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Development of Comprehensive Geodetic Vertical Datums for the United States Pacific Territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas

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The importance of establishing accurate heights to support engineering, mapping, and scientific applications is very well recognized. A network of stable, easily accessible survey control points, referred to as bench marks (BMs), is crucial to a wide range of activities, including coastal zone management, floodplain mapping, stormwater and sewer utility management, large-scale engineering projects, hurricane evacuation and recovery planning, and topographic mapping. The official heights reported on a network of BMs are usually defined with respect to a regional, national, or international geodetic datum, such as the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88). In the United States, the official vertical datums of each region are fundamental components of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), which is maintained by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), an office of the National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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Keywords: AMERICAN SAMOA; COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT; FLOODPLAIN MAPPING; GEODESY; GUAM; NGS; NORTHERN MARIANAS; NSRS; TOPOGRAPHIC MAPPING; VERTICAL DATUMS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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