National Hydrography

NHDPlus High Resolution

View the NHDPlus HR Status Map:

Click on the photo to take you to the NHDPlus High Resolution live status map.

NHDPlus High Resolution Availability by region, dated 9/12/2018

  • The two-digit numeric code represents the WBD Hydrologic Region
  • Blue areas - NHDPlus HR Beta is currently available and Beta review/QC is either in process or completed for these areas.
  • Yellow areas - The NHDPlus HR Beta is in production and the USGS is currently seeking volunteers for the upcoming Beta review/QC for these areas. 
  • Gray areas - NHDPlus HR Beta will be produced at a later date. These areas are currently open for NHD and WBD editing.
  • Red outline - These areas are currently closed to NHD and WBD editing. 

(Click on the photo to see NHDPlus High Resolution live status.)

For questions or to help with NHDPlus HR review/QC, contact the NHD Point of Contact in your area.

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What is the NHDPlus HR?

The NHDPlus HR is a national, geospatial model of the flow of water across the landscape and through the stream network. The NHDPlus HR is built using the National Hydrography Dataset High Resolution data at 1:24,000 scale or better, the 1/3 arc-second (10 meter ground spacing) 3D Elevation Program data, and the nationally complete Watershed Boundary Dataset.

NHDPlus HR consists of vector and raster data layers. It includes a snapshot of the NHD and WBD at the time the NHDPlus HR was built, as well as the following components:

  • A set of value added attributes, in addition to the standard NHD attributes, that enhance stream network navigation, analysis and display
  • An elevation-based catchment area for each flowline in the stream network
  • Catchment characteristics, including mean annual precipitation, mean annual temperature, and mean annual runoff, and mean latitude
  • Cumulative drainage area characteristics
  • Mean annual flow (1971-2000) and velocity estimates for each flowline in the stream network
  • Flow direction, flow accumulation, elevation, and hydro-enforced elevation rasters
  • Headwater node areas
  • Flowline min/max elevations and slopes

The NHDPlus HR framework extends the hydrologic network seamlessly across the terrain by including not only streams, but also associated catchment areas that drain to each stream segment. This association allows information about the landscape to be related to the stream network. Observational data on the stream network, such as water quality samples, streamgage measurements, or fish distribution, can also be linked to the framework. Together, the framework and linked data can support a limitless range and type of applications, for example:

  • Predicting the risk, timing, and magnitude of flood events
  • Estimating when and where an event such as a toxic spill will affect populations and ecosystems downstream
  • Enabling riparian property owners to better understand upstream invasive species threats

    HDPlus HR is modeled after the highly successful medium resolution NHDPlus Version 2. Like the NHDPlus Version 2, the NHDPlus HR is comprised of a nationally seamless network of stream reaches, elevation-based catchment areas, flow surfaces, and value-added attributes that enhance stream network navigation, analysis, and data display. However, users will find that the NHDPlus HR, which increases the number of features nationally from about three million in the NHDPlus Version 2 to over 30 million, provides richer, more current content that also can be used at a variety of scales.

      When completed, the NHDPlus HR will provide a common geospatial framework that is open and accessible for use by everyone, including government, citizens, and industry. It will be the geospatial framework supporting the Open Water Data Initiative, which seeks to integrate currently fragmented water information into a connected national water data infrastructure to underpin innovation, modeling, data sharing, and solution development. NHDPlus HR will not only provide far more detail than NHDPlus V2 in order to support local analysis and modeling, special attributes also allow the selection of more generalized stream networks for regional or national analysis, while retaining the spatial accuracy of the highest-resolution, nationally available datasets.

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      Where is the NHDPlus HR available?

      The map above provides a general overview of the NHDPlus HR data availability. Click the map to visit the live National Hydrography Dataset Plus High Resolution Availability Web Map. For questions or to help with NHDPlus HR review/QC, contact the NHD Point of Contact in your area.

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      How can I access the NHDPlus HR?

      NHDPlus HR data is currently available in Beta version for selected hydrologic regions from the Linked Data > Download Hydrography Products page and The National Map Download viewer.

      Note that two download files are available for each area: a file geodatabase (GDB) of all vector datasets in compressed ZIP format, and a collection of raster files in 7-Zip compressed format. An NHDPlus HR User Guide for more information on what is contained in these download files is under development and will be available soon.

      Approximate Scale Representation using the VisibilityFilter Attribute

      The VisibilityFilter attribute enables users to represent NHD vector features in the NHDPlus HR at eight different map scales. Using an algorithm, each feature is assigned a VisibilityFilter value, indicating the approximate appropriate map scale, and all larger scales, for representing the features. This attribute is available for the NHDFlowline, NHDWaterbody, NHDArea, and NHDLine feature classes. Details on methods for using the VisbilityFilter attribute, information on known issues, and citations for determining the map scale levels are available on the Scale Representation using the VisibilityFilter Attribute page. Please note: The VisibilityFeature attribute currently is only available for NHDPlus HR Regions 1 and 6. After a period of testing, it will be included in all NHD and NHDPlus HR data as datasets are produced.

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      What is the NHDPlus HR Beta?

