Locate deep-sea coral data

In this lesson, you are an educator who wants to increase awareness of deep-sea corals in the Hawaiian Islands. First, you'll obtain data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Database for Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges. Then, you'll explore, analyze, and enrich the data in ArcGIS Pro.

You may want to review the article An Introduction to NOAA's National Database for Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges.

Download coral observations

Using the NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Data Portal, you'll perform a data query to narrow coral observations to the North Pacific Ocean, where the Hawaiian Islands are located.

  1. On your computer, create a folder named HawaiiDeepSeaCorals.
  2. Go to the NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Data Portal.

    NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Data Portal website

    Through this portal, the NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program shares its deep-sea coral database.

    Note:

    NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding this data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NMFS cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in this data nor as a result of the failure of this data to function on a particular system.

  3. On the ribbon above the map viewer, click Data Query.

    Data Query button

  4. In the Data Query window, change Region to North Pacific and click Search.

    Note:
    You may receive an error message while running this query. Click OK to proceed. Because there are over 600,000 results in the database, depending on your bandwidth, the dataset may not load. If you have problems displaying data for the North Pacific Ocean, edit the data query to the following: In the Data Query window, check Fish Council Region and change Region to Western Pacific.

    Region parameter for data download

    This query will give you less data to visualize, but includes all the data points around the Hawaiian Islands that the lesson refers to. Continue the lesson, substituting Western Pacific for North Pacific where necessary.

    The query window closes. The map changes to show the deep-sea coral observations in the North Pacific Ocean. Observation numbers may vary as new locations are added periodically.

    North Pacific Ocean corals

  5. On the ribbon, click Data Download.

    Data Download button

  6. In the Data Download window, click Customized Download.

    Customized Download button

    The Data Access Form page opens in a new browser tab or window. It contains options to search and download data from the portal. You can search by taxon, region, time, and depth.

  7. On the Data Access Form page, check the following variables (and uncheck any other variables):
    • CatalogNumber
    • ImageURL
    • Repository
    • ScientificName
    • VernacularNameCategory
    • latitude (degrees_north)
    • longitude (degrees_east)
    • DepthInMeters (m)
    • ObservationDate
    • SamplingEquipment
    • RecordType
    • DataProvider
    • WebSite

    These variables represent the attribute fields that will be added to the dataset that you download.

    Selected data variables to export

  8. Above the list of variables, click Metadata. Review the descriptions of the variables you selected.
  9. When finished, click your browser's Back button to return to the Data Access Form page.

    Next, you'll confirm that the data has been constrained to the Western Pacific Ocean.

  10. For the Ocean variable, confirm that Optional Constraint #1 is set to = "North Pacific". (The Ocean variable should be unchecked.)

    Ocean variable constrained to North Pacific

    Note:
    If you used the optional query, make sure the FishCouncilRegion variable is set to = "Western Pacific".

  11. At the bottom of the list of variables, for File type, choose .csv.

    File type parameter set to .csv

  12. Click Submit to download the file.
    Note:

    In addition to downloading the selected data as a file, the Data Access Form page has a Just generate the URL option. If you choose this option, a URL is generated that identifies a dataset, the desired file type, and selected variables to download.

    Note:

    For international users: A comma-separated values (CSV) file is a delimited text file that uses a comma to separate values. If the CSV table does not open correctly, go to the control panel of your OS, click Region, and change Format to English (United States). Your OS decimal separator is changed to points and the CSV file should open successfully. You can change your region back to your native settings after you complete this lesson.

  13. Locate your downloaded .csv file and move it to the HawaiiDeepSeaCorals folder. Open the file in Microsoft Excel or an equivalent program.

    The spreadsheet's second row represents a column title. This row isn't needed, so you'll delete it.

  14. Select and delete the second row.

    Second row in the spreadsheet

  15. Save the file as Deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific.csv in your HawaiiDeepSeaCorals folder.

Download marine protected area data

NOAA's Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Inventory describes all MPAs in United States waters and highlights where they are and what they do. You'll download the MPA database. Later, you'll use it to better understand which deep-sea corals are located within Hawaiian MPAs.

