Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Southwest Puerto Rico: Ground Validation Site Locations

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Frequently anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title:
Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Southwest Puerto Rico: Ground Validation Site Locations
Abstract:
Shallow-water (<30m) benthic habitat maps of the nearshore marine environment of two areas in Southwest Puerto Rico (PR), including the Guanica Bay/La Parguera region on the south coast and the Belvedere reserve on the west coast, were mapped and characterized using visual interpretation of optical and acoustic remotely sensed imagery. The objective was to provide spatially-explicit information on the habitat types, biological cover and live coral cover of the region’s coral reef ecosystem. These maps will be used to support marine resource management and conservation in the Commonwealth. In addition, the maps will enable change detection in an assessment of the effectiveness of restoration activities on the condition of adjacent coral reef ecosystems. The data contained in this shapefile denote the location of ground validation (GV) sites, which were explored by NOAA field scientists to further refine habitat map classification. In particular, this shapefile includes the location of 511 ground-validation sites that were explored either by video drop camera or by snorkel.
Supplemental_Information:
The creation of high-quality benthic habitat maps required extensive field work to enhance accuracies of habitat attribution and, to a lesser degree, habitat delineation. Data were collected at 511 ground validation sites in March 2011 aboard a small research vessel. As anchoring at each site was not feasible for rapid assessment, wind and wave effects caused the survey vessel to drift along a transect. Post-processing of the GPS data allowed for a series of points to represent the actual survey location.
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    Branch, NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CCMA Biogeography , 2012, Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Southwest Puerto Rico: Ground Validation Site Locations: NOAA's Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Silver Spring, MD.

    Online Links:

    Other_Citation_Details:
    Please use citation for “Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Southwest Puerto Rico.”
    This is part of the following larger work.

    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch, 2012, Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Southwest Puerto Rico: NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Silver Spring, MD.

    Other_Citation_Details:
    Bauer, L.J., K. Edwards, K.K.W. Roberson, M.S. Kendall, S. Tormey, and T. Battista. 2012. Shallow-water benthic habitats of Southwest Puerto Rico. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA NOS NCCOS 155. Silver Spring, MD.

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -67.4
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -66.8
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 18.1
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 17.9

  3. What does it look like?

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Beginning_Date: Mar-2011
    Ending_Date: Mar-2011
    Currentness_Reference: ground condition

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: vector digital data

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):

      • Entity point (511)

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

      Grid_Coordinate_System_Name: Universal Transverse Mercator
      Universal_Transverse_Mercator:
      UTM_Zone_Number: 19
      Transverse_Mercator:
      Scale_Factor_at_Central_Meridian: 0.999600
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -63.000000
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 0.000000
      False_Easting: 500000.000000
      False_Northing: 0.000000

      Planar coordinates are encoded using coordinate pair
      Abscissae (x-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 0.000001
      Ordinates (y-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 0.000001
      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?

    SWPR_GV_Mean_Site_Locations
    Shapefile attribute table (Source: None)

    FID
    Internal feature number. (Source: ESRI)

    Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.

    Shape
    Feature geometry. (Source: ESRI)

    Coordinates defining the features.

    Site_ID
    Unique site ID (Source: Habitat classification scheme)

    Assigned during digitizing character field

    Assessment
    Type of equipment/method used to characterize the seafloor (Source: Habitat classification scheme)

    Assigned based on what survey method was used

    X
    Longitude of site in decimal degrees (Source: NOAA)

    Variable

    Y
    Latitude of site in decimal degrees (Source: NOAA)

    Variable

    M_STRUCT
    Major geomorphological structure (Source: Habitat classification scheme)

    Assigned during digitizing character field

    D_STRUCT
    Detailed morphological structure (Source: Habitat classification scheme)

    Assigned during digitizing character field

    P_HARD
    Percent hardbottom (Source: Habitat classification scheme)

    Assigned during digitizing character field

    M_COVER
    Major biological cover (Source: Habitat classification scheme)

    Assigned during digitizing character field

    P_COVER
    Percent cover of major biological cover (Source: Habitat classification scheme)

    Assigned during digitizing character field

    P_CORAL
    Percent live coral cover (Source: Habitat classification scheme)

    Assigned during digitizing character field

    Type
    Type of site (i.e., GV or AA) (Source: NOAA)

    Type of site


Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch
    Attn: Laurie Bauer
    Project Manager
    1305 East West Highway, N-SCI-1, SSMC 4, 9th Floor
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    USA

    (301) 713-3028 (voice)
    Laurie.Bauer@noaa.gov


Why was the data set created?

Extensive field work is needed to create high-quality benthic habitat maps because it enhances the accuracy of habitat attribution and (to a lesser degree) habitat delineation. Given the importance of field work, the primary purpose of this survey data was to explore and verify existing habitat information on the seafloor. In particular, these ground validation locations were targeted by the cartographer to satisfy the following objectives:

1. Explore features in the imagery with unknown or confusing optical or acoustic signatures 2. Confirm that the habitat type correlated with a particular optical or acoustic signature remained consistent throughout the entire study area.

This information was incorporated into fine-scale maps of marine habitats of Southwest Puerto Rico. Direct implications to management measures include evaluation of management efficacy, a spatial framework for improved monitoring sampling design, improved assessment of human-use impacts, and marine spatial planning to support alternative marine protected area boundary alternatives. In addition, the maps will enable change detection in an assessment of the effectiveness of restoration activities on the condition of adjacent coral reef ecosystems.


How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

    Trimble SSF files (source 1 of 1)
    NOAA, 2011, GPS Data.

    Type_of_Source_Media: GPS data
    Source_Contribution:
    GPS data, which were originally recorded as code-phase signals in Trimble SSF format, were differentially post-processed to the Continually Operating Reference System (CORS) station at Coamo, Puerto Rico (PRN4).

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    Date: 2011 (process 1 of 4)
    A first draft benthic habitat map was generated using heads-up visual interpretation and digitization to delineate features on the seafloor with discrete optical or acoustic signatures. During the creation of this first draft map, the cartographer placed discrete points on features in the map that had unknown optical or acoustic signatures. Points were also placed on features with known optical or acoustic signatures (evenly distributed throughout the geographic extent of the map) to confirm that the habitats associated with these signatures remained consistent through the area of interest. These two types of points were labeled as "ground validation" sites and were visited in the field.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch
    Attn: Laurie Bauer
    Project Manager
    1305 East West Highway, N-SCI-1, SSMC 4, 9th Floor
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    USA

    (301) 713-3028 (voice)
    Laurie.Bauer@noaa.gov

    Date: 2011 (process 2 of 4)
    NOAA scientists explored these ground validation locations using using a manually operated drop camera, underwater still camera and look bucket. The resulting GPS, video and photographic information was processed, analyzed and used to classify each distinct habitat polygon. At the start of every morning, the boat captain selected a general region to begin the day's work. Navigating to field locations was accomplished using a Garmin GPS 76 device with the uploaded GV site coordinates. The boat captain maneuvered the vessel to within 5 m of the target location and made every effort to maintain that location without jeopardizing crew and equipment safety. Once on site, NOAA scientists would simultaneously deploy a SeaViewer Sea-Drop 950 camera and begin logging a waypoint on a Trimble GeoXT GPS receiver. While the video camera was capturing bottom imagery, an observer viewed the video real-time on a Panasonic Toughbook aboard the survey vessel. They categorized each site according to the levels of the habitat classification scheme: major and detailed geomorphological structure, major biological cover, percent major biological cover and percent coral cover. Data was entered into a custom data dictionary generated in Trimble Pathfinder Office software and loaded onto the Trimble data logger.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch
    Attn: Laurie Bauer
    Project Manager
    1305 East West Highway, N-SCI-1, SSMC 4, 9th Floor
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    USA

    (301) 713-3028 (voice)
    Laurie.Bauer@noaa.gov

    Date: 2011 (process 3 of 4)
    Trimble Pathfinder Office software was used to post process and differentially correct the raw GPS data to the Continually Operating Reference System (CORS) station at Coamo, Puerto Rico (PRN4).

    Person who carried out this activity:

    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch
    Attn: Laurie Bauer
    Project Manager
    1305 East West Highway, N-SCI-1, SSMC 4, 9th Floor
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    USA

    (301) 713-3028 (voice)
    Laurie.Bauer@noaa.gov

    Date: 2011 (process 4 of 4)
    Precisely positioned GPS positions and its associated transects were viewed in a GIS to enhance the accuracy of the draft benthic habitat map. Polygon boundaries and habitat classifications were revised where field data necessitated changes.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch
    Attn: Laurie Bauer
    Project Manager
    1305 East West Highway, N-SCI-1, SSMC 4, 9th Floor
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    USA

    (301) 713-3028 (voice)
    Laurie.Bauer@noaa.gov

  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?


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

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

    The points in this data layer were acquired by GPS data using a Trimble GeoXT receiver. All data point characteristics were recorded in the GPS data logger automatically and seamlessly transferred to ArcGIS shapefiles using Trimble Pathfinder Office software. Attributes are all expected to be correct.

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

    The true positional accuracy of individual epics was determined to be within 1 m for 96% of the logged points. However, it is estimated that horizontal accuracies may be 0 - 20m from the true position of the underwater camera assessment due to line "lay-back" during drift.

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?

    511 field positions were occupied and habitat characterizations were conducted for ground validation during this work.

  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

    Data points were collected with mapping-grade GPS receivers. The data were post processed for differential correction to the Continually Operating Reference System (CORS) station at Coamo, Puerto Rico (PRN4).

    All attribute information was recorded by the GPS receiver and stored directly in the raw GPS files. This automated process was assumed to be error free. This file is believed to be logically consistent.


How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Access_Constraints: Please cite any use of this data.
Use_Constraints:
Note: NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION.

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 have been used by NOAA, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA as to the accuracy of the data and/or related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by NOAA in the use of these data or related materials.

  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)

    Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch
    Attn: Laurie Bauer
    Project Manager
    1305 East West Highway, N-SCI-1, SSMC 4, 9th Floor
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    USA

    (301) 713-3028 (voice)
    (301) 713-4384 (FAX)
    Laurie.Bauer@noaa.gov

  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Downloadable Data

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Biogeography Branch does not guarantee the accuracy of the geographic features or attributes. Please see the written report and metadata records for each data set for complete information on the source, limitations, and proper use.

  4. How can I download or order the data?

  5. Is there some other way to get the data?

    Contact NOAA for distribution options (see Distributor).


Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 08-Mar-2013
Metadata author:
Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Biogeography Branch
Attn: Laurie Bauer
Project Manager
1305 East West Highway, N-SCI-1, SSMC 4, 9th Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
USA

(301) 713-3028 (voice)
(301) 713-4384 (FAX)
Laurie.Bauer@noaa.gov

Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)


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