Learn More: River Bathymetric Maps

What does this mean?

This is the latest available contour map of the river sections bottom. Contour maps are used to determine the volume of river section which can be useful in calculating flow volume and for determining where deep and shallow spots exist in a section of the river as well as to see the channel of the river.

How are the data collected? (Methods)

A Bathymetric Map is similar to a contour map. In making a bathymetric map a SONAR depth finder is used along with a Global Positioning System (DGPS). Researchers map a course around the perimeter of a lake and then navigate parallel transects using the depth finder to store various depths of the lake in a consistent pattern. This data is then used to create a map showing the contour of the bottom of the lake. Florida LAKEWATCH, at the University of Florida's Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, may also provide data.


GIS (ArcView/ArcInfo) processing using Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) commands. Volume of the section is determined from the TIN based on the water level at the time that the section is mapped. The TIN can then be converted to a contour map or a 2D or 3D raster for viewing.
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Caveats and Limitations

The Water Atlas program does not normally employ professional surveyors for its mapping. The maps are not meant for use in navigation but can be useful for river investigations and for public viewing of bottom structure.