  1. Go to the NOAA MPA Inventory website.
  2. In the Introduction pane, click Downloadable GIS data.

    Downloadable GIS data link

    The MPA data is automatically downloaded to your computer.

  3. If necessary, locate and copy the MPAI2017.zip file to the HawaiiDeepSeaCorals folder.
  4. Right-click the file and extract its contents.

    The downloaded MPA data is in the form of a shapefile.

Add the data to a project

Next, you'll add the downloaded data to an ArcGIS Pro project and prepare it for analysis and exploration.

  1. Start ArcGIS Pro. If prompted, sign in using your licensed ArcGIS account.
    Note:

    If you don't have ArcGIS Pro or an ArcGIS account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

  2. Under Blank Templates, click the Map template.
  3. In the Create a New Project window, for Name, type Exploring Hawaii Deep Sea Corals. For Location, browse to the HawaiiDeepSeaCorals folder. Uncheck Create a new folder.

    Create a New Project window parameters

  4. Click OK.
  5. In the Catalog pane, expand Folders and HawaiiDeepSeaCorals. Right-click the MPAI_2017.shp shapefile and choose Add To Current Map.

    Add the MPAI_2017 shapefile to map

    Note:

    Depending on how you extracted the shapefile from the ZIP file, you may need to expand the MPAI_2017 folder to access the shapefile.

    The polygon data appears on the map. The map now draws in a modified Eckert IV projection to match the coordinate system of the shapefile. World Eckert IV is an equal-area projection designed for world maps.

    Polygon data on the map with the World Eckert IV projection

  6. In the Contents pane, uncheck the MPAI_2017 layer.

    You'll use this layer later.

  7. In the Catalog pane, right-click Deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific.csv and choose Add to Current Map.

    Add To Current Map option

  8. In the Contents pane, right-click Deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific.csv and choose Display XY Data.

    Display XY Data option

  9. In the XY Table To Point geoprocessing tool, set the following parameters:

    • If necessary, for Input Table, choose Deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific.csv.
    • For Output Feature Class, type deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific.
    • If necessary, for X Field, choose longitude.
    • If necessary, for Y Field, choose latitude.

    XY Table To Point tool parameters

  10. Click Run.

    The tool may take several minutes to execute because the file contains at least 500,000 observations.

    When completed, a new layer named deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific is added to the map. The layer consists of selected coral observations that occur in the North Pacific.

    XY point data converted to feature class

  11. In the Contents pane, right-click deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific and choose Attribute Table.
  12. In the attribute table, confirm that the table contains 605,242 or more records.

    Number of records in the attribute table

    Note:

    The deep-sea corals database updates periodically. You may encounter slightly different data than shown in the example images.

  13. Close the attribute table.
  14. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click the Save button.

    Now that you have the spatial data that you need in your map, you are ready to begin exploring the data to discover patterns and trends. In the next section, you'll walk through some tools to help summarize the coral data in Hawaii, explore observation attributes by using charts and graphs, and enrich the data with content from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World.

Locate coral observations near Hawaii

Next, you'll select coral observations within the United States Exclusive Economic Zone around Hawaii. You'll do this by using the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary available in ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. State waters typically include a zone of 0 to 3 nautical miles from shore, while federal waters as identified in the EEZ around Hawaii are up to 200 nautical miles. Because deep-sea corals are found in waters deeper than state waters, you'll select coral observations within the EEZ.

  1. In the Catalog pane, click Portal. Click the Living Atlas button.

    Living Atlas search option

  2. In the search box, type World Exclusive Economic Zone Boundaries and press Enter. In the list of results, point to World Exclusive Economic Zone Boundaries and review the layer details.

    Metadata for World Exclusive Economic Zone Boundaries layer

    This layer is a feature layer, which allows users to make a local copy of features for editing, enrichment, and refining.

