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Short Citation:
Office of Response and Restoration, 2022: Puerto Rico ESI/RSI: KARST,

Item Identification

Title: Puerto Rico ESI/RSI: KARST
Short Name: P_Rico_karst
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2001-06

This data set comprises the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) and Reach Sensitivity Index (RSI) data for Puerto Rico. ESI data characterize estuarine environments and wildlife by their sensitivity to spilled oil. The ESI data include information for three main components: shoreline habitats, sensitive biological resources, and human-use resources. Most rivers and streams can be readily subdivided into clear-cut segments, or reaches (RSI), that have very distinct and uniform characteristics within that reach of the stream. The definition of reach type is usually based on whatever the intended use of the reach classification might be. In this project, stream reaches are defined as those segments where similar spill-response modes and potential ecological and/or socioeconomic impacts from the spill are to be anticipated. However defined, the boundary of the reach is usually marked by an abrupt change in the morphology of the stream, a change commonly, but not always, brought about by an alteration in the stream's gradient. This data set contains data for karst (underground channel) areas.


The ESI and RSI data were collected, mapped, and digitized to provide environmental data for oil spill planning and response. The Clean Water Act with amendments by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 requires response plans for immediate and effective protection of sensitive resources.



Other Citation Details:

Prepared by Research Planning, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service, Office of Response and Restoration, Hazardous Materials Response Division, Seattle, Washington, United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales, and United States Department of the Interior.

Supplemental Information:

Resource Description - ESI/RSI Atlas for Puerto Rico


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category environment
ISO 19115 Topic Category oceans
NOS Topic Category Environmental Monitoring
None Coastal resources
None Coastal Zone Management
None ESI
None Karst
None Oil spill planning
None RSI
None Sensitivity maps

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Puerto Rico

Physical Location

Organization: Office of Response and Restoration
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: None Planned
Data Presentation Form: atlas
Distribution Liability:

Although these data have been processed successfully on a computer system at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by NOAA regarding the utility of the data on any other system, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. NOAA warrants the delivery of this product in computer-readable format, and will offer a replacement copy of the product when the product is determined unreadable by computer input peripherals, or when the physical medium is delivered in damaged condition.

Data Set Credit: This project was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service, Office of Response and Restoration, Hazardous Materials Response Division, Seattle, Washington, United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales and United States Department of the Interior.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 513941
Date Effective From: 2001-06
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:


CC ID: 513943
Date Effective From: 2001-06
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 513944
Date Effective From: 2001-06
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:

Point of Contact

CC ID: 513942
Date Effective From: 2001-06
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): ESI Program Manager
Address: 7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:


Currentness Reference: Project time span

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 513947
W° Bound: -68.168
E° Bound: -65.167
N° Bound: 18.711
S° Bound: 17.517

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 513946
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 1998-07
End: 2001-06

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Vector: Yes

Vector Representation 1

CC ID: 589065
Complex Object Present?: Yes
Complex Object Count: 260
Curve Object Present?: Yes
Curve Object Count: 88408
Point Object Present?: Yes
Point Object Count: 260
Surface Object Present?: Yes
Surface Object Count: 559

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Procedure:

Contact NOAA for distribution options (see Distribution_Information).;

Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

DO NOT USE MAPS FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES. Besides the above warning, there are no use constraints on these data. Acknowledgment of the publishers and contributing sources listed in Data_Set_Credit (below) would be appreciated in products derived from these data.



CC ID: 513939
URL Type:
Online Resource

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 513960
Activity Date/Time: 2001-06

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 513959
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05

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

Activity Log 3

CC ID: 589063
Activity Date/Time: 2017-09-13

Partial upload of Spatial Info section only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 604910
Activity Date/Time: 2017-11-01

Replaced entire Lineage section to populate new Source Contribution field.

Activity Log 5

CC ID: 719346
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Technical Environment


The software packages used to develop the atlas are Environmental Systems Research Institute's ARC/INFO(r) (version 8.0.2) and ORACLE(r) RDBMS (version The hardware configuration is Hewlett Packard workstations (models 715/50 and 712/80i with 4 X-terminals) with UNIX operating system (HP-UX Release A.10.20). The following files are included in the data set: benthic.e00, birds.e00, bio_lut.e00, biofile.e00, biores.e00, breed.e00, breed_dt.e00, esi.e00, fish.e00, fishl.e00, habitats.e00, hydro.e00, index.e00, invert.e00, invertl.e00, karst.e00, mgt.e00, m_mammal.e00, reptiles.e00, seasonal.e00, shelfbnd.e00, soc_dat.e00, soc_lut.e00, socecon.e00, sources.e00, species.e00, stations.e00, status.e00, t_mammal.e00, wetlands.e00.

