Lower Columbia Digital Terrain Model

The 2010 Lower Columbia Terrain Model is a combined bathymetric/topographic seamless digital surface model created by the Portland District of the US Army Corps of Engineers.  The project was completed primarily to support hydraulic modeling related to the Columbia River Treaty, however its applications extend far beyond this. The model incorporates the most recent elevation data which has been collected for the lower Columbia River and its floodplain, including the following sources:

  • NOAA multibeam bathymetric surveys, 2008-2009
  • US Army Corps of Engineers crossline and channel bathymetric surveys, 2000 - 2009
  • Estuary Partnership shallow water bathymetric surveys, 2009 - 2010
  • US Army Corps of Engineers topographic LiDAR surveys, 2009 - 2010

Historical bathymetric data was used in areas where more current information was not collected, however these areas are have been greatly reduced compared to previous data models.  

The Estuary Partnership's bathymetric data component was collected as part of the Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification System, using funds provided by the Bonneville Power Administration.  This effort targeted shallow water areas within the mainstem as well as selected tributaries and floodplain channels. These areas represented significant data gaps, either not having been surveyed in several decades, or not at all. In total, approximately 20,000 acres were surveyed between 2009 and 2010.

The model was created using the ESRI ArcGIS Terrain format. This geodatabase contains the full set of 3D liDAR points, a mosaic of best available bathymetric data points, and 1 meter resolution raster Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) derived from the points.  All ground surface LiDAR point data was processed to remove false water returns, using a water boundary as determined by softcopy photogrammetry with stereograms generated from the first return LiDAR points. The data set is divided into 6 separate river reaches.

How to obtain this data set

The full ESRI terrain dataset can be obtained from the Estuary Partnership, by contacting our GIS staff.

To download copies of the DEMs and hillshades in ESRI geodatabase raster format, use the following links or click on the desired Reach boundary on the map below.  Metadata reports describing the data are included with the data for each river reach, as well as a shapefile that masks areas where water was present during collection of LiDAR topography data (i.e. lidar false return areas).

Reach A (river miles covered: 0 - 27)

Reach B (river miles covered: 27 - 63)

Reach C1 (river miles covered: 63 - 80)

Reach C2 (river miles covered: 80 - 96)

Reach D (river miles covered: 96 - 114)

Reach E (river miles covered: 114 - 146)

Please Note: we are currently working to make this data set accessible in alternate file formats.  At this time, please contact our GIS staff if you wish to obtain this data in a non-ESRI format.


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