Tone-matched enhanced TIFF sidescan-sonar image from Boulder Basin, Lake Mead - UTM projection

Metadata also available as - [Outline] - [Parseable text] - [XML]

Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Tone-matched enhanced TIFF sidescan-sonar image from Boulder Basin, Lake Mead - UTM projection
Lake Mead is a large interstate reservoir located in the Mojave Desert of southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. It was impounded in 1935 by the construction of Hoover Dam and is one of a series of multi-purpose reservoirs on the Colorado River. The lake extends 183 km from the mouth of the Grand Canyon to Black Canyon, the site of Hoover Dam, and provides water for residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, and other non-agricultural users in communities across the southwestern United States. Extensive research has been conducted on Lake Mead, but a majority of the studies have involved determining levels of anthropogenic contaminants such as synthetic organic compounds, heavy metals and dissolved ions, furans/dioxins, and nutrient loading in lake water, sediment, and biota (Preissler, et al., 1998; Bevans et al, 1996; Bevans et al., 1998; Covay and Leiker, 1998; LaBounty and Horn, 1997; Paulson, 1981). By contrast, little work has focused on the sediments in the lake and the processes of deposition (Gould, 1951). To address these questions, sidescan-sonar imagery and high-resolution seismic-reflection profiles were collected throughout Lake Mead by the USGS in cooperation with researchers from University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). These data allow a detailed mapping of the surficial geology and the distribution and thickness of sediment that has accumulated in the lake since the completion of Hoover Dam. Results indicate that the accumulation of post-impoundment sediment is primarily restricted to former river and stream beds that are now submerged below the lake while the margins of the lake appear to be devoid of post-impoundment sediment. The sediment cover along the original Colorado River bed is continuous and is typically greater than 10 m thick through much of its length. Sediment thickness in some areas exceeds 35 m while the smaller tributary valleys typically are filled with less than 4 m of sediment. Away from the river beds that are now covered with post-impoundment sediment, pre-impoundment alluvial deposits and rock outcrops are still exposed on the lake floor.
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    Twichell, David C., and Cross, VeeAnn A., 2003, Tone-matched enhanced TIFF sidescan-sonar image from Boulder Basin, Lake Mead - UTM projection: Open-File Report 03-320, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, Woods Hole, MA.

    Online Links:

    This is part of the following larger work.

    Twichell, David C., Cross, VeeAnn A., and Belew, Stephen D., 2003, Mapping the floor of Lake Mead (Nevada and Arizona): Preliminary discussion and GIS data release: Open-File Report 03-320, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -114.865290
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -114.628113
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 36.155755
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 36.007230
  3. What does it look like?
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Beginning_Date: 14-May-1999
    Ending_Date: 25-May-1999
    ground condition
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: remote-sensing image
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      This is a Raster data set. It contains the following raster data types:
      • Dimensions 8000 x 10500 x 1, type Pixel
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Grid_Coordinate_System_Name: Universal Transverse Mercator
      UTM_Zone_Number: 11
      Scale_Factor_at_Central_Meridian: 0.999600
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -117.000000
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 0.000000
      False_Easting: 500000.000000
      False_Northing: 0.000000
      Planar coordinates are encoded using row and column
      Abscissae (x-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 2.000000
      Ordinates (y-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 2.000000
      Planar coordinates are specified in meters
      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 1/298.257222.
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    The pixel value represents the DN return value of the sidescan-sonar system. A high value (ie 254) indicates a highly reflective lake floor surface, while a low value (ie 0) indicates low reflectance.
    Entity_and_Attribute_Detail_Citation: U.S. Geological Survey

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • David C. Twichell
    • VeeAnn A. Cross
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    David C. Twichell
    U.S. Geological Survey
    384 Woods Hole Rd.
    Woods Hole, MA

    (508) 548-8700 x2266 (voice)
    (508) 457-2310 (FAX)

Why was the data set created?

This sidescan-sonar imagery is used to map the morphology of the lake floor and determine the extent of sediment distribution on the lake floor.