Data Quality


The attribute accuracy is estimated to be "good" given the years of ESI experience, the data input methodology, the quality control review sessions, and the digital logical consistency checks.

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

The ESI data use USGS 1:20,000 and 1:30,000 topographic quadrangles as the basemap. It is estimated that the ESI shoreline classification has a minimum mapping unit of 50 feet.

Completeness Report:

The intertidal shoreline habitats of Puerto Rico were previously mapped during overflights and ground surveys conducted by the Puerto Rico Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (DRNA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), published in 1984. For this project, the original ESI maps were re-examined and fully updated using the sources and methods described below. As a first step, infrared vertical aerial photographs were examined at the offices of DRNA in San Juan. The initial aerial photograph classification was followed by overflight surveys of the entire study area, flying at elevations of 400-600 feet and slow air speed. Overflights were conducted using U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) helicopters and fixed-wing Cessna 172s operated by the Puerto Rico Civil Air Patrol. During this work, an experienced coastal geologist delineated the intertidal shoreline habitats directly onto 1:20,000-scale USGS topographic maps (1:30,000 for Culebra and Vieques). Where appropriate, multiple habitats were described for each shoreline segment. Data from the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) for the coastal plain of Puerto Rico, published in draft form in 1989 (based on 1983 1:40,000 CIR photography), were also used as a supplementary data source, particularly for mangrove areas and tidal flats. In many cases, the depiction of mangroves was modified substantially from the original NWI data, based on the more recent aerial photography and overflights, as well as information provided by expert reviewers.

Conceptual Consistency:

The digitization of shoreline types, biological resources, and human-use resources is a complex and highly quality-controlled process. Existing digital shoreline data are integrated into a study-wide basemap. In order to facilitate digitizing, the entire study area is split into individual quadrangles using the INDEX data layer. The first layer of information digitized is the ESI shoreline classification. The ESI/RSI habitat ranking is compiled onto 1:20,000 and 1:30,000 USGS topographic quadrangles by a geomorphologist. The hardcopy maps are then digitized and checked using both on-screen and hardcopy reviews. The edited maps are updated and checked once again for completeness and topological and logical consistency. Any errors in the shoreline classification are updated prior to digitization of the biological and human-use layers. All layers use the shoreline as the geographic reference so that there are no slivers in the geographic coordinates. The hardcopy biological information is compiled onto 1:20,000 and 1:30,000 USGS topographic quadrangles by a biological expert using data from regional specialists in the form of maps, tables, charts, written descriptions of wildlife distributions, and personal interviews. Concurrently, digital data sources are imported, projected, checked for quality control, and integrated into the data structure. The hardcopy data are digitized, checked using both digital and on-screen procedures, integrated with existing data, plotted, and sent out for review by the regional specialists. The edited maps are updated, checked once again, and the final product plotted (at approximately 1:55,000 scale). A team of specialists reviews the entire series of maps, checks all data, and makes final edits. The data are then merged to form the study-wide layers. The data merging includes a final quality control check where labels, chains, and polygons are checked for attribute accuracy. To finalize the data checking process, each data layer is checked using a standardized form by two GIS personnel (a technician and the GIS manager), and each attribute database is checked using several programs that test the files for missing or duplicate data, rules for proper coding, GIS topological consistencies (such as dangles, unnecessary nodes, etc.), and ORACLE(r) to ARC/INFO(r) consistencies. A final review is made by the GIS manager, where the data are written to CD-ROM and the metadata are written. ESI data are processed into multiple formats to make them useful to a wider community of GIS/mapping users. Distribution formats include ARC export, MOSS and Shape files, and MARPLOT map folders. An ArcView ESI project and ESI_Viewer product are also included on the CDs for ease of use of the ESI data. The database files are distributed both in the NOAA standard relational database format (see NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS ORCA 115) and in a simplified desktop flat file format. This metadata document includes information on both of these database formats. The section Spatial_Data_Organization_Information refers to the source files in ARC export format only.



RPI Generated Karst

CC ID: 604911
Contact Name: Research Planning, Inc.
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2000
Source Contribution:

Karst data | Source Geospatial Form: vector digital data | Type of Source Media: CD-ROM

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 604912

All the digital data were checked using both digital and on-screen procedures, plotted, checked by the biological expert, edited to remove any errors, and plotted for review by the regional specialists. The reviewed maps were updated on the computer, checked once again, and plotted at final map scale. A team of specialists reviewed the entire series of maps, checked all data, and made final edits. The data were merged to form the study-wide layers that are described in the document. The data merging included a final quality control check where topological consistency, rules for geography, and database to geography were checked and validated for all relationships.

Process Date/Time: 2001-06-01 00:00:00

Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Entity GT-Polygon

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 40524
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:40524
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 14:52+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2019-06-04 13:14+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2018-02-08
Owner Org: ORR
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year