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Short Citation:
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, 2023: U.S.V.I. Relative Erosion Potential - 1990,

Item Identification

Title: U.S.V.I. Relative Erosion Potential - 1990
Short Name: usvi_rep90_metadata
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2005-10

The relative erosion potential is an indicator of sediment and pollution runoff from land based on slope, soil type, land cover (circa 1990) and (maximum monthly) precipitation


The purpose of this data set is to determine the potential contribution of sediment and pollution by coastal watersheds into coral reef ecosystems based on 1990 land cover.



Other Citation Details:

NOAA Summit-to-Sea Project


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category
None Environmental Monitoring

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword

Physical Location

Organization: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: None Planned
Data Presentation Form: remote-sensing image
Distribution Liability:

These data were prepared by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed in this report, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference therein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. Any views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. Although all data have been used by NOAA, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA as to the accuracy of the data and/or related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by NOAA in the use of these data or related materials.

Data Set Credit: NOAA Summit-to-Sea Project, World Resources Institute (WRI)

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 476590
Date Effective From: 2005-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:


CC ID: 476592
Date Effective From: 2005-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 476593
Date Effective From: 2005-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Point of Contact

CC ID: 476591
Date Effective From: 2005-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
Email Address:

Principal Investigator

CC ID: 476594
Date Effective From: 2005-10
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Battista, Tim
Email Address:


Currentness Reference: Ground Condition

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 476597
W° Bound: -65.15353
E° Bound: -64.183369
N° Bound: 18.884011
S° Bound: 17.594527

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 476596
Time Frame Type: Discrete
Start: 1990

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Grid: Yes

Grid Representation 1

CC ID: 586028
Dimension Count: 3
Cell Geometry: Point
Transformation Parameters Available?: No

Axis Dimension 1

Dimension Type: Row
Size: 4727

Axis Dimension 2

Dimension Type: Column
Size: 3377

Axis Dimension 3

Dimension Type: Vertical
Size: 1

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

Acknowledgement of the originating agencies would be appreciated in products derived from these data. This data should not be used for navigation. While efforts have been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the state of the art, NOAA, cannot assume liability for any damages, or misrepresentations, caused by any inaccuracies in the data, or as a result of the data to be used on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 476598
Download URL:

Downloadable Data

File Type (Deprecated): raster



CC ID: 476587
URL Type:
Online Resource


CC ID: 476588
URL Type:
Online Resource

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 476610
Activity Date/Time: 2013-07-03

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 476609
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05

Converted from FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using '' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Activity Log 3

CC ID: 586026
Activity Date/Time: 2017-09-13

Partial upload of Spatial Info section only.

Technical Environment


Microsoft Windows XP Version 5.1 (Build 2600) Service Pack 2; ESRI ArcCatalog

Data Quality

Completeness Report:


Conceptual Consistency:



Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 476585

Watersheds are an essential unit for analysis, since they link land areas with their point of discharge to the sea. We have implemented a watershed-based analysis of sediment and pollution threat to coral reefs. This analysis incorporates land cover type, slope, soil erodibility factor (k-factor), and precipitation for all land areas, using a simplified version of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) (USDA, 1989) in order to estimate relative erosion rates for each 30m resolution grid cell. These relative erosion estimates are summarized by watershed and by basin. Since not all erosion makes its way to the river mouth, sediment delivery ratios (based on watershed size) were applied in order to estimate relative sediment delivery at the river mouth. It should be noted that relative erosion rates and sediment delivery are being used as a proxy for both sediment and pollution delivery.This information can be used to estimate sediment plumes and impacted reefs (ideally including circulation patterns for the area.) Model results need to be calibrated using available data on river discharge, sediment delivery, and observed impacts on coral reefs. We are working with NOAA's Summit to Sea project to use satellite imagery to maps areas of observed plume and identify habitat change, as well as to help calibrate model results.Model Implementation Step 1) The first step of the analysis involves estimating likely relative erosion rates for each 30 m resolution grid cell using a modified, simplified form of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) (USDA, 1989). Information on slope, land cover type, precipitation, and soil porosity were integrated to develop an indicator of relative erosion potential (REP) for all land areas within the wider Caribbean. Inputs: (REP relies upon four input data sets,4. Slope (percentage) - for each 30m grid cell, derived from the raw Digital Elevation Model. 5. Relative erosion rate by land cover type from NASA Geocover-LC products (2000). Relative erosion rates for each land cover type were calculated using a look-up table (below.) Land cover categories was reclassified to relative erosion rates, ranging from 15 (for forest) to 220 for barren land. These relative erosion rates are based on published work involving conversion factors.Land Cover Type, Grid Code, Relative Erosion RateDeciduous Forest, 1, 15Evergreen Forest, 2, 15Shrub/Scrub, 3, 50Grassland, 4, 125Barren, 5, 220Urban, 6, 210Agriculture, 7, 200Permanent Wetland, 9, 80Mangrove, 10, 80Water, 11, 5Cloud/No Data, 13, 06.Precipitation during the peak rainfall month (in millimeters) - Long-term average monthly precipitation values for the peak rainfall month of the year is an interpolated grid based on data for climate stations from NOAA's National Climate Data Center (NCDC). This variable was chosen because it is more indicative of the rainy season and more extreme events during the year.7.Soil erodibility factor (K-ffactor) - the K-ffactor was obtained from the SSURGO database of the USDA.Relative Erosion Potential (REP) = (%) Slope x maximum monthly precipitation x soil kffactor x relative erosion rate for land cover type / 1000

(NASA Geocover - LC with 1.4 ha minimum mapping unit ""; USGS National Elevation Dataset ""; NRCS Soils Database ""; NOAA Monthly Surface Data "" )

Process Date/Time: 2005-10-01 00:00:00

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 39603
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:39603
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 12:53+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-05-30 18:09+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2017-09-13
Owner Org: NCCOS
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2017-09-13
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2018-09-13