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Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Towed-diver Surveys of Benthic Habitat, Key Benthic Species, including Marine Debris Sightings, of the U.S. Pacific Reefs from 2000 to 2012

Metadata Updated: March 16, 2024

The towed-diver method is used to conduct benthic surveys, assessing large-scale disturbances (e.g., bleaching) and quantifying benthic components such as habitat complexity/type and the general distribution and abundance patterns of live coral, CCA, macroalgae, and macroinvertebrates. Surveys are conducted in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas as part of the NOAA National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP). A suitable method for assessing relatively large areas of reef habitat, the method involves towing a pair of SCUBA divers—one benthic and one fish—behind a small boat for approximately 50 min following the ~15-m depth contour and covering about 2–3 km of habitat. Each diver is equipped with a towboard and attempts to maintain a constant elevation above the surface of the reef (~1 m) for the duration of the survey. A complete towed-diver survey is divided into 10, 5-min segments, with visual observations recorded by 5-min segment.

The visual estimate data provided in this dataset were collected during towed-diver surveys which includes percentage cover of total live hard corals, stressed hard corals, soft corals, sand, coralline algae, and macroalgae, and the number of individual macroinvertebrates (crown of thorns starfish (COTS), sea urchins, and giant clams). Benthic habitat complexity and type data are also collected as part of the survey with the following habitat type categories: continuous reef, spur and groove, patch reefs, rock boulders, pavement, rubble flat, sand flats, pinnacle, and wall.

The data were collected at coral reefs across all U.S.-affiliated regions as part of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) led missions since 2000. These data can be accessed online via the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Ocean Archive.

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

Dates

Metadata Date February 29, 2024
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date March 16, 2024
Reference Date(s) 2016 (publication)
Frequency Of Update notPlanned

Metadata Source

Harvested from NMFS PIFSC

Graphic Preview

A diver conducting a survey of the benthos and benthic habitat using the towed diver method.

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date February 29, 2024
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date March 16, 2024
Reference Date(s) 2016 (publication)
Responsible Party (Point of Contact, Custodian)
Contact Email
Guid gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:35618
Access Constraints Cite As: Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, [Date of Access]: Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Towed-diver Surveys of Benthic Habitat, Key Benthic Species, including Marine Debris Sightings, of the U.S. Pacific Reefs from 2000 to 2012 [Data Date Range], https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/inport/item/35618., Access Constraints: None, Use Constraints: Please cite NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) when using the data. Suggested citation: Coral Reef Ecosystem Program; Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (2016). Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Towed-diver Surveys of Benthic Habitat, Key Benthic Species, including Marine Debris Sightings, of the U.S. Pacific Reefs from 2000 to 2012. NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information, https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/inport/item/35618., Distribution Liability: While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
Bbox East Long -154.83979027
Bbox North Lat 22.23705898
Bbox South Lat 18.90836853
Bbox West Long -160.54516804
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update notPlanned
Graphic Preview Description A diver conducting a survey of the benthos and benthic habitat using the towed diver method.
Graphic Preview File https://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/cred/img/towboard.jpg
Graphic Preview Type JPG
Harvest Object Id b15c6082-c404-4f76-9d3b-f82857bb41f4
Harvest Source Id c0beac72-5f43-4455-8c33-1b345fbc2dfe
Harvest Source Title NMFS PIFSC
Licence NOAA provides no warranty, nor accepts any liability occurring from any incomplete, incorrect, or misleading data, or from any incorrect, incomplete, or misleading use of the data. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether or not the data is suitable for the intended purpose.
Lineage The data is captured on physical data sheets by each diver, then transferred to a MS Access database on the ship. At the conclusion of the cruise, the data is migrated to the PIFSC Oracle database, where there are several database views used to analyze the data.
Metadata Language eng
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[-160.54516804, 18.90836853], [-154.83979027, 18.90836853], [-154.83979027, 22.23705898], [-160.54516804, 22.23705898], [-160.54516804, 18.90836853]]]}
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 2005-07-14
Temporal Extent End 2005-08-06

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