      Large geospatial datasets are prone to containing errors due to processing, inputs, or other issues, particularly in the first version created. To ensure data quality, the NHDPlus HR is being created in an iterative fashion starting with production of a “Beta” version. The software used to process the component datasets into the NHDPlus HR is also being developed in an iterative fashion to respond to varying data conditions in the component datasets throughout the United States. During the Beta phase, the NHDPlus HR Product may contain errors due to the conditions listed above.

      While in Beta, the NHDPlus HR data will undergo a structured review/QC by volunteers in the user community, during which any errors identified in the component hydrography datasets (NHD and WBD) and/or NHDPlus HR datasets will be corrected. The NHDPlus HR product will then be “refreshed” using the updated component datasets to create an improved dataset. This period of user review is a vital part of the overall process. To help with NHDPlus HR review/QC, contact the NHD Point of Contact in your area.

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      How can I help improve the NHD, WBD, and NHDPlus HR through Beta QC?

      Improving the NHD and WBD prior to NHDPlus HR Production: Partners proficient with NHD or WBD editing tools can perform the required review/quality control (QC) and fix problems in the NHD and WBD data before the datasets are used in NHDPlus HR production. Partners who have local knowledge but are not trained editors can get involved in the review/QC effort following the release of the web-based markup application later in 2017. Areas are not available for editing during the NHDPlus HR build process. Visit the section below on data availability to see areas available for editing. Contact the NHD Point of Contact in your area for questions about NHD and WBD editing.

      NHDPlus HR Beta review/QC: The USGS is seeking volunteers to perform a review/QC of the​ NHDPlus HR Beta in various Hydrologic Regions. This opportunity is ideal for users with previous NHDPlus Version 2 (medium resolution) experience and, most importantly, local hydrography knowledge. Complete the NHDPlus High Resolution QC Interest form to participate in the NHDPlus HR Beta review/QC process.

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      Errors in the NHDPlus HR Beta Dataset

      How do I report errors in NHDPlus HR?

      If you discover an error in the NHDPlus HR stream network or waterbodies, please report the issue via Markup Application. For more information on how to use the Markup Application, please see the Markup App User Guide.

      Unresolved known errors in the NHDPlus HR Beta Datasets: Below are unresolved issues identified in the NHDPlus HR Beta datasets which do not need further reporting.

      • NHDPlusBurnLineEvent BurnLenKM - An issue has been identified affecting the BurnLenKM attribute in the NHDPlusBurnLineEvent feature class for 1705. The BurnLenKM attribute is incorrectly displaying the Length in Kilometers, this is due to an issue with the LengthKM from the NHDFlowline feature class. This error will be corrected and addressed during NHDPlus HR Refresh. (added 08/13/2018)
         
      • NHDPlusLandSea Domain - An issue has been identified affecting all NHDPlusLandSea domains. Negative 2 values are not shown as Sea features. This error will be corrected and addressed during NHDPlus HR Refresh. (added: 07/17/2018)
         
      • Metadata - Some inaccuracies have been identified in the NHDPlus HR metadata. These errors will be updated with a future model change. (added 04/03/2018)
        • The 3DEP and WBD snapshot dates for VPUs are not accurate. These were included as place holders when the metadata template was being developed and have not been updated for the beta metadata.
        • The processing software version may not be up to date for the beta version of the dataset.
        • For the HU4 level, a statement is included that network connectivity was verified by tracing upstream from all outlets. This statement is being evaluated and will be modified.
        • The NHD source criteria scale will be modified from 1:24,000 to 1:24,000 or better.
        • An issue has been identified affecting all NHDPlus HR XML Metadata products created after August 13, 2018. Links within the metadata describing where NHDPlus HR Beta raster products are located in order for download are incorrect. This is making the raster data not downloadable in ScienceBase and The National Map Viewer. (date added: 09/07/2018)
           
      • NHDPlusLandSea Domain - An issue has been identified affecting all NHDPlusLandSea domains. Negative 2 values are not shown as Sea features. This error will be corrected and addressed during NHDPlus HR Refresh. (date added: 07/17/2018) 
         
      • Missing elev_meta polygons - An issue has been identified affecting some polygons in the elev_meta feature class. All related raster files are unaffected. This issue affects hydrologic unit 041504,1107, 0508, and 1711. This error will be corrected and addressed during NHDPlus HR Refresh. (updated 08/09/2018)
      • Incorrectly named Coordinate Systems - Some CONUS NHDPlus HR raster file projections are incorrectly named NAD_1983_Albers, although the projection projection parameters within the file are correctly defined as USA Contiguous Albers Equal Area Conic USGS Version. To resolve the naming issue, use the Esri ArcToolbox Define Projection tool and select USA_Contiguous_Albers_Equal_Area_Conic_USGS_version for the coordinate system. Existing datasets will be corrected during Refresh. (added 3/29/2018)
         
