Hydrographic data of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are typically acquired using sonar systems, with a small percent acquired via airborne lidar bathymetry for nearshore areas. This study investigates an integrated approach to meeting NOAA’s hydrographic survey requirements for nearshore areas of NOAA charts using existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) National Coastal Mapping Program (NCMP) topographic-bathymetric lidar (TBL) data. Because these existing NCMP bathymetric lidar datasets were not collected to NOAA hydrographic surveying standards, it is unclear if, and under what circumstances, they might aid in meeting certain hydrographic surveying requirements. The NCMP bathymetric lidar data were evaluated through a comparison against NOAA’s hydrographic Services Division (HSD) data derived from acoustic surveys. Key goals included assessing whether NCMP bathymetry can be used to fill in the data gap shoreward of the navigable area limit line (0 to 4 m depth) and if there is potential for applying NCMP TBL data to nearshore areas deeper than 10 m. The study results were used to make recommendations for future use of the data in NOAA. Additionally, this work may allow the development of future operating procedures and workflows using other topographicbathymetric lidar datasets to help update nearshore areas of the NOAA charts.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal Title

US Hydrographic Conference

Conference Date

March 25 - March 28, 2013

Publisher Place

New Orleans, LA, USA


Hydrographic Society of America

Document Type

Conference Proceeding