  3. Right-click World Exclusive Economic Zone Boundaries and choose Add To Current Map.
  4. In the Contents pane, expand the World Exclusive Economic Zone Boundaries layer.
  5. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Selection group, click the Select button.

    Select button

  6. On the map, select the polygon surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.

    Hawaii EEZ selected

  7. In the Contents pane, right-click the Sovereign Country layer and choose Attribute Table.
  8. At the bottom of the attribute table, click Show selected records. Confirm that you have selected only Hawaiian Exclusive Economic Zone.

    Note:
    If necessary, click the More Options button at the top right corner of the attribute table and choose Show All Fields.

  9. Close the attribute table, but do not clear the selection.

    Next, you'll select the corals that intersect with EEZ boundaries using the Select Layer By Location tool. Because you have already selected the Hawaiian EEZ, the tool will return only corals within the Hawaiian EEZ.

  10. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Selection group, click Select By Location.

    The Select Layer By Location geoprocessing tool opens.

  11. In the Select Layer By Location tool, set the following parameters:

    • For Input Features, choose deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific.
    • For Relationship, choose Intersect.
    • For Selecting Features, choose World Exclusive Economic Zone Boundaries\Sovereign Country.
    • For Selection type, choose New selection.

    Select Layer By Location tool parameters

  12. Click Run.

    The tool runs and over 60,000 coral observations are selected. (You can verify the number by opening the deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific attribute table.) Your total may differ due to periodic updates.

    Next, you'll export the selected corals to their own feature class.

  13. In the Contents pane, right-click deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific, point to Data, and choose Export Features.

    Export selected features

  14. In the Feature Class to Feature Class tool, set the following parameters:

    • For Input Features, choose deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific.
    • For Output Location, confirm that Exploring Hawaii Deep Sea Corals.gdb is selected.
    • For Output Feature Class, type deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.

    Feature Class to Feature Class tool parameters

  15. Click Run.
  16. In the Contents pane, uncheck the deep_sea_corals_North_Pacific layer. Uncheck and collapse the World Exclusive Economic Zone Boundaries layer.
  17. On the map, navigate to Hawaii. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Layer group, click Basemap and choose Oceans.

    Update basemap to oceans

  18. Save the project.
  19. Outside of ArcGIS Pro, browse to your HawaiiDeepSeaCorals folder and create a new folder named Graphs.

    Later, you'll export and save copies of graphs you create to this folder.

In this lesson, you explored and downloaded data from the NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Data Portal. You used the NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Data Portal to locate and download coral data for the North Pacific Ocean. Then, you used EEZ boundaries to select only observations made in the Hawaiian Islands.

In the next lesson, you'll use the Hawaiian coral observations and the MPAs to answer several questions about the coral types, how the observations were made, the depth at which coral is found, and how far coral is located away from the shore.


Explore deep-sea corals

In the previous lesson, you located, downloaded, and prepared data for analysis and exploration. In this lesson, you'll answer questions related to deep-sea coral observations recorded in Hawaii using ArcGIS Pro tools and workflows.

You may choose to explore each question in the lesson sequentially or skip to a specific question that interests you.

What are the dominant deep-sea coral types?

It would be useful to start your exploration of Hawaiian deep-sea corals by determining the dominant coral types and the average depth at which they are found. You'll answer this question by summarizing attributes for observations.

Euplectella aspergillum glass sponge

Euplectella aspergillum glass sponge in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

  1. If necessary, open the Exploring Hawaii Deep Sea Corals project.
  2. In the Contents pane, right-click the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer and choose Attribute Table.
  3. In the attribute table, right-click the VernacularNameCategory field and choose Summarize.

    The VernacularNameCategory field contains the common (vernacular) name category of the organism. These are categorized as stony coral (cup coral), stony coral (branching), stony coral (unspecified), black coral, gold coral, gorgonian coral, soft coral, sea pen, lace coral, stoloniferan coral, lithotelestid coral, longhorn hydrozoan coral, other coral-like hydrozoan, sponge (unspecified), glass sponge, demosponge, calcareous sponge, scleromorph sponge, and N.

