Multibeam Mapping of the South Atlantic Bight: South Carolina 2005, a Proposed MPA on the Continental Shelf

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Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Multibeam Mapping of the South Atlantic Bight: South Carolina 2005, a Proposed MPA on the Continental Shelf
The NOAA Fisheries laboratory in Panama City, Florida coordinated an acoustic survey at the new proposed Marine Protected Areas in the South Atlantic Bight area June 20- July 7th, 2005. This metadata record is the parent record for the multi-beam echosounder (MBES) survey at the South Carolina A proposed MPA, which includes the following products: 1) XYZ ascii table created from the grid, 2) colored coded shaded geotiffs from the grid, 3) backscatter mosaic, 4) XYA (amplitude) ascii table created from the mosaic, and 5) geotif of backscatter draped on the bathymetric grid. All products are available contacting the distributor. Some data sets are also posted on NOAA's Coral Reef Information System (CoRIS) at Another product that will not be distributed, but will be used as input to habitat classification software (QTC MultiView (website)), are raw data files logged to disk using the Simrad EM3002 MBES data acquisition software. These raw files contain packets of information (depth soundings, navigation, attitude, sound velocity profiles, UTC time) that the acquisition software logged sequentially in time. The raw data format is available from Kongsberg-Simrad (website). The MBES system was provided by Seafloor Systems Inc. and the support vessel was UNCW's 70-ft. R/V Cape Fear.

This survey is part of an on-going partnership effort funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP). This survey was funded by a CRCP grant to Andrew David, NOAA Fisheries - Panama City, and Andrew Shepard, NURC/UNCW (The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington). In addition to partners above, other partners include UNCW's Spatial Analysis Lab, US Geological Survey, and the S. Atlantic fishery Management Council.

The survey was supported by Seafloor Systems, Inc., Portland, ( Oregon using a Simrad EM 3002 multi-beam system. The survey was funded by NOAA Fisheries ( and overseen by the NOAA Undersea Research Center at UNCW (
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    NOAA Fisheries - Panama City Laboratory, 20050730, Multibeam Mapping of the South Atlantic Bight: South Carolina 2005, a Proposed MPA on the Continental Shelf: NOAA Fisheries Laboratory in Panama City, FL, Panama City, FL.

    Online Links:

    This is part of the following larger work.

    Fisheries, NOAA, 20050730, Multibeam mapping of proposed MPAs on the continental shelf in the South Atlantic Bight: NOAA Fisheries - Panama City Laboratory, Panama City, FL.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -78.0000
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -77.0000
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 34.0000
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 32.0000

  3. What does it look like?

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

    Beginning_Date: 28-Jun-2005
    Ending_Date: 07-Jul-2005
    Currentness_Reference: publication date

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

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: Map and XYZ ASCII

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

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

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

      • Point

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

      Grid_Coordinate_System_Name: Universal Transverse Mercator
      UTM_Zone_Number: 18
      Scale_Factor_at_Central_Meridian: 0.999600
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -81.000000
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 0.000000
      False_Easting: 500000.000000
      False_Northing: 0.000000

      Planar coordinates are encoded using row and column
      Abscissae (x-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 3.0
      Ordinates (y-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 3.0
      Planar coordinates are specified in Meters

      The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983.
      The ellipsoid used is WGS 1984.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378206.4.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/294.98.

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    XYZ ASCII file is a 3-column table of longitude, latitude and elevation. Each point is average center of 3 meter square grid cell. Colored, shaded geotif maps were created using these points and CARIS HIPS 5.4 software.
    Entity_and_Attribute_Detail_Citation: none

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?

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

    NOAA Fisheries - Panama City Laboratory
    Attn: Andrew W. David
    Research Fishery Biologist
    3500 Delwood Beach Rd
    Panama City, Florida 32408

    850-234-6541 (voice)
    850-235-3559 (FAX)

    Hours_of_Service: Mon-Fri, 8 am - 4 pm CDT

Why was the data set created?

