Bathymetry of New York City’s East of Hudson Reservoirs and Controlled Lakes, 2017 to 2019

Scientific Investigations Report 2021-5057
Prepared in cooperation with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection
By: , and 



New York City maintains an extensive system of reservoirs and aqueducts to provide drinking water to its residents, including 16 reservoirs and controlled lakes in Westchester and Putnam Counties in southern New York, east of the Hudson River (also called “East of Hudson reservoirs and controlled lakes”). These reservoirs were put into service from 1842 to 1915, and their capacities have likely changed since their original construction. To provide updated bathymetric surface, contour, and capacity data, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with New York City Department of Environmental Protection, surveyed the bathymetry of the 16 East of Hudson reservoirs and controlled lakes from 2017 to 2019 using a multibeam echosounder. The points measured with the multibeam echosounder were combined with light detection and ranging data to generate 3.28-foot raster grids of the bathymetric surfaces, bathymetric contours at 2-foot intervals of elevation, and elevation-area-capacity tables. The results of the bathymetric survey show that the East of Hudson reservoirs range from about 25 feet deep (Kirk Lake) to about 162 feet deep (Kensico Reservoir) and have a total capacity of 142.9 billion gallons, with a combined surface area of more than 11,600 acres.

The accuracy of the mapped bathymetric data was evaluated using quality assurance datasets collected with a single-beam echosounder; about 284,000 quality assurance points were spatially joined with the mapped raster surface to compute measurement errors. The calculated mean point elevation error for the East of Hudson reservoirs was 0.35 foot, the median error was 0.21 foot, and the 95-percent accuracy was 1.68 feet; the 95-percent accuracy of the computed capacity at spillway elevation was 1.6 percent or less. The largest errors occurred in the steepest areas of the reservoirs and in areas where the data were interpolated. Geospatial files of the bathymetry data, including mapped bathymetric surfaces, contours, and capacity tables, quality assurance points, and associated metadata are available for download as part of an accompanying U.S. Geological Survey data release.

Suggested Citation

Nystrom, E.A., Huston, C.J., and Welk, R.J., 2021, Bathymetry of New York City’s East of Hudson reservoirs and controlled lakes, 2017 to 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5057, 46 p.,

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Data Collection and Processing Methods
  • Bathymetric Map Creation
  • Results of Bathymetric Surveys
  • Accuracy Assessment
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Bathymetry of New York City’s East of Hudson reservoirs and controlled lakes, 2017 to 2019
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2021-5057
DOI 10.3133/sir20215057
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New York Water Science Center
Description Report: viii, 46 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State New York
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details