Polygons of Global Undersea Features for Geographic SearchesEntry ID: USGS_undersea_features
Abstract: ABSTRACT: A shapefile of 311 undersea features from all major oceans and seas has been created as an aid for retrieving georeferenced information resources. The geographic extent of the shapefile is 0 degrees E to 0 degrees W longitude and 75 degrees S to 90 degrees N latitude. Many of the undersea features (UF) in the shapefile were selected from a list assembled by Weatherall and Cramer (2008) ... in a report from the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) to the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN). Annex II of the Weatherall and Cramer report (p. 20-22) lists 183 undersea features that "may need additional points to define their shape" and includes online links to additional BODC documents providing coordinate pairs sufficient to define detailed linestrings for these features. For the first phase of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project, Wingfield created polygons for 87 of the undersea features on the BODC list, using the linestrings as guides; the selected features were primarily ridges, rises, trenches, fracture zones, basins, and seamount chains. In the second phase of the USGS project, Wingfield and Hartwell created polygons for an additional 224 undersea features, mostly basins, abyssal plains, and fracture zones. Because USGS is a Federal agency, the attribute tables follow the conventions of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) GEOnet Names Server (<http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html>).
Purpose: PURPOSE: These polygons are provided as criteria for selecting georeferenced data from other databases. The precision of geographic searches in any system that employs these polygons will depend on the nature of the search algorithm. This information is not intended for navigational purposes. These data are intended for science researchers, students, policymakers, and the general public. The data ... can be used with geographic information systems (GIS) software to display geologic and oceanographic information.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Spatial Extents for Marine Gazetteers project. Project Leaders: Frances L. Lightsom, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP), Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) Alan O. Allwardt, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (email@example.com) Project background: Gazetteers of terrestrial and marine regions, including the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), GEOnet Names Server (GNS), GEBCO Gazetteer of Undersea Feature Names, and VLIZ Marine Gazetteer (VLIMAR), generally provide single-point locations or rectangular bounding boxes for named features, because the primary function of these gazetteers is to standardize geographic name usage. Many geospatial information services, however, would be improved if the authoritative place names from these gazetteers were associated with polygons representing the actual spatial extents of the features in question. The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) has created and compiled shapefiles to facilitate the retrieval of georeferenced information resources related to named oceans and seas, undersea features, coastal features and waterways, and relevant administrative areas including the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) counties. Geospatial information systems with the capability for searching user-defined, polygonal geographic areas will be able to utilize these shapefiles or secondary products derived from them, such as well-known text (WKT) representations of the individual polygons within the shapefiles. CMGP and its collaborators would benefit from improvements in the gazetteers for these existing and planned geospatial information services: 1. The CMGP Knowledge Management Project provides online geospatial search services for research data and scientific information (for example, CMG InfoBank and CMGDS). These geospatial search services currently employ simple map interfaces and/or gazetteers with rectangular bounding boxes for spatial extents. 2. The internal USGS Geospatial Management Information System (GMIS) has a gazetteer with polygons for locating field studies on land, but it offers little aid for offshore searches, where many CMGP investigations are conducted. 3. Information services for two interagency initiatives, marine planning (<http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oceans/cmsp>) and the Ocean and Coastal Mapping (OCM) Inventory (<http://iocm.noaa.gov/iwg/>), are under development and could incorporate spatially enhanced coastal and marine gazetteers. In this context, the primary purpose of including spatial extents for the place names in a gazetteer is to assist information retrieval rather than to establish precise boundaries. Planned project products, compiled for incorporation into gazetteers: 1. Major ocean and sea boundaries (as defined by the International Hydrographic Organization and VLIMAR), incorporated into USGS gazetteers. 2. Defined spatial extents for high-priority undersea features, incorporated into the GEBCO Gazetteer (in collaboration with Lisa A. Taylor and John C. Cartwright, NOAA/NGDC/MGGD). 3. Spatial extents of named high-priority U.S. coastal features and waterways, incorporated into an authoritative gazetteer. 