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NOAA report: much of U.S. waters still unmapped


NOAA has released its first report — “Unmapped U.S. Waters” — on the progress made so far in mapping U.S. ocean, coastal and Great Lakes waters. Pulling from an analysis of publicly available bathymetry, the report presents the percentage of unmapped U.S. waters by region.

Percent of U.S. waters that remain unmapped in 2019:

  • U.S. total – 54% of 3,592,000 square nautical miles.
  • Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico – 43% of 472,200 square nautical miles.
  • Great Lakes – 95% of 46,600 square nautical miles.
  • Caribbean – 42% of 61,600 square nautical miles.
  • Alaska – 72% of 1,080,200 square nautical miles.
  • Pacific (California, Oregon, Washington) – 24% of 239,700 snmsquare nautical miles.
  • Pacific Remote Islands and Hawaii – 50% of 1,691,700 square nautical miles.

According to NOAA, multibeam and lidar surveys are the two primary sources of bathymetry needed to fill these gaps. All of the data collected in this effort are publicly available to benefit numerous user communities.

For the latest status on these efforts and how to contribute, click here.

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