or contained herein. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
  4. How can I download or order the data?
  5. Is there some other way to get the data?
    Contact U.S. Geological Survey for details.

Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 23-May-2018
Metadata author:
Xan Fredericks
U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, St. Petersburg, FL
Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator
600 4th Street South
St. Petersburg, FL
USA

727 502-8086 (voice)
afredericks@usgs.gov
Hours_of_Service: M-F, 8:00-4:00 ET
Metadata standard:
Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

This page is <https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/catalog/spcmsc/CAHA2003_PostIsabel_EAARLA_BE_n88g96_metadata.faq.html>
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