Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Seafloor elevation change in Maui, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and the Florida Keys

March 7, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center conducted research to quantify the combined effect of all constructive and destructive processes on modern coral reef ecosystems by measuring regional-scale changes in seafloor elevation. USGS staff assessed five coral reef ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean (Upper and Lower Florida Keys), Caribbean Sea (U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas and Buck Island, St. Croix), and Pacific Ocean (Maui, Hawaii), including both coral-dominated and adjacent, non-coral dominated habitats. Scientists used historical bathymetric data from the 1930s to 1980s and contemporary light detection and ranging (lidar) digital elevation models (DEMs) from the late 1990s to 2000s to calculate changes in seafloor elevation for each study site over time periods reflecting low to high anthropogenic impacts. This data release contains the location, elevation, and elevation change data used in this study. Using these changes in elevation, further analysis was done to calculate corresponding changes in seafloor volume for all study areas and habitat types within each site.

For further information regarding data analysis methods refer to:
Yates, K. K., Zawada, D. G., Smiley, N. A., and Tiling-Range, G., 2017, Divergence of seafloor elevation and sea level rise in coral reef ecosystems: Biogeosciences, v. 14, no. 6, p. 1739-1772, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-1739-2017.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2017
Title Seafloor elevation change in Maui, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and the Florida Keys
DOI 10.5066/F7WQ01W0
Authors Kimberly K Yates, David G Zawada, Nathan A. Smiley, Ginger Tiling-Range, Jessica P. Resnick
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center