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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-275

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Smooth sheet bathymetry of Cook Inlet, Alaska


We assembled 1.4 million National Ocean Service (NOS) bathymetric soundings from 98 lead-line and single-beam echosounder hydrographic surveys conducted from 1910 to 1999 in Cook Inlet, Alaska. These bathymetry data are available from the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC:, which archives and distributes data that were originally collected by the NOS and others.

While various bathymetry data have been downloaded previously from NGDC, compiled, and used for a variety of projects, our effort differed in that we compared and corrected the digital bathymetry by studying the original analog source documents - digital versions of the original survey maps, called smooth sheets. Our editing included deleting erroneous and superseded values, digitizing missing values, and properly aligning all data sets to a common, modern datum. There were six areas where these older surveys were superseded by compilations of reduced-resolution multibeam surveys.

We digitized 12,000 features, such as rocky reefs, kelp beds, rocks and islets, adding them to what was originally available, and creating the most thorough source (n = 18,000) of these typically shallow, inshore features. We also digitized 2,418 km of the mainland and 529 km of island shoreline, generally at a resolution of 1:20,000, and digitized 9,271 verbal surficial sediment descriptions from the smooth sheets. The depth surface, shoreline, inshore features, and sediment data sets are mostly produced at a scale of 1:20,000.

View Online  (.pdf, 3.28 MB).

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