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Chesapeake Bay Watershed 1:24k 10, 30 and 90-meter Riparian Buffer Zones

April 17, 2024

This data release contains three 10-meter resolution GeoTIFFs representing 10-meter (35-foot), 30-meter (100-foot) and 90-meter (300-foot) riparian buffer zones along shorelines, rivers, streams, and other lotic (flowing) water features. The layers are binary, where the value of each cell represents the presence or absence of the buffer zone. In addition, the data release contains shapefile layers that document the extent of corrections that were made to the data to address errors in the stream network (see processing steps section for more details).

The methodology combines various fine-scale input layers, including a 1:24k stream network and Chesapeake Bay 1-meter resolution Land Use/Land Cover to approximate banks of stream channels and waterbodies to better define the riparian zone (CBP, 2023; Hopkins and others, 2020). For shorelines and large rivers, the width of the buffer zone (10, 30, 90 meters) begins at the banks, where land meets water. For finer scale (1:24k) stream features, the buffer zone includes both water and riparian land area, where the buffered width begins at the estimated top of bank.

Each 10-meter resolution riparian buffer zone GeoTIFF dataset is contained in an individual .zip file (,, The shapefile layers that contain the data correction extents are available in the file.

Publication Year 2024
Title Chesapeake Bay Watershed 1:24k 10, 30 and 90-meter Riparian Buffer Zones
DOI 10.5066/P99HZHQ0
Authors Sarah M McDonald, Renee L Thompson, Michelle P Katoski, Peter R Claggett, Labeeb Ahmed, Andrew J Fitch, John C Wolf
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center - Nashville, TN Office