Source data for Hydrology analysis tasks

The data being operated on are maintained by Esri and made available to you through these tasks. A primary benefit of using these data sources is that a lot of the hard work has already been done, freeing you up to just work on performing analysis instead of having to worry about compiling, processing and storing very large datasets of continental and global scales on your local machine or network.

Data coverage

The following map illustrates the types and coverage of elevation data available for analysis:

Data sources for Hydrology service

An interactive map is a also available for exploring the source data further.

Data source details

The available source databases are:

  • US 30m, which is derived from the 30m National Elevation Dataset (NED) for the continental United States, and
  • 90m HydroSHEDS for the world between 60 degrees north and 56 degrees south, plus some areas in Canada and Alaska north of 60 degrees

Esri processed the source data and derived additional layers required to support high performance and scalable watershed delineation and downstream trace tasks. The source data were the same elevation, Hydrologic Unit boundaries, streams and waterbodies that were used by the Environmental Protection Agency and US Geological Survey to produce NHDPlus V2.1 for the conterminous United States (released in 2012). Sinks were filled unless they fell within a Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) closed basin, ensuring that flow will only terminate in endorheic regions. The Esri hydroconditioning process differs from the NHDPlus V2.1 process; therefore the resulting watershed delineations and downstream traces do not always match those from NHDPlus V2.1.

The 90m resolution HydroSHEDS data, which was produced by the World Wildlife Fund Conservation Science Program in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy, and the Center for Environmental Systems Research of the University of Kassel, Germany. HydroSHEDS is generally accepted to be the most comprehensive global hydrological data set.

Additional information

For more information about the NHDPlus V2 or HydroSHEDS data processing, please email