Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Skip to content

National Hydrography Dataset Plus - NHDPlus

Metadata Updated: March 22, 2024

This high-level metadata data document will be supplemented with detailed regional metadata at a later date. The NHDPlusV2 is an integrated suite of application-ready geospatial data sets that incorporate many of the best features of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and the National Elevation Dataset (NED). Interest in estimating stream flow volume and velocity to support pollutant fate-and-transport modeling was the driver behind the joint USEPA and USGS effort to develop the initial NHDPlus, referenced in this document as NHDPlusV1. NHDPlusV1 has been used in a wide variety of applications since its initial release in the fall of 2006. This widespread positive response prompted the multi-agency NHDPlus team to develop NHDPlus Version 2 (NHDPlusV2). The NHDPlusV2 includes a stream network (based on the NHD), improved networking, naming, and "value-added attributes" (VAA's). NHDPlusV2 also includes elevation-derived catchments (drainage areas) produced using a drainage enforcement technique first broadly applied in New England, and thus dubbed "The New-England Method". This technique involves "burning-in" the NHD network and building "walls" using the national Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD). The hydro-enforced digital elevation model (DEM) is used to produce hydrologic derivatives that agree with the NHD and WBD. An interdisciplinary team from the USGS, USEPA and contractors, has found this method to produce the best quality NHD catchments using an automated process. The VAAs include greatly enhanced capabilities for upstream and downstream navigation, analysis and modeling. Examples include: retrieve all flowlines (predominantly confluence-to-confluence stream segments) and catchments upstream of a given flowline using queries rather than by slower flowline-by-flowline navigation; retrieve flowlines by stream order; select a stream level path sorted in hydrologic order for stream profile mapping, analysis and plotting; and, calculate cumulative catchment attributes using streamlined VAA hydrologic sequencing routing attributes. The VAAs include results from the use of these cumulative routing techniques, including cumulative drainage areas, precipitation, temperature, and runoff distributions. Several of these cumulative attributes are used to estimate mean annual flow and velocity as part of the VAAs. NHDPlusV2 in CONUS contains a snapshot (2012) of the 1:100,000-scale NHD that has been extensively improved over the snapshot used in NHDPlusV1. These updates have not been stored in the central NHD repository at USGS. NHDPlusV2 in the islands is basin on a 2014/2015 snapshot of the 1:24,000 NHD. NHDPlusV2 users may not make updates to the NHD portions of NHDPlusV2 with the intent of sending these updates back to the USGS. Updates to the 1:100,000-scale NHD snapshot should be sent to the USEPA as the primary steward. Updates to the 1:24,000-scale NHD shapshot should be sent to the USGS. Purpose: The geospatial data sets included in NHDPlusV2 are intended to support a variety of water-related applications. They already have been used in an application to develop estimates of mean annual streamflow and velocity for each NHDFlowline feature in the conterminous United States. The results of these analyses are included with the NHDPlusV2 data. NHDPlusV2 serves as the sample frame for the stream and lake surveys conducted by the USEPA under the National Aquatic Resources Surveys program. A water-quality model developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) called SPARROW (Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes), can utilizes the NHDPlusV2 network functionality to track the downstream transport of nutrients, sediments, or other substances. NHDPlusV2 water bodies and estimates of streamflow and velocity are used in SPARROW to identify reservoir retention and in-stream loss factors. NHDPlusV2 climatic and land surface attributes can be used in SPARROW to identify potential factors in the delivery of nutrients from the land surface to streams. NHDPlusV2 data is also being used in select areas for a USGS Web-based application, called StreamStats. StreamStats provides tools to interactively select any point in the implemented areas, delineate watersheds, and to obtain streamflow and watershed characteristics for the selected point. NHDPlusV2 has been designed to accommodate many users' needs for future applications. NHDPlusV2 provides the framework and tools necessary to customize the behavior of the network relationships as well as building upon the attribute database, for which the user can assign their own data to the network.

Access & Use Information

License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Date June 11, 2012
Metadata Created Date March 22, 2024
Metadata Updated Date March 22, 2024
Reference Date(s) January 1, 2012 (publication)
Frequency Of Update irregular

Metadata Source

Harvested from Environmental Dataset Gateway ISO Geospatial Metadata

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date June 11, 2012
Metadata Created Date March 22, 2024
Metadata Updated Date March 22, 2024
Reference Date(s) January 1, 2012 (publication)
Responsible Party U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, WATERS Support (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Use Constraints: None., Access Constraints: None.
Bbox East Long 145.9
Bbox North Lat 50.7
Bbox South Lat -14.4
Bbox West Long -170.9
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update irregular
Harvest Object Id c9bab815-de49-4a27-9b0b-9f2fadd4566b
Harvest Source Id 9b3cd81e-5515-4bb7-ad3c-5ae44de9b4bd
Harvest Source Title Environmental Dataset Gateway ISO Geospatial Metadata
Licence Although this data set has been used by the U.S. Government, no warranty expressed or implied is made by the U.S. Government as to the accuracy of the data and related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the U.S. Government in the use of this data, software, or related materials. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
Lineage This lineage was generated by the FGDC CSDGM to 19139 transformation
Metadata Language eng; USA
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[-170.9, -14.4], [145.9, -14.4], [145.9, 50.7], [-170.9, 50.7], [-170.9, -14.4]]]}
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.