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SRTM Water Body Dataset

    Sample of Water Body Data - Hamilton area tile West w080n43

    Sample of Water Body Data
    Hamilton area tile West w080n43

The SRTM Water Body Data files are a by-product of the data editing performed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to produce the finished SRTM Digital Terrain Elevation Data Level 2 (DTED® 2). In accordance with the DTED® 2 specification, the terrain elevation data have been edited to portray water bodies that meet minimum capture criteria. Ocean, lake and river shorelines were identified and delineated. Lake elevations were set to a constant value. Ocean elevations were set to zero. Rivers were stepped down monotonically to maintain proper flow. After this processing was done, the shorelines from the one arc second (approx. 30-meter) DTED® 2 were saved as vectors in ESRI 3-D Shapefile format.

In most cases, two orthorectified image mosaics (one for ascending passes and one for descending passes) at a one arc second resolution were available for identifying water bodies and delineating shorelines in each 1 x1 cell. These were used as the primary source for water body editing. The guiding principle for this editing was that water must be depicted as it was in February 2000 at the time of the shuttle flight. A Landcover water layer and medium-scale maps and charts were used as supplemental data sources, generally as supporting evidence for water identified in the image mosaics. Since the Landcover water layer was derived mostly from Landsat 5 data collected a decade earlier than the Shuttle mission and the map sources had similar currency problems, there were significant seasonal and temporal differences between the depiction of water in the ancillary sources and the actual extent of water bodies in February 2000 in many instances. In rare cases, where the SRTM image mosaics were missing or unusable, Landcover was used to delineate the water in the SRTM cells. The DTED® header records for those cells are documented accordingly.

Coverage Maps

Coverage Maps indicating the availability of SRTM Water Body Data products are available for download.

Data Use and Citation Policies

For information on how to cite USGS data plus guidance on usage restrictions,
please see our Data Citations and Use page at

Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and
does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Contact Information for User Assistance

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57198-0001

Phone Number: 605-594-6151
Toll Free: 800-252-4547
Fax: 605-594-6589


Business Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Central Time