4. Spatial extents of relevant U.S. administrative areas, including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), National Marine Sanctuaries, and Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) counties (Hartwell and others, 2013). Project results: The project will improve communication about coastal and marine activities and enhance usability and interoperability of geospatial data services. The project will lay a foundation for future improvements by demonstrating formats and systems that can be used for incorporating additional spatial extents into marine gazetteers. Project outcome: People will be more successful in using familiar place names when they are looking for USGS projects and information, and other federally funded geospatial information, about coastal and offshore features. Project objective: To generate a set of databases, in a standard format, that use polygons to define the spatial extents of named oceans and seas, undersea features, coastal features and waterways, and relevant administrative areas. Glossary of terms, acronyms, and abbreviations: > ACUF - U.S. BGN Advisory Committee on Undersea Features > <http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/acuf.html> > BGN - U.S. Board on Geographic Names > <http://geonames.usgs.gov/> > BODC - British Oceanographic Data Centre > <http://www.bodc.ac.uk/> > CMG InfoBank - USGS CMGP field activity and data catalog > <http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/infobank/> > CMGDS - USGS Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System > <http://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/> > CMGP - USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program > <http://marine.usgs.gov/> > GAZ - gazetteer > GEBCO - General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (IHO-IOC) > <http://www.gebco.net/> > GIS - geographic information system > GMIS - USGS Geospatial Management Information System (USGS Intranet) > GNIS - Geographic Names Information System > <http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/> > GNS - GEOnet Names Server > <http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/> > IHO - International Hydrographic Organization > <http://www.iho.int/> > IOC - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO) > <http://ioc-unesco.org/> > Linestring - (aka polyline) an open graphic element composed of straight-line segments connected at the vertices. > NGA - National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency > <http://www.nga.mil/> > NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration > <http://www.noaa.gov/> > NOAA/NGDC - NOAA National Geophysical Data Center > <http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/ngdc.html> > NOAA/NGDC/MGGD - NOAA/NGDC Marine Geology and Geophysics Division > <http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mggd.html> > Polygon - a closed graphic element composed of straight-line segments connected at the vertices. > OCM Inventory - Ocean and Coastal Mapping Inventory (of the Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping) > <http://iocm.noaa.gov/iwg/> > SCUFN - GEBCO Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names > <http://www.gebco.net/data_and_products/undersea_feature_names/> > Shapefile - geospatial vector data format that describes geometries as points, linestrings, and polygons (see above). A single shapefile may contain multiple features of the same geometry (several individual polygons, for instance). > UF - undersea feature > UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization > <http://en.unesco.org/> > USGS - U.S. Geological Survey > <http://www.usgs.gov/> > VLIMAR - VLIZ Marine Gazetteer (now incorporated in the Marine Regions website) > <http://www.marineregions.org/> > VLIZ - Flanders Marine Institute > <http://www.vliz.be/en/intro> > WKT - well-known text, a markup language for vector geometry objects > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well-known_text>
CURRENTNESS REFERENCE: publication date
SPATIAL DATA ORGANIZATION INFORMATION
Direct Spatial Reference: Vector
SDTS Point and Vector Object Type: G-polygon
Point and Vector Object Count: 311
SPATIAL REFERENCE INFORMATION - GEODETIC MODEL
Horizontal Datum Name: D_WGS_1984
Ellipsoid Name: WGS_1984
Semi-major Axis: 6378137.000000
Denominator of Flattening Ratio: 298.257224
NATIVE: Microsoft Windows XP Version 5.1 (Build 2600) Service Pack 3; ESRI ArcCatalog 220.127.116.1100
Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Stephen R. Hartwell, Dana K. Wingfield, Alan O. Allwardt, Frances L. Lightsom, Florence L. Wong
Dataset Title: Polygons of global undersea features for geographic searches (undersea_features.shp)
Dataset Release Date: 2014
Dataset Release Place: Reston, VA
Dataset Publisher: U.S. Geological Survey
Version: version 1
Data Presentation Form: vector digital data
Dataset DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20141040Online Resource:
Start Date: 2014-01-01Stop Date: 2014-01-01
Latitude Resolution: 0.000001 Decimal degrees
Longitude Resolution: 0.000001 Decimal degrees
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > ABYSSAL HILLS/PLAINS
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > BATHYMETRY
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > CONTINENTAL MARGINS
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > FRACTURE ZONES
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > OCEAN PLATEAUS/RIDGES
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > SEAMOUNTS
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > SUBMARINE CANYONS
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > TRENCHES
OCEANS > BATHYMETRY/SEAFLOOR TOPOGRAPHY > WATER DEPTH
OCEANS > COASTAL PROCESSES > CORAL REEFS
SOLID EARTH > GEOMORPHIC LANDFORMS/PROCESSES > COASTAL LANDFORMS > CORAL REEFS
OCEANS > COASTAL PROCESSES > SHOALS
SOLID EARTH > GEOMORPHIC LANDFORMS/PROCESSES > COASTAL LANDFORMS > SHOALS
OCEANS > MARINE VOLCANISM > MID-OCEAN RIDGES
Quality ATTRIBUTE ACCURACY REPORT: Attributes or characteristics of each polygon were newly composed for this project and checked against cited maps and other publications.
