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Coast Survey Plans for New Arctic Nautical Charts

 
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     •   Happy Holidays from Coast Survey  
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     •   NOAA Ship Fairweather Conducting Hydrographic
Reconnaissance Survey of the Arctic
 
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     •   Sea Floor Survey Support Texas Maritime Trade  
     •   New Edition of U.S. Chart No. 1 Available Now  
     •   Changes to US-Canada ENC Coverage - Effective Dec. 15  
     •   NOAA's Newest Chart Supports Puerto Rico Maritime Economy  
     •   Thomas Jefferson Surveys Block Island Sound  
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     •   NOAA Ship Fairweather Sets Sail to Map Areas of the Arctic  
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     •   June 21 is World Hydrography Day  
     •   NOAA Encourages Boaters to Get Up-to-Date Nautical Charts for Spring  
     •   NOAA Updates U.S. Virgin Islands Hydrographic Data in Protected Reef Areas  
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     •   Coast Survey Scientist Adds NOAA Vision to Marine Transportation Research Needs  
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     •   nowCOAST Information Now Easier to Access  
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     •   NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson to Map Ocean Floor in Gulf of Mexico  
     •   Removal of LORAN-C Features from Nautical Products  
     •   Captain John Lowell Named Director of OCS  
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     •   ’Hydropalooza’ Provides Deeper Understanding of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay  
     • OCS Ready for Hurricane Season  
     • NOAA and OSU Map Oregon’s Seafloor  
     •   Healy Returns from Mapping Expedition in the Arctic  
     •   Hydropalooza Kicks Off in Alaska's Kachemak Bay  
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     •   Revised Reprint Nautical Charts  
     •   Removal of LORAN-C Lattices from Charts  
 

NOAA Updates U.S. Virgin Islands Hydrographic Data
in Protected Reef Areas

Much of the data was at least 87 years old.

Protecting coral reefs is one of NOAA’s highest priorities, and making science-based management decisions for that protection requires accurate and up-to-date hydrographic information. NOAA recently surveyed U.S. Virgin Island areas that had not been surveyed since 1924, and acquired current data that will be used to manage some of region’s most important marine protected areas.

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which provides the nation’s navigational products, managed the recent hydrographic survey to measure ocean depths for updating navigational charts. Shoreline information, water depths, tide measurements, and sonar images of cultural and natural features will be compiled to help update NOAA’s suite of nautical charts.

The data goes beyond contributing to navigational charting, however, as NOAA data management strategies are increasingly geared to multi-use projects. Working with scientists from a variety of disciplines, NOAA’s hydrographic surveys will feed into hydrodynamic models that can forecast dispersal of oil spills, chemical contaminants, and sediment.

LiDAR collects data in areas too shallow for boats
Coast Survey managed the multi-use data acquisition project, using bathymetric Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) -- acquired by aircraft -- to augment its traditional vessel-borne hydrographic data collection methods. Ancillary data derived from the laser return used in depth determination may help to outline the physical characteristics of the seafloor (sand, rock, coral, etc.) and allow for the production of additional mapping products.

The U.S. Virgin Island Jurisdictional Working Group identified the need for conducting bathymetric mapping of near-shore environments, including shallow bays where bathymetric LiDAR is often the most efficient method of data acquisition.

As one of the recipients of a recently awarded three-year NOAA LiDAR contract, Fugro LADS, Inc. completed the project in late February of this year.

Project covers critical areas in the Virgin Islands
The project covers the waters around the island of Saint John and the northern half of Saint Thomas, from the shoreline to water depths up to 100 feet. The surveys focused on areas with exceptional data needs: Fish Bay and Coral Bay, St John; East End Reserve, St. Thomas; Cas Cay-Mangrove Lagoon Marine Reserve, St. James Marine Reserve, and Virgin Islands National Park Hassel Island Marine Protected Areas.

May 4, 2011

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