Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Maps of Submerged Lands in America

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produces fundamental geologic and environmental information about America's submerged lands. This information includes maps, geospatial data, and interpretations that characterize the geology of the continental shelf, estuaries, and large lakes. The information addresses a wide range of scientific and management issues that are important to the environment and economy of coastal communities and entire Nation. USGS studies are undertaken in locations chosen to respond to these key issues, and are developed in cooperation with other Federal and State agencies and academic institutions.

This website provides a portal to access published USGS maps, reports, and digital data that depict the bathymetry, surficial geology, and/or subsurface structure of submerged areas over a wide range of scales. The digital data are available as shape files, images, or grids in Geographic Information System (GIS) format. The map on the right shows the outlines (colored polygons) of maps currently available; it will be updated as new maps are completed. Click on an outline to see the report title and links to the report and to the data catalog. Use the scrollbar or mouse wheel to zoom in. Navigate around the map using the arrows in the upper left corner or the pan tool; zoom in and out using the scroll bar.

The need for comprehensive scientific information about America's submerged lands is increasingly recognized by researchers, policy makers, and resource managers at all levels. The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (2004), the National Research Council (2004), and the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (2009) all stress the need for scientific information to inform decision-making, and the importance of regional, State, and local engagement in developing and applying science products.

Visit this the USGS page for the list of maps by geographic area.


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