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: unknown (process 1 of 11)
    Sidescan sonar imagery was collected using a Datasonics SIS-1000 sidescan sonar system and logged to a Triton QMIPS data logging computer.
    Date: unknown (process 2 of 11)
    The digital sidescan data were then processed and mapped to provide proper geographic locations of features identified in the imagery. The processing steps included subsampling the raw sidescan data using a median filtering routine to suppress speckle noise and reduce file size, and corrrect for slant-range distortion, signal attenuation, and dropped sonar lines using XSonar (Danforth et al., 1991). After these processing steps, the imagery was mapped into its proper geographic location using techniques summarized by Paskevich (1996). Individual sidescan swaths were mapped with each pixel geographically positioned at a resolution of 2 m/pixel. Due to the difficult nature of working in a lake environment, XSonar was modified by Danforth to incorporate the ability to exclude portions of the imagery from the beam angle correction routine. This enabled the stark contrast between highly reflection rock outcrops and fine-grained sediment deposits to be preserved. This enhancement was not available in 1999 when the data were collected, so the data were reprocessed in 2001. Processing the data up to this point was done be VeeAnn Cross. Data sources used in this process:
    • Danforth, W.W., O'Brien, T.F., and Schwab, W.C., 1991, USGS image processing system: near real-time mosaicking of high-resolutoin sidescan-sonar data: Sea Technology, Jan., 1991, p. 54-59.
    • Paskevich, V.F., 1996, MAPIT: An improved method for mapping digital sidescan sonar data using the Woods Hole Image Processing System (WHIPS) software: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 96-281, 73p.
    Date: unknown (process 3 of 11)
    Non-overlapping swaths were then brought into the remote sensing software package PCI. The techniques for generating the composite digital sidscan mosaic are summarized by Paskevich (1992). Processing of the data from this point on was done by David C. Twichell. Data sources used in this process:
    • Paskevich, V.F., 1992, Digital mapping of sidescan sonar data with the Woods Hole Image Processing System software: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 92-536, 87p.
    Date: unknown (process 4 of 11)
    Because of the close relationship of the imagery to the topography of the lake, a shaded-relief image generated from the DEM with the 10m contours burned into it was imported to PCI and the sidescan-sonar image strips were georeferenced to it. Misalignments based on the ground control points that were selected between the sidescan-sonar imagery and the DEM after georeferencing were less than 20m in all areas of the lake except a small section of Black Canyon and part of Boulder Canyon.
    Date: unknown (process 5 of 11)
    Four areas were tone-matched to each to each other: Boulder Basin, Overton Arm, Virgin Basin, and Temple Basin/Iceberg Canyon. This tonematched mosaic then had a linear stretch applied to the data to reduce the valid data range from 0-255 to 0-254. When mapped on a white background, the background can be made transparent in the GIS without affecting the data.
    Date: unknown (process 6 of 11)
    Once the mosaics were completed, noise and areas of no data were trimmed from the fringes of the completed mosaic. The lake shoreline as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was used to trim noise and nodata areas that fell beyond the limits of the lake.
    Date: unknown (process 7 of 11)
    A root stretch was applied in PCI to the sidescan image to help enhance the features. The root stretch was from 15-220 with resulting values between 0 and 254. This was done so that the white background (255) could be made transparent in the GIS.
    Date: 29-Mar-2017 (process 8 of 11)
    Edits to the metadata were made to fix any errors that MP v 2.9.36 flagged. This is necessary to enable the metadata to be successfully harvested for various data catalogs. In some cases, this meant adding text "Information unavailable" or "Information unavailable from original metadata" for those required fields that were left blank. Other minor edits were probably performed (title, publisher, publication place, etc.). Added online links to the data in the identification section and the distribution section and also a link to the larger work citation. Added ISO 19115 Topic Category keywords. The standard order process section in the Distribution section was incomplete and had to be modified to meet the standard. The metadata date (but not the metadata creator) was edited to reflect the date of these changes. The metadata available from a harvester may supersede metadata bundled within a download file. Compare the metadata dates to determine which metadata file is most recent. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    Date: 20-Jul-2018 (process 9 of 11)
    USGS Thesaurus keywords added to the keyword section. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    Date: 18-Nov-2019 (process 10 of 11)
    Crossref DOI link was added as the first link in the metadata. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    Date: 08-Sep-2020 (process 11 of 11)
    Added keywords section with USGS persistent identifier as theme keyword. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?
    Bevans, H.E., Goodbred, S.L., Miesner, J.F., Watkins, S.A., Gross, T.S., Denslow, N.D., and Choeb, T., 1996, Synthetic organic compounds and carp endrocrinology and histology, Las Vegas Wash and Las Vegas and Callville bays of Lake Mead Nevada: Water-Resources Investigations 96-4266, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Bevans, H.E., Lico, M.S., and Lawrence, S.J., 1998, Water quality in the Las Vegas Valley area and the Carson and Truckee River basins, Nevada and California, 1992-1996: Circular 1170, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Couvay, K.J., and Leiker, T.J., 1998, Synthetic organic compounds in water and bottom sediment from streams, detention basins, and sewage-treatment plant outfalls in Las Vegas Valley, Nevada, 1997: Open-File Report 98-633, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Gould, H.R., 1951, Some quantitative aspects of Lake Mead turbidity currents: SEPM Special Publication No. 2, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, OK.

    LaBounty, J.F., and Horn, M.J., 1997, The influence of drainage from the Las Vegas Valley on the limnology of Boulder Basin, Lake Mead, Arizona-Nevada: Journal of Lake and Reservoir Management v. 13.

    Paulson, L.J., 1981, Nutrient management with hydroelectric dams on the Colorado River: Technical Report #8, Lake Mead Limnological Research Center, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Preissler, A.M., Roach, G.A., Thomas, K.A., and Wilson, J.W., 1998, Water resources data, Nevada, water year 1998: Water Resources Data Nevada NV-98-1, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

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

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    The ship was navigated with P-CODE GPS. The towfish was deployed at approximately the same depth each day, with little variation during the course of the survey. Therefore range to fish values are assumed consistent and accurate.
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    All imagery necessary to map the lake floor was used.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    All these data were collected with the same sidescan-sonar towfish. The majority of the data comprising this mosaic was acquired at a 1500m total swath width. In some small areas, data gaps were filled with data collected at a 750m total swath width. However, in each case, the data were resampled to a 2 m pixel size.

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 The U.S. Geological Survey must be referenced as the originator of the dataset in any future products or research derived from these data.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    David C. Twichell
    U.S. Geological Survey
    384 Woods Hole Rd.
    Woods Hole, MA

    (508) 548-8700 x2266 (voice)
    (508) 457-2310 (FAX)
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? Downloadable Data
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    These data were prepared by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed in this report, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States government or any agency thereof. Any views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States government or any agency thereof. Although all data published in this report have been used by the USGS, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS as to the accuracy of the data and related materials and/or the functioning of the software. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the USGS in the use of this data, software, or related materials.
  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 18-Mar-2024
Metadata author:
VeeAnn A. Cross
U.S. Geological Survey
Marine Geologist
384 Woods Hole Rd.
Woods Hole, MA

(508) 548-8700 x2251 (voice)
(508) 457-2310 (FAX)
The metadata contact email address is a generic address in the event the person is no longer with USGS. (updated on 20240318)
Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

This page is <>
Generated by mp version 2.9.51 on Mon Mar 25 16:05:21 2024