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Open-File Report 2011–1127

Construction of a 3-Arcsecond Digital Elevation Model for the Gulf of Maine

By By Erin R. Twomey and Richard P. Signell

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A system-wide description of the seafloor topography is a basic requirement for most coastal oceanographic studies. The necessary detail of the topography obviously varies with application, but for many uses, a nominal resolution of roughly 100 m is sufficient. Creating a digital bathymetric grid with this level of resolution can be a complex procedure due to a multiplicity of data sources, data coverages, datums and interpolation procedures. This report documents the procedures used to construct a 3-arcsecond (approximately 90-meter grid cell size) digital elevation model for the Gulf of Maine (71°30' to 63° W, 39°30' to 46° N). We obtained elevation and bathymetric data from a variety of American and Canadian sources, converted all data to the North American Datum of 1983 for horizontal coordinates and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 for vertical coordinates, used a combination of automatic and manual techniques for quality control, and interpolated gaps using a surface-fitting routine.

First posted April 11, 2013

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
(508) 548–8700

Suggested citation:

Twomey, E.R. and Signell, R.P., 2013, Construction of a 3-arcsecond digital elevation model for the Gulf of Maine: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1127, 24 p.,




Common Processing Steps and Data

Grid Assembly

Data Products


References Cited

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