Woolpert Selected by USGS to Provide Elevation-Derived Hydrography for Oregon, Alaska

by | May 12, 2022

The data will be used to model and analyze surface water and flow patterns for use in flood-risk management, coastal resilience, engineering design, water resource management, etc.

WASILLA, Alaska (May 12, 2022) ” The U.S. Geological Survey selected Woolpert to process and delineate elevation-derived hydrography (EDH) from lidar data collected in Oregon and IfSAR data collected in Alaska. The high-resolution EDH data developed under these two task orders will be used to update the National Hydrography Dataset, which represents the surface water network of the United States.

In Alaska, Woolpert was tasked with acquiring, processing and delineating EDH for nearly 3,000 square miles to support the USGS 3D Hydrography Program (3DHP). The Oregon task order focuses on the delineation and conflation of EDH for two areas of interest: The Applegate River watershed within the Klamath National Forest in southwestern Oregon, and the Canyon Creek watershed within the Malheur National Forest in the central part of Oregon.

These data will provide researchers, scientists, engineers and natural resource managers with the accuracy and attributes needed to map, model and analyze all surface water and flow patterns within these areas of interest for use in flood-risk management, coastal resilience, resource management, conservation planning, engineering design, stormwater management, geologic hazard mitigation, etc. EDH enables initiatives and agencies nationwide, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the U.S. Forest Service, to make informed decisions on critical issues.

Woolpert Vice President John Gerhard said EDH is the next logical layer to update in the National Map. The EDH data will be used to accurately define and model lakes, rivers, tributaries, floodplains, coastlines, etc.”many of which were originally traced from USGS hardcopy topological maps and have not been updated for decades. He said because EDH is derived from the consistent, high-resolution elevation data of the 3DEP program and is 3D-enabled, this nationwide hydrography data will fit the terrain data more accurately.

By combining lidar and IfSAR elevation data with GIS and cloud-computing technologies, we can understand how our waterways function, connect and interact, while modeling change over time, Gerhard said. We need this information to combat the effects of natural disasters that come with climate change and to protect the quality and availability of our water supply as the Earth evolves. The technology, science and collaboration inherent to these USGS initiatives hold the key to our nation's prosperity and longevity.

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