LOGICAL CONSISTENCY REPORT: All polygons are closed. Polygons intersecting 180 degrees longitude are composed of two or more merged polygons. Polygons representing features occupying multiple discrete locations are ... defined by multiple merged polygons. All nodes defining polygons are represented by a single coordinate pair.
COMPLETENESS REPORT: Features contained in this report were selected based on previous research interest within the USGS. Officially recognized features that have not been the focus of substantial USGS research are not covered in this report.
HORIZONTAL POSITIONAL ACCURACY REPORT: Polygons were digitized at scales between 1:40,000 and 1:10,000,000 with vertices spaced between 2 and 1,500 kilometers.
Many of the undersea features in the shapefile were selected from a list assembled by Weatherall and Cramer (2008) in a report from the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) to the GEBCO Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN). Annex II of the Weatherall and Cramer report (p. 20-22) lists 183 undersea features that "may need additional points to define their shape" and includes online links to additional BODC documents providing coordinate pairs sufficient to define detailed linestrings for these features.
For the first phase of the USGS project, Wingfield created polygons for 87 of the undersea features on the BODC list, using the linestrings as guides; the selected features were primarily ridges, rises, trenches, fracture zones, basins, and seamount chains. In the second phase of the USGS project, Wingfield and Hartwell created polygons for an additional 224 undersea features, mostly basins, abyssal plains, and fracture zones. Polygons were created and compiled in a single shapefile, using ArcGIS version 9.3.1, with the aid of historical bathymetric maps and bathymetric raster data -- the ETOPO1 global relief model (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, 2009) was used unless noted otherwise in the COMMENTS attribute field. Primary scientific literature was used to resolve ambiguous feature extents and is cited in the COMMENTS attribute field. Maps from the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) and the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) were also consulted as needed but are not cited in the COMMENTS attribute field. Adjacent polygons were snapped together, except for clearly overlapping and nested features.
The UFI and DSG attributes follow the GEOnet Names Server geographic information system (GIS) compatible format (
Depth ranges included in the COMMENTS attribute field for some features represent the approximate depth in meters below sea level. These values were obtained by examining bathymetric maps and bathymetric raster data to determine the minimum and maximum depths that define the feature and its spatial extent. Depth ranges typically apply to features such as basins, plains, and seamounts, which are reasonably defined by closed isobaths, but do not apply to features such as canyons, fans, and escarpments. AREA_SQKM values were determined using ArcGIS Calculate Geometry, with datum WGS 84 and sinusoidal (equal area) projection. The sinusoidal projection preserves area but distorts perimeter values for high-latitude features.
PROCESS DATE: 2009-2014
Access Constraints ACCESS CONSTRAINTS: None
DISTRIBUTION LIABILITY: This information is not intended for navigational purposes. This data set has been approved for release and publication by the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Although this data set has been subjected to rigorous review and is substantially complete, the USGS reserves the right to revise the data pursuant to further ... analysis and review. Furthermore, it is released on condition that neither the USGS nor the United States Government may be held liable for any damages resulting from its authorized or unauthorized use. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof.
Use Constraints Feature polygons are defined for general reference and are not to be construed as legal boundaries. This information is not intended for navigational purposes. Read and fully comprehend the metadata prior to data use. Uses of these data should not violate the spatial resolution of the data. Where these data are used in combination with other data of different resolution, the resolution of the ... combined output will be limited by the lowest resolution of all the data. Acknowledge the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in products derived from these data. Share data products developed using these data with the U.S. Geological Survey. This data set has been approved for release and publication by the Director of the USGS. Although this data set has been subjected to rigorous review and is substantially complete, the USGS reserves the right to revise the data pursuant to further analysis and review. Furthermore, it is released on condition that neither the USGS nor the United States Government may be held liable for any damages resulting from its authorized or unauthorized use. Although this Federal Geographic Data Committee-compliant metadata file is intended to document these data in nonproprietary form, as well as in ESRI shapefile format, this metadata file may include some ESRI-specific terminology.
Data Set Progress
Distribution Size: 274 KB
Distribution Format: ArcGIS 9.3.1 shapefile.9.3.1
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Email: flightsom at usgs.gov
UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (USGS) COASTAL AND MARINE GEOLOGY PROGRAM (CMGP) USGS, 384 Woods Hole Road
City: Woods Hole
Province or State: MA
Postal Code: 02543-1598
Extended Metadata Properties
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2014-02-26
Last DIF Revision Date: 2014-05-14