Crater Lake Data Clearinghouse
Welcome to the Crater Lake Data Clearinghouse website. This text-only
page is an attempt to summarize the information about Crater Lake and
the data available on this website. It is a condensed form of the website,
please visit the individual pages for detail and data download.
The site is designed for ease of use and navigation with the following
layout on every page:
- USGS Crater Lake Data Clearinghouse logo on the top.
- Menu (navigation) bar to the right.
- Signature and speed bar at the bottom.
The Crater Lake Data Clearinghouse website, created and maintained by
the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), is a gateway to information and data
on Crater Lake. This website is designed to ensure that all interested
users -- scientists, engineers, resource managers, developers, and the
public -- have quick and easy access to a wide range of data and GIS products.
The primary goal of this clearinghouse is to facilitate the coordination
of research, monitoring, and environmental management activities in Crater
Lake, and to ensure the widest possible access to data and information
resulting from such activities.
Users of this data clearinghouse have access to a wide range of digital
data and Geographic Information System (GIS) products. Examples include
high-quality digital maps of digital elevation models, digital orthophoto
quadrangles, digital line graphs, and digital raster graphics for the
Crater Lake area. Some of the data resides on the USGS server at the Western
Geographic Science Center, Menlo Park, California. The bulk of the data
and information, located in databases maintained by the partnering agencies,
is accessible from this clearinghouse via links.
The site is organized into three different sections: (1) Digital Data,
(2) Science, (3) General.
Digital Data Section
This section allows users to have easy access to a wide range of data
and GIS products specific to Crater Lake. Data include high quality digital
maps of geographic and geologic information. The USGS provides four digital
cartographic products (the 4 D's):
1. Digital Elevation Model (DEM).
3. Digital Line Graph (DLG).
2. Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle (DOQ).
4. Digital Raster Graphic (DRG).
Topics covered in this section:
GIS data depot for all available data downloads and metadata are linked
from here. Downloadable data are available for the following topics:
DEM, DLG, DOQ, DRG, Bathymetry, and National Atlas.
Crater Lake National Park covers twelve 7.5-minute quadrangle maps.
These 12 individual quads have been mosaicked together. The mosaicked
files are more convenient for looking at areas throughout the basin
or areas on the edge of two quadrangles. Data are in UTM NAD27 zone
Here is an index of the individual quads that cover Crater Lake National
Digital Elevation Model (DEM)
Cartographic/geographic data of elevations in xyz coordinates (view
data in 3-dimensions).
A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is digital cartographic/geographic
data in raster form. The terrain elevations for ground positions are
sampled at regularly spaced horizontal intervals. DEMs are derived from
hypsographic data (contour lines) and/or photogrammetric methods using
USGS 7.5-minute, 15-minute, 2-arc-second (30- by 60-minute), and 1-degree
(1:250,000-scale) topographic quadrangle maps.
Data Downloads are available for 10-meter resolution, with or without
the bathymetry data. Formats are available for .dem, ArcInfo, and JPEG
with world file.
Digital Line Graph (DLG)
Cartographic data in vector format (geographic data in points, lines,
A Digital Line Graph (DLG) is digital vector data representing cartographic
information. DLGs contain a wide variety of information depicting geographic
features (for example, hypsography, hydrography, boundaries, roads,
utility lines, etc). DLGs are derived from hypsographic data (contour
lines) using USGS 7.5-minute, 15-minute, 2-arc-second (30- by 60-minute),
and 1:2 million-scale topographic quadrangle maps.
Data Downloads are available in shapefile for the following items:
Hypsography, Hydrography, Boundary, and Road.
Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle (DOQ)
Digital, uniform-scale image created from aerial photos (a photographic
A Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle (DOQ) is a digital, uniform-scale image
created from aerial photos. It is a photographic map in which ground
features are displayed in their true ground position, because relief
displacements caused by the camera and terrain of an aerial photograph
have been removed. It combines the image characteristics of a photograph
with the geometric qualities of a map, thus it is possible to get direct
measurements of distances, areas, angles, and positions from a DOQ.
Data Downloads are available in MrSID format with world file.
Digital Raster Graphic (DRG)
A scanned version of the USGS 7.5-minute topographic map.