  4. In the Summary Statistics tool, set the following parameters:

    • For Input Table, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.
    • For Output Table, type DominantCorals.
    • For Statistics Field(s), for Field, choose DepthInMeters.
    • For Statistics Field(s), for Statistic Type, choose Mean.
    • For Case field, choose VernacularNameCategory.

    Summary Statistics tool parameters

  5. Click Run.

    The tool generates the DominantCorals table and adds it to the Contents pane.

  6. In the Contents pane, right-click DominantCorals and choose Open.

    DominantCorals summary statistics table

    In the table, the FREQUENCY field shows the numbers of observations of each coral type. In addition, the MEAN_DepthInMeters field shows the average depth at which a specific coral type was observed.

  7. In the table, right-click the FREQUENCY field and choose Sort Descending.

    Highest number of corals observed

    Gorgonion coral is the dominant type observed (35,045). These corals were observed at an average depth of 1,242 meters below the surface.

  8. For an additional challenge, determine which coral types were observed at depths greater than 1,000 meters. (Sort the Mean_DepthInMeters field by descending order.)
  9. Close the attribute table.

When were coral observations made?

Due to environmental conditions, the number of observations of a coral type may change over time. Some coral types may increase or decrease because of temperature or salinity fluctuations. To explore when these coral observations were made, you'll use a line chart.

Yellow Picasso sponge and white sponges

Yellow Picasso sponge and white sponges on Davidson Seamount. Image courtesy of NOAA/MBARI.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click deep_sea_corals_Hawaii, point to Design, and choose Fields.

    The Fields table appears.

    ObservationDate in the Fields table, with a data type of Text

  2. Find the ObservationDate field.

    The data type for the ObservationDate field is Text. Next, you will convert this field to the Date data type, so it can be used to create a time-based chart.

  3. Close the Fields view.
  4. Click the Analysis tab. In the Geoprocessing group, click Tools.
  5. In the Geoprocessing pane, search for and open the Convert Time Field (Data Management Tools) tool.
  6. In the Convert Time Field tool, set the following parameters:

    • For Input Table, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.
    • For Input Time Field, choose ObservationDate.
    • For Input Time Format, type mm/dd/yyyy.
    • For Output Time Field, accept the default name ObservationDate_Converted.
    • For Output Time Type, choose Date.

    Convert Time Field tool with parameters filled in

  7. Click Run.
  8. In the Contents pane, right-click the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer, point to Create Chart, and choose Line Chart.

    Create Line Chart in the layer's context menu

  9. In the Chart Properties pane, set the following parameters:

    • For Date or Number, choose ObservationDate_Converted.
    • For Aggregation, choose Count.
    • For Interval size, choose 10 Years.
    • For Data Labels, check Label lines.

    Set line chart properties

    The line chart is updated in the chart view.

    Observation date line chart

    The earliest coral observations were made around 1902. Then, none were recorded for close to 60 years. In the mid-1960s, corals were once again explored and close to 4,000 observations were made up to the mid-1980s. With advances in technology and the widespread use of submarines and video, the pace of observations increased exponentially after 1983. The most current observations take place around 2002.

  10. Click the point on the chart that represents the highest number of observations (19,520).

    The corresponding points are also selected on the map.

    Select newest observations on chart

    The observations made around 2003 were made over a distance of 3,000 kilometers and included many islands and seamounts in the Pacific Ocean. Modern technology made these observations possible, and the use of scuba equipment and submersible vehicles contributed to the pace and number of observations recorded.

  11. On the chart, click the point representing observations made in or around 1902.

    Select oldest observations

    These observations are largely concentrated around the main Hawaiian Islands and cover a distance of around 700 kilometers. Most of these observations were recorded by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The specimens were likely collected by dredge or trawl as part of the explorations