National Hydrography Dataset

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) represents the water drainage network of the United States with features such as rivers, streams, canals, lakes, ponds, coastline, dams, and streamgages.

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) is mapped at 1:24,000 or larger scale (1:63,360 or larger scale in Alaska). These data are updated and maintained through Stewardship partnerships with states and other collaborative bodies. The NHD, Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD), and 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) data are used to create the NHDPlus High Resolution.

The NHD is available as a file geodatabase download, which maintains the richness of the complex NHD database model, including multiple feature datasets, feature classes, event feature classes, attribute tables, relationship classes, domains, and feature-level metadata. The NHD file geodatabase download contains NHD data in the Hydrography feature dataset. It also includes the WBD in a second feature dataset.

It is also available as a shapefile download, which simplifies this structure by containing all of the feature classes as separate shapefiles and tables as separate data files.

For information about NHD specifications, please see the Hydrography Standards and Specifications page.

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