In support of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) disaster preparedness efforts, this map depicts a color shaded relief representation of the area surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. The first 30 feet of relief above mean sea level are displayed as brightly colored 5-foot elevation bands, which highlight low-elevation areas at a coarse spatial resolution. Standard USGS National Elevation Dataset (NED) 1 arc-second (nominally 30-meter) digital elevation model (DEM) data are the basis for the map, which is designed to be used at a broad scale and for informational purposes only.
The NED data were derived from the original 1:24,000-scale USGS topographic map bare-earth contours, which were converted into gridded quadrangle-based DEM tiles at a constant post spacing (grid cell size) of either 30 meters (data before the mid-1990s data) or 10 meters (mid-1990s and later data). These individual-quadrangle DEMs were then converted to spherical coordinates (latitude/longitude decimal degrees) and edge-matched to ensure seamlessness. Approximately one-half of the area shown on this map has DEM source data at a 30-meter resolution, with the remaining half consisting of 10-meter contour-derived DEM data or higher-resolution LIDAR data.
Areas below sea level typically are surrounded by levees or some other type of flood-control structures.
State and county boundary, hydrography, city, and road layers were modified from USGS National Atlas data downloaded in 2003. The NED data were downloaded in 2005.