      • Invalid and or missing NHDPlusFlowlineVAA and EROM Tables for specific geographic areas only - In the NHDPlusFlowlineVAA table, the InNetwork field is set to "NULL". This field should be "YES" or "NO" based on the FlowDir field, this issue also cause some VAAs to not be present. This issue affects the following NHDPlus HR Beta datasets: portions of Region 09, Region 10, Region 16 and Sub-region 0108. This issue will be corrected. Once updated datasets are available, an update will be posted. (added 10/04/2017, updated X date)
         
      • Incorrect PathLength - An issue has been identified affecting PathLength in the NHDPlusFlowlineVAA table. This issue affects the following NHDPlus HR Beta datasets: Regions 07, 10, 14, and 15. This error has been corrected and will be addressed for the previously mentioned Regions during NHDPlus HR Refresh. (added 3/19/2018)
         
      • Incorrect catchments due to zero elevation values - An error during the NHDPlus HR Build process resulting in an incorrect hydrodem has caused incorrectly built catchments for HU4s 0714 and 0415. In the hydrodem, the streams are burned correctly, the walls are created correctly, and the catchments derived from this hydrodem conform correctly to the WBD boundaries. However, the topography in between is replaced with a flat surface of zero elevation resulting in incorrect catchment derivation. Corrections to this error are currently in progress and corrected data will be uploaded as soon as it is ready. (added 12/21/2017)
         
      • Missing NHDWaterbody Catchments - A processing error has been identified which caused some NHDWaterbody features to not be burned and thus have no associated catchments. This issue will only affect a catchment boundary with no wall. This issue could also affect neighboring catchment boundaries. This issue potentially affects Regions 01, 02, 06, 10, 12, 14, 15 and 16. This error has been corrected and will be addressed for the previously mentioned Regions during NHDPlus HR Refresh. (added 11/28/2017)
         
      • Invalid NHDPlusFlowlineVAA and EROM Tables for specific geographic areas only - In the NHDPlusFlowlineVAA table, the InNetwork field is set to "NULL". This field should be "YES" or "NO" based on the FlowDir field. This issue affects the following NHDPlus HR Beta datasets: portions of Region 09, Region 10, Region 16 and Sub-region 0108. This issue will be corrected. Once updated datasets are available, an update will be posted. (added 10/04/2017)
         
      • Incorrect values in NHDPlusIncr Table for specific geographic areas only - In the NHDPlusIncr* table, the MissDataA field has positive values rather than the correct value of “0”. This does not affect EROM, other NHDPlus feature classes, or tables. This issue affects the following NHDPlus HR Beta datasets: 0903, portions of Region 12, Region 14, Region 15, Region 16, Region 02, 0108 and 0110. This issue will be corrected during NHDPlus HR Refresh. *monthly mean tables. (added 7/19/2017)
         
      • Excessive sinks in off-network water bodies - A process was inadvertently introduced during the processing of NHDPlus HR Beta datasets for Hydro Regions 02, 07, 10, 12, 14, 15, and 16 that caused sinks to be created in all off-network water bodies. This will be corrected when the data are refreshed. (added 6/2/2017)
         
      • Missing relationship classes - Some NHD relationship classes normally found in the NHD data model are missing in NHDPlus HR Beta Datasets. This issue will be corrected in the future, but existing Beta datasets will not be recreated. (added 5/12/2017)
         
      • HU2, HU14, and HU16 Feature classes in WBD Feature Dataset are not populated - HU14 and HU16 features only exist for a few areas. These feature classes will be empty in most datasets. The HU2 feature class was not populated during the creation of initial NHDPlus HR Beta data. These datasets may not include HU2 features. More recent production now includes HU2 features. (added 5/12/2017)

      Resolved known errors in the NHDPlus HR Beta Datasets: Below are issues identified in the NHDPlus HR Beta datasets which have been resolved.

      • RESOLVED - Unpopulated Flow Accumulation Raster - The flow accumulation raster, fac.tif was previously not included for HU4s 0208, 0901, 0903, 1018, 1019, 1025, 1604, and 1606. A software problem caused the NHDPlus HR Build Step P tool to fail for these processing units. Flow accumulation rasters are now available for these HU4s. To confirm access to the updated data packages, reference the <pubdate> provided in the xml files. (updated 05/08/2018)
         
      • RESOLVED - Incorrect files in raster download files - The raster download .7z files sometimes contain the wrong raster files. (resolved 05/25/2017, added 5/25/2017)

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      How can I learn more about NHDPlus HR?

      If you would like to participate in a NHDPlus HR training session, please fill out the NHDPlus High Resolution Training Request form.
      A poster of the NHDPlus Data Model v1.0 is available with details on dataset structure, feature classes, domains, and relationships. (Upon opening the file, zoom in for a more detailed view.)

      An NHDPlus HR Data Dictionary is now available.

      The NHDPlus HR is very similar structurally to the NHDPlus Version 2, for which a great deal of documentation is available. While not all aspects of the data are identical, nearly all concepts are applicable to the NHDPlus HR. See the “Learn More” tab on the US EPA NHDPlus website for documentation, training presentations, and exercises. Also, a series of video presentations from a July 2016 workshop on NHDPlus Version 2 is available from the California Department of Water Resources.

      An NHDPlus HR User Guide for more information on what is contained in these download files is under development and will be available soon.

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