National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) - High-Resolution - Minnesota

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) is the surface-water component of The National Map. The NHD is a comprehensive set of digital spatial data that represents the surface water of the United States using common features such as lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, canals, stream gages, and dams. Polygons are used to represent area features such as lakes, ponds, and rivers; lines are used to represent linear features such as streams and smaller rivers; and points are used to represent point features such as stream gages and dams. Lines also are used to show the water flow through area features such as the flow of water through a lake. The combination of lines is used to create a network of water and transported material flow to allow users of the data to trace movement in downstream and upstream directions. The Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) is a companion dataset to the NHD. It defines the perimeter of drainage areas formed by the terrain and other landscape characteristics. The drainage areas are nested within each other so that a large drainage area, such as the Upper Mississippi River, will be composed of multiple smaller drainage areas, such as the Minnesota River. Each of these smaller areas can further be subdivided into smaller and smaller drainage areas. The WBD uses six different levels in this hierarchy, with the smallest averaging about 30,000 acres. The WBD is made up of polygons nested into six levels of data respectively defined by Regions, Subregions, Basins, Subbasins, Watersheds, and Subwatersheds.

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated November 21, 2015, 11:02
Created September 8, 2014, 17:37
dsAccessConst None
dsCurrentRef publication date; data capture represents the period 1/1/1964 - Present
dsModifiedDate 2015-11-20 23:52:54
dsOriginator U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and other state and local partners.
dsPeriodOfContent 4/13/2015
dsPurpose These data are designed to be used in general mapping and in the analysis of surface-water systems using geographic information system (GIS) technology. In mapping, the NHD is used with other data themes such as elevation, boundaries, and transportation to produce general reference maps. These maps often serve as base maps for special purpose mapping. A geologic map, for example, may show base map information such as hydrography as a reference. In the analysis of surface water, scientists use the NHD and WBD by applying GIS technology. This application takes advantage of a rich set of embedded attributes that can be processed by a computer system to generate specialized information. This information then can be portrayed in customized maps to better understand the results. These analyses of hydrography are possible largely because the NHD contains the flow-direction network, and uses an addressing system to link specific information about the water from other related databases such as water discharge, water quality, and fish population. Using the basic water features, flow network, linked information, and other characteristics, it is possible to study cause and effect relationships, such as how a source of poor water quality upstream might affect a fish population downstream. The WBD plays an important role in this analysis by outlining the area on the landscape that drains into the flow network defined by the NHD. These data also are linked to the Geographic Names Information System to provide accurate hydrography names. The NHD and WBD often are used as a data source to specific applications such as StreamStats, ICWater, or ArcHydro.

Dataset extent