NHD dataset information page

Short Description

USGS/EPA NHD (National Hydrography
Dataset) showing stream networks and lakes.

Statement: The National Hydrography Dataset

Abstract: The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) is the surface-water component of The National Map. The NHD is a comprehensive set of digital spatial data that represents the surface water of the United States using common features such as lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, canals, streamgages, and dams. Polygons are used to represent area features such as lakes, ponds, and rivers; lines are used to represent linear features such as streams and smaller rivers; and points are used to represent point features such as streamgages and dams. Lines also are used to show the water flow through area features such as the flow of water through a lake. The combination of lines is used to create a network of water and transported material flow to allow users of the data to trace movement in downstream and upstream directions.

Data format

Data type: Hydrography
Data origin: Measured
Data format:
Other format: geodatabase
Data resolution: 2 resolutions, 1:24,000 and 1:100,000

Data Coverage

Spatial data coverage: United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the island territories.
Temporal data coverage: Time snap shot
Time period covered:


Download data:
Data source:


  • Simley, J.D., Carswell Jr., W.J., 2009, The National Map—Hydrography: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3054, 4 p.