The primary objective of this joint mapping expedition is to create habitat maps for proposed marine protected areas in the South Altantic Bight (SAB), prior to closure. These bathymetry data will help prepare habitat maps. The surveys will be followed by a ROV expedition later to ground-truth the newly acquired MBES-derived habitat maps. The map will serve as a baseline for assessing change of habitat condition over time, and for monitoring recovery of fish population in the closed area. The new proposed MPAs offer the rare opportunity to quantify habitat and fish assemblages before closure for direct comparision after closure. However, mapping is a prerequisite for any comprehensive research program.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

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

    Date: 07-Jul-2005 (process 1 of 1)
    The bathymetry and backscatter data were collected along a continuous swath perpendicular to the direction of the ship using a Simrad EM 3002 multibeam sonar system. The data were collected in the raw format .all Simrad file. The data are cleaned of bad navigation and depth readings in CARIS HIPS 5.4 swath editor. The depth readings are gridded into a common grid. The gridded data are converted to an XYZ ASCII format file (Longitude, Latitude, Attribute). The raw backscatter was saved during the survey.

    The multi-beam system was mated to a Differential GPS unit, APPLANIX POS/MV (quantified heave, pitch, roll, and yaw heading). HYPACK navigation system was used to maintain vessel course throughout the survey. Sensor data were compiled in SIS Shipboard Data Acquisition and Image Processing System and initially logged to .all Simrad data files. Files were post-processed using CARIS HIPS 5.4 software to remove outliers, correct for sound velocity and tidal stage. HIPS was also used to mosaic backscatter and produce XYA files.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    John Tamplin
    Seafloor Systems, Inc.
    2038 NW Aloclek Drive, Suite 218
    Hillsboro, Oregon 97124

    503-466-2382 (voice)
    503-466-2892 (FAX)

    Hours_of_Service: Mon-Fri, 9 am -5 pm (PT)
  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?


  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

    1 meter

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

    0.05% of water depth

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

    The initial surveys produced an extremely large dataset (62 CDs) of raw data in Caris' cross-track format. To create the geotifs, this data set was reduced by post-survey processing including: corrections for sound velocity and tidal stage removal of outliers and data gaps, and calculation and assignment of mean values for 3m X 3m cells throughout the survey area.

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

    Data are believed to be logically consistent, though no tests were performed.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

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

There are no constraints for use of geotiff files, which are available online and from the P.O.C.
Use_Constraints: Not for legal use

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

    NOAA Fisheries - Panama City laboratory
    Attn: Andrew W. David
    Research Fishery Biologist
    3500 Delwood Beach Rd
    Panama City, Florida 32408

    850-234-6541 (voice)
    850-235-3559 (FAX)

    Hours_of_Service: Mon-Fri, 8 am - 4 pm CDT
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Downloadable Data

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    These data are not intended for navigational purposes.

    NOAA makes no warranty regarding these data,expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA does not assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data, nor as a result of the failure of these data to function on a particular system.

    Although these data have been used by NOAA, these data and information are provided with the understanding that they are not guaranteed to be useable, timely, accurate, or complete. Users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of these data and information before using them for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences. Conclusions drawn from, or actions undertaken on the basis of such data and information are the sole responsibility of the user. Neither the U.S. Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, contractors, or subcontractors, make any warranty, express or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any data, software, information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, nor represent that its use would not infringe on privately owned rights.

    Trade, firm, or product names and other references to non-USGS products and services are provided for information only and do not constitute endorsement or warranty, express or implied, by UNCW, NOAA, the US Department of Commerce, or the U.S. Government, as to their suitability, content, usefulness, functioning, completeness, or accuracy.

  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 24-Jan-2017
Metadata author:
NOAA Fisheries - Panama City laboratory
Attn: Andrew W. David
Research Fishery Biologist
3500 Delwood Beach Rd
Panama City, Florida 32408

850-234-6541 (voice)
850-235-3559 (FAX)

Hours_of_Service: Mon-Fri, 8 am - 4 pm CDT
Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

Generated by mp version 2.9.13 on Thu Oct 19 09:45:47 2017