A Digital Raster Graphic (DRG) is a digital image (scanned version)
of the USGS topographic map. DRGs are produced from USGS 1:24,000-,
1:24,000/1:25,000-, 1:63,360- (Alaska), 1:100,000-, and 1:250,000-scale
topographic map series. The image inside the map neatline is georeferenced
to the surface of the Earth and fit to the Universal Transverse Mercator
(UTM) projection. The horizontal positional accuracy and datum of the
DRG matches the accuracy and datum of the source map.
Data Downloads are available in MrSID format with world file.
Relief map and data of the lake floor of Crater Lake.
Bathymetry survey of Crater Lake started on July 28, 2000. Scientists
from USGS, University of New Hampshire's Center for Coastal and Ocean
Mapping, and National Park Service used the latest high-resolution multi-beam
technology to conduct a new survey of the lake bottom.
Data Downloads are available for the following items: High-resolution
images from the bathymetric survey, an old 1959 version of the bathymetry
in .dem format, and a Fly-by Movie.
Geographic overview of the area around Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.
The National Atlas of the United States of America is a collaborative
work established in 1997 by the U.S. Geological Survey and its Atlas
Partners. The National Atlas is designed to provide easy to use, map-like
views of our natural and socio-cultural landscapes for a better understanding
of the complex relationships between environments, places, and people.
Data Downloads are available for federal lands and counties of Oregon
in Arview shapefile format.
This section is focused toward the in-depth studies of Crater Lake. Topics
can become technical.
Topics covered in this section:
Crater Lake partially fills a type of volcanic depression called a
caldera that formed by the collapse of a 3,700 m (12,000 ft) volcano
known as Mount Mazama during an enormous eruption approximately 7,700
years ago. The climactic eruption of Mount Mazama changed the landscape
all around the volcano. Pyroclastic flows of pumice and ash devastated
the surrounding area, including all of the river valleys that drained
Mount Mazama to as far as 64 km (40 mi) away, and a blanket of pumice
and ash fell to the northeast of the volcano at least as far as central
Prior to the climactic event, Mount Mazama had a 400,000 years history
of activity similar to other Cascade volcanic centers such as Mount
Shasta. Since the climactic eruption, there have been several less violent,
smaller postcaldera eruptions within the caldera itself. Studies show
that hydrothermal activities are present at the lake floor. Scientists
are not certain whether any magma still remains underground but it is
likely that Mount Mazama will erupt again someday.
General overview of the formation of Crater Lake. The description on
this page is a general overview about the formation of Crater Lake.
Crater Lake occupies a basin in Mount Mazama, one of the volcanoes
that make up the Cascades Mountain Range along the west coast of the
United States. Crater Lake is a beauty born from violent eruptions of
spitting fires and rocks. The phrase "GREW, BLEW, FELL, and FILL"
describes the process that created Crater Lake. Mount Mazama grew, erupted,
then collapsed to form the caldera, and finally precipitation filled
the caldera. Although Crater Lake has been dormant for about 5,000 to
6,000 years, there could be another eruption someday in the future and
Mount Mazama might grow back. The long history of volcanism at Mount
Mazama strongly suggests that this volcanic center will be active in
Life beneath the surface of Crater Lake. Discoveries at the bottom
of Crater Lake are fascinating to scientists. Hydrothermal, biological,
and geological studies of the lake bottom were conducted with the Deep
Rover Submersible. Deep Rover provides a rare opportunity for scientists
to study and explore the hidden secrets of Crater Lake. Hydrothermal
studies include the discovery of blue hydrothermal pools, stream-like
channels, and spires on the lake floor. Biological studies include the
discovery of bacteria colonies associated with hydrothermal fluids.
Geologic studies help to expand our knowledge of the eruptive history
of Mount Mazama and the bathymetry of Crater Lake.
Crater Lake is filled with rain and melted snow that fell within the
caldera basin. Its primary input is from annual precipitation in the
region. Average annual precipitation is 168 cm (66 in); average annual
snowfall is 13 m (44 ft). It took approximately 250 years for the lake
to fill to today's level (~1,883 m or ~6,178 ft above sea level). The
lake maintains its current level because the amount of rain and snowfall
equals the evaporation and seepage rate.
Crater Lake is known to be the deepest lake in the United States and
the seventh deepest in the world. The maximum depth of 589 m (1,932
ft) was established in 1959 by the USGS using sonar measurement. The
maximum depth of 594 m (1,949 ft) was recorded at the time of the July
2000 multibeam survey. Since its primary input is from annual precipitation,
the lake level fluctuates according to the climate in the region.
The record clarity of Crater Lake was measured at a depth of 41 m (134
ft) in August 1994. The lake clarity is measured with a secchi disk,
a black and white disk lowered into the water with a cable. Its exceptional
clarity is mainly due to its isolation from streams and rivers.
View Crater Lake from outer space. Aerial photos in this page are taken
by NASA Space Shuttle. Astronaut photography of the Earth have occurred
for more than 30 years. Astronauts are trained in scientific observations
of ecological, geological, geographic, oceanographic, environmental,
and meteorological phenomena as well as the usage of photographic equipment
Definitions and landform features that range from easy to technical
terms. Volcano terminology and landform features that are pertinent
to Crater Lake.
This section is focused for the general public who are more interested
in the leisure readings about Crater Lake.
Topics covered in this section:
A series of beautiful scenic photos with brief explanations are provided
for a virtual tour around Crater Lake.
The beauty of nature becomes more and more precious to us as civilization
continues to grow. The experience we gain from exploring nature imprints
a special memory within our heart. The experience is refreshing as we
allow the serenity to regenerate our mind and soul. Nature allows us
to expand our knowledge toward understanding the foundation of life,
and directs our focus toward finding appreciation and happiness in life's
simple things. Such a place can be found at Crater Lake, a rare place
of tranquility that still remains in today's society of growing technologies.
Crater Lake is a beauty born from violent eruptions of spitting fires
and rocks. The untamed and unaltered wilderness at Crater Lake is a
place where we can seek adventures and an intimate experience. Crater
Lake's radiant sapphire blue draws and holds the eye. The awe-inspiring
serenity heightens our mystical awareness and curiosity. The lake has
not always been this tranquil beauty we see today. Yesterday stood the
mountain-high Mount Mazama..... Today stands the awe-inspiring beauty
of Crater Lake..... Tomorrow is a wonder.
Crater Lake has a long history, from the Klamath Indians to the early
explorers to today's scientific studies of the lake. The knowledge from
studying and understanding the cultural history and origins of Crater
Lake is crucial to keeping the tradition of Crater Lake's unique past
alive for appreciation.
Klamath Indians Legend: Crater Lake was a place of mystery to the
Klamath Indians. The Klamath Indians describe the catastropic eruption
of Mount Mazama and the creation of Crater Lake in one of their legends.
Their legend of a raging war between two great volcanoes, Mount Mazama
and Mount Shasta, parallels the geological history of Crater Lake.
William Gladstone Steel is credited with the founding of Crater Lake
National Park. His first glimpse of this exquisite beauty in 1885 inspired
him to devote his life and fortune to set aside this scenery for all
of us to enjoy. After 17 years of dedication and hard work, his dream
came true when President Theodore Roosevelt signed the bill on May 22,
1902, to establish Crater Lake as the nation's sixth national park.
General Maps of Crater Lake. Location, road, and park maps are available
here. Crater Lake National Park is located in southern Oregon. Nearby
cities and airports include Eugene, Klamath Falls, and Medford.
The Food Chain -- Every living thing is essential to life on Earth.
The ecosystem is built around the food chain. The food chain demonstrates
the relationship of all the different life forms. The basic idea of
the food chain is that the plants feed the herbivores, and the herbivores
feed the carnivores. Animals that do not get eaten by anything else
will eventually die and decay. The death and decay process puts nutrients
back into the soil, and the plants grow and make their own food from
these nutrients. The diversity of the plants and animals in the community
helps to maintain the ecosystem.
How deep is Crater Lake?
The maximum depth of Crater Lake recorded at the time of the July 2000
multibeam survey was 594 m (1,949 ft).
Why is Crater Lake so blue?
The magnificent intense blue of Crater Lake is due to its great depth
Does Crater Lake ever freeze?
Crater Lake rarely freezes over because its great depth acts as a heat
How is air quality in the area?
On clear mornings, one can see as far as 241 km (150 mi).
Have you seen the wrecked helicopter that crashed and sank into Crater
Lake about three years ago with two people aboard?
No, the scientists did not see any evidence of the helicopter.
A list of references and sources.
News and Reports -- New technology made Crater Lake famous to the public.
USGS Bibliography -- Published Reports on Crater Lake National Park,
by U.S. Geological Survey Authors.
General Readings -- Books and articles that helped highlight my experience
at Crater Lake National Park.
Other Links -- Try some other links about Crater Lake National Park.
All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and
should be independently verified.
Highlighted and (or) underlined terms are clickable and will take you
to a new page. The footer symbol ()
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