Dataset Overview | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Coastal Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)

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Digital elevation models (DEMs) of U.S. and other coasts that typically integrate ocean bathymetry and land topography. The DEMs support NOAA's mission to understand and predict changes in Earth's environment, and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation's economic, social, and environmental needs. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) has built many of these models, and also distributes DEMs on behalf of other NOAA offices, as well national and international partners. Bathymetric, topographic, and shoreline data used in DEM development come from a variety of sources, including NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) and NCEI, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as other federal, state, and local government agencies, academic institutions, and private companies. The DEMs are referenced to a variety of vertical tidal datums, typically mean high water (MHW) or North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88), and usually a horizontal datum of North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83) or World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84). DEM cell sizes range from high-resolution models (1/9 to 1/3 arc-second; ~3 to 10 meters) that support coastal inundation studies, to regional models (roughly 3 to 24 arc-seconds) that extend farther offshore, to global models (1 arc-minute; ~2 km).
  • Cite as: NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. 2006: Coastal Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Accessed [date].
  • NCEI Metadata ID: gov.noaa.ngdc:ngdc_dems
gov.noaa.ngdc:ngdc_dems
Distribution Formats
    Ordering Instructions Contact NCEI for other distribution options and instructions.
    Distributor NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
    ncei.info@noaa.gov
    Dataset Point of Contact NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
    ncei.info@noaa.gov
    Dataset Point of Contact DEM Information
    NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
    dem.info@noaa.gov
    Time Period 2006-01-01 to Present
    Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
    N: 90.0
    S: -90.0
    E: 180.0
    W: -180.0
    Spatial Coverage Map
    General Documentation
    Publication Dates
    • publication: 2006-01-01
    Dataset Progress Status Ongoing - data is continually being updated
    Historical archive - data has been stored in an offline storage facility
    Data Update Frequency As needed - New models are added to this collection as they become available.
    Purpose The DEMs can be used for modeling of coastal processes (tsunami inundation, storm surge, sea-level rise, contaminant dispersal, etc.), ecosystems management and habitat research, coastal and marine spatial planning, and hazard mitigation and community preparedness.
    Use Limitations
    • Not to be used for navigation. Although these data are of high quality and useful for planning and modeling purposes, they are not suitable for navigation. For navigation, please refer to the NOS nautical chart series.
    • Produced by the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Not subject to copyright protection within the United States.
    Dataset Citation
    • Cite as: NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. 2006: Coastal Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Accessed [date].
    Cited Authors
    • NOAA National Geophysical Data Center
    Publishers
    • NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
    Theme keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
    • Earth Science > Oceans > Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Seafloor Topography
    • Earth Science > Oceans > Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Bathymetry
    • Earth Science > Oceans > Bathymetry/Seafloor Topography > Water Depth
    • Earth Science > Land Surface > Topography > Terrain Elevation
    • Earth Science > Land Surface > Topography > Topographical Relief
    • Earth Science > Oceans > Coastal Processes > Coastal Elevation
    Uncontrolled
    • Coastal Relief
    • Gridded elevations
    NGDA Portfolio Themes
    • NGDA
    • National Geospatial Data Asset
    • Elevation Theme
    Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Service Keywords
    • DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION > GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS > WEB-BASED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
    • DATA MANAGEMENT/DATA HANDLING > DATA SEARCH AND RETRIEVAL
    • DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION > VISUALIZATION/IMAGE PROCESSING
    Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Service Keywords
    • DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION > GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS > WEB-BASED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
    • DATA MANAGEMENT/DATA HANDLING > DATA SEARCH AND RETRIEVAL
    • DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION > VISUALIZATION/IMAGE PROCESSING
    Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Platform keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
    • DEM > Digital Elevation Model
    Place keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
    • Continent > North America > United States of America
    • Ocean > Atlantic Ocean > North Atlantic Ocean
    • Ocean > Atlantic Ocean > North Atlantic Ocean > Caribbean Sea
    • Ocean > Atlantic Ocean > North Atlantic Ocean > Gulf of Mexico
    • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > North Pacific Ocean
    • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > North Pacific Ocean > Gulf of Alaska
    • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > Central Pacific Ocean > Hawaiian Islands
    • Vertical Location > Land Surface
    • Vertical Location > Sea Floor
    Project keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
    • ICSU-WDS > International Council for Science - World Data System
    Use Constraints
    • Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
    Access Constraints
    • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that the data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
    Other Constraints Cite as: NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. 2006: Coastal Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Accessed [date].
    Fees
    • In most cases, electronic downloads of the data are free. However, fees may apply for custom orders, data certifications, copies of analog materials, and data distribution on physical media.
    Lineage information for: repository
    Processing Steps
    • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
    Last Modified: 2020-05-04
    For questions about the information on this page, please email: ncei.info@noaa.gov