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NOAA Tsunami Inundation DEM Project

NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) is building high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) for select U.S. coastal regions. These integrated bathymetric-topographic DEMs are used to support tsunami forecasting and modeling efforts at the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). The DEMs are part of the tsunami forecast system SIFT (Short-term Inundation Forecasting for Tsunamis) currently being developed by PMEL for the NOAA Tsunami Warning Centers, and are used in the MOST (Method of Splitting Tsunami) model developed by PMEL to simulate tsunami generation, propagation, and inundation. Bathymetric, topographic, and shoreline data used in DEM compilation are obtained from various sources, including NGDC, the U.S. National Ocean Service (NOS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other federal, state, and local government agencies, academic institutions, and private companies. DEMs are referenced to the vertical tidal datum of Mean High Water (MHW) and horizontal datum of World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84). Cell size ranges from 1/3 arc-second (~10 meters) to 36 arc-seconds (~1 km). DEMs built by PMEL's NOAA Center for Tsunami Research (formerly NOAA Center for Tsunami Inundation Mapping Efforts) are available for download from the web site.

Cite this dataset when used as a source.

Search and Download
  • ArcIMS Map Interface (search)
    Graphic geo-spatial search tool for locating completed and planned NOAA tsunami inundation DEMs.
  • DEM text search tool (search)
    Text search tool for locating completed and planned NOAA tsunami inundation DEMs.
Distribution Formats
  • ESRI Arc ASCII  (Version: 1)
    • File Compression: WINZIP
Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Point of Contact DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
dem.info@noaa.gov
General Documentation
Originator
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce (comp)
Originator
  • DOC/NOAA/OAR/PMEL/NCTR > NOAA Center for Tsunami Research, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, OAR, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Publisher
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Date(s)
  • publication: 2008-10-31
Dataset Progress Status Under development
Data Update Frequency: As needed
Purpose: Developed for the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), NOAA Center for Tsunami Research program in support of NOAA's tsunami forecasting and warning efforts.
Use Limitations
  • Not to be used for navigation. Although these data are of high quality and useful for planning and modeling purposes, they are not suitable for navigation. For navigation, please refer to the NOS nautical chart series.
  • Produced by the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. Not subject to copyright protection within the United States.
Time Period: 2006-01-01  to  Present
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
N: 62.0
S: -15.0
E: -63.0
W: -180.0
Spatial Coverage Map:
Themes
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Seafloor Topography
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Bathymetry
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Water Depth
  • Earth Science > Land Surface > Topography > Terrain Elevation
  • Earth Science > Land Surface > Topography > Topographical Relief
  • Earth Science > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coastal Elevation
  • DEM > Digital Elevation Model
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • WDC/MGG, BOULDER > World Data Center for Marine Geology and Geophysics, Boulder
  • H: 1 meter - < 30 meters
  • V: < 1 meter
  • Coastal Relief
  • Gridded elevations
  • Integrated bathymetry and topography
  • DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION > GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS > WEB-BASED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
  • DATA MANAGEMENT/DATA HANDLING > DATA SEARCH AND RETRIEVAL
  • DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION > VISUALIZATION/IMAGE PROCESSING
  • DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION > GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS > WEB-BASED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
  • DATA MANAGEMENT/DATA HANDLING > DATA SEARCH AND RETRIEVAL
  • DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION > VISUALIZATION/IMAGE PROCESSING
Places
  • Continent > North America > United States of America
  • Ocean > Atlantic Ocean > North Atlantic Ocean
  • Ocean > Atlantic Ocean > North Atlantic Ocean > Caribbean Sea
  • Ocean > Atlantic Ocean > North Atlantic Ocean > Gulf of Mexico
  • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > North Pacific Ocean
  • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > North Pacific Ocean > Gulf of Alaska
  • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > Central Pacific Ocean > Hawaiian Islands
  • Vertical Location > Land Surface
  • Vertical Location > Sea Floor
Use Constraints No constraint information available
Fees
  • None
Lineage Statement Lineage statement not available.
Processor
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Processing Steps
  • All datasets obtained by NGDC are converted to common horizontal and vertical datums of WGS84 geographic and Mean High Water, respectively, using FME. They are also converted to common file format, ESRI point shapefiles, for visualization and inspection.
  • Datasets are visually inspected with ArcGIS for identification and editing of data anomalies. Datasets are then compared with overlapping datasets to ensure data consistency.
  • xyz files of the bathymetric data are surfaced using GMT's 'surface' tool onto a 1 arc-second grid that is interpolated to fill empty cells. Points extracted every 10 meters along the coastline are also included to ensure that the bathymetric grid reaches zero at the coast. The resulting Arc ASCII grid is imported into ArcGIS and clipped to the coastline to remove values over land.
  • xyz files for each input dataset are gridded using MB-System's 'mbgrid' tool, which utilizes a high-tension spline interpolation method to fill grid cells with no input elevation values. Preferential weighting is given to more recent, higher-accuracy datasets. Gridding is typically performed in quadrants, each with a 5% data buffer. The grids are imported in ArcGIS and seamlessly merged to create the final DEM.
  • The DEMs are quantitatively evaluated by comparing with source datasets and with elevation values extracted from NGS geodetic monuments. They are visually evaluated by converting to UTM-zone coordinates (units of meters horizontally and vertically) and then creating a slope grid to identify gridding artifacts in the DEMs.
Processing Environment Native Dataset Environment: ESRI ArcCatalog 9.2.4.1420

Metadata Last Modified: 2012-12-21

For questions about the information on this page, please email: kelly.carignan@noaa.gov