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NHD Waterbodies Potentially Resolvable from LANDSAT

September 16, 2021

A new data release, "Potentially Resolvable National Hydrography Dataset Waterbodies and Flowlines from Landsat Images in the United States (excluding Alaska)," is now available on ScienceBase.

A new data release presents two datasets including waterbodies (reservoirs, lakes, ponds, wetlands, etc.) and flowlines (stream reaches) from the high-resolution National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus HR) that are potentially observable from Landsat images for the United States (excluding Alaska).

To determine where National Hydrography Dataset Plus High Resolution (NHDPlus HR; USGS 2019) features intersect locations with observed water, a workflow was developed using the Global Surface Water Extent dataset (GSWE; Pekel et al. 2016) to specify where water was observed by Landsat from 1984 to 2019. The workflow determines where the extent of NHDPlus HR water features (waterbodies and areas) overlaps the maximum extent of Landsat-observed water (as defined by GSWE), then removes edge pixels to determine if any pure water pixels are observable by Landsat within a water feature’s extent.

Each pure-water pixel within NHDPlus HR area features (i.e. rivers represented by polygons) was associated with the nearest NHDPlus HR flowline. The result identifies flowlines and waterbodies (as defined by NHDPlus HR) that contain at least one estimated pure-water pixel from the GSWE and are thus ‘potentially resolvable’. The resulting datasets can be linked to the NHDWaterbodies and NHDFlowline layers of NHDPlus HR to identify waterbodies where remote sensing may be a suitable monitoring method.

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