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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1351

Prepared in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

USGS Cold-Water Coral Geographic Database—Gulf of Mexico and Western North Atlantic Ocean, Version 1.0

By Kathryn M. Scanlon,1 Rhian G. Waller,2,3 Alexander R. Sirotek,1,4 Julia M. Knisel,1,5 John J. O'Malley,1 and Stian Alesandrini1,6

1 U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA
2 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA
3 Present address: University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
4 Present address: CDM, Boston, MA
5 Present address: Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, Boston, MA
6 Present address: Raytheon Corporation, Denver, CO


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The USGS Cold-Water Coral Geographic Database (CoWCoG) provides a tool for researchers and managers interested in studying, protecting, and/or utilizing cold-water coral habitats in the Gulf of Mexico and western North Atlantic Ocean.  The database makes information about the locations and taxonomy of cold-water corals available to the public in an easy-to-access form while preserving the scientific integrity of the data.  The database includes over 1700 entries, mostly from published scientific literature, museum collections, and other databases.  The CoWCoG database is easy to search in a variety of ways, and data can be quickly displayed in table form and on a map by using only the software included with this publication.  Subsets of the database can be selected on the basis of geographic location, taxonomy, or other criteria and exported to one of several available file formats.  Future versions of the database are being planned to cover a larger geographic area and additional taxa.

Posted August 2010

For additional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
384 Woods Hole Road
Quissett Campus
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Scanlon, K.M., Waller, R.G., Sirotek, A.R., Knisel, J.M., O’Malley, J.J., and Alesandrini, Stian, 2010, USGS cold-water coral geographic database—Gulf of Mexico and western North Atlantic Ocean, version 1.0: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–1351, CD-ROM. (Also available at



Introduction and Purpose


Download and Use the Database


Future Versions

How to Cite this Database


References Cited

Appendix 1: Citations of Data Sources

Appendix 2: The Database in Other Formats

Appendix 3: Output Maps of Family Distributions

Appendix 4: Species List

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

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