The California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program has brought together federal, state, and local stakeholders to develop and share an extensive variety of seafloor-mapping datasets. This collaborative effort that brought together bathymetric (seafloor), geologic, and biological data relevant to California’s State Waters was recently described in a scientific article by Johnson et al. (2017) in the journal Ocean & Coastal Management. But there is more to the story than just mapping, the spatial information captured through this multi-year effort will help update nautical charts relevant to the marine transportation system, improve earthquake and tsunami hazard assessments, improve understanding of erosion and shoreline change processes, and be used to make decisions that support healthy marine ecosystems and fisheries. One map can serve many purposes, for example, geological maps made from seismic-reflection data of the seafloor can identify fault lines that are used in forecasting earthquake impacts, but also show where san deposits exist that can be used for beach nourishment (Johnston et al. (2017)). Geological mapping is also used to understand the risk of saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers that sit in coastal areas, a problem that exists in multiple parts of the U.S. Maps from this effort are available for download at no cost through the U.S. Geological Survey website. Users who want to create their own maps can explore bathymetric and coastal zone data for California on Data.Gov, including the example datasets listed below.
Links to Data.Gov datasets
USGS Map service: National Shoreline Change – Historic Shorelines by State: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/usgs-map-service-national-shoreline-change-historic-shorelines-by-state4a6c3
USGS Map service: National Shoreline Change – Offshore Baseline: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/usgs-map-service-national-shoreline-change-offshore-baseline01dc6
USGS 2010 Topographic Lidar of the Channel Islands, California: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/2010-u-s-geological-survey-usgs-topographic-lidar-channel-islands-california78b1a
USGS Bathymetry–Offshore of Carpinteria, California: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/bathymetry-offshore-of-carpinteria-californiaf4193
California 2010 Lidar Coverage, USACE National Coastal Mapping Program: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/california-2010-lidar-coverage-usace-national-coastal-mapping-program
USGS: A seamless, high-resolution, coastal digital elevation model (DEM) for Southern California. https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/a-seamless-high-resolution-coastal-digital-elevation-model-dem-for-southern-californiaf1e9e
Reference: Johnson, S.Y., G.R. Cochrane, N.E. Golden, P. Dartnell, S.R. Hartwell, S.A.Cochran, and J.T. Watt. 2017. The California Seafloor and Coastal Mapping Program – Providing science and geospatial data for California’s State Waters. Ocean & Coastal Management. 140, pages 88-104.