Elevation-Derived Hydrography—Representation, Extraction, Attribution, and Delineation Rules

Techniques and Methods 11-B12
By:  and 



With the increasing availability of 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) quality high resolution elevation data across the United States and the pressing need for better integrated elevation and hydrography data, the U.S. Geological Survey is developing guidance to improve the horizontal and vertical alignment of these datasets. The U.S. Geological Survey is providing the Elevation-Derived Hydrography—Acquisition Specifications for the acquisition of elevation-derived hydrography for the United States, and the companion document The Elevation-Derived Hydrography—Representation, Extraction, Attribution, and Delineation (READ) Rules, which describes the parameters for the portrayal of hydrography features as derived from elevation data. The READ Rules provide a definition, example, attribute value list, delineation instructions, representation rules, and data extraction rules for each hydrography feature required to meet the Elevation-Derived Hydrography—Acquisition Specifications.

Suggested Citation

Archuleta, C.M., and Terziotti, S., 2020, Elevation-Derived Hydrography—Representation, Extraction, Attribution, and Delineation Rules (ver. 1.1, January 2023): U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 11, chap. B12, 60 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm11B12.

ISSN: 2328-7055 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Elevation-Derived Hydrography—Representation, Extraction, Attribution, and Delineation Rules Explanations
  • Field Definitions and Domain Values for Attributes
  • Requirement Terminology
  • Area of Complex Channels
  • Artificial Path
  • Canal/Ditch
  • Connector
  • Culvert
  • Dam/Weir
  • Drainageway
  • Ice Mass
  • Lake/Pond
  • Pipeline
  • Playa
  • Reservoir
  • Sea/Ocean
  • Sink/Rise
  • Stream/River
  • Additional Elevation-Derived Hydrography Treatments and Elevation Specific Features
  • Island
  • Island/Sandbar
  • Low-Confidence Area, Predetermined
  • Low-Confidence Area, Sparse Bare Earth
  • Low-Confidence Area, Snow-Cover
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Elevation-derived hydrography—Representation, extraction, attribution, and delineation rules
Series title Techniques and Methods
Series number 11-B12
DOI 10.3133/tm11B12
Edition Version 1.0: July 1, 2020; Version 1.1: January 3, 2023
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) NGTOC Rolla
Description Report: ix, 60 p.; Companion Report
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title Section B: U.S. Geological Survey Standards in Book 11 Collection and Delineation of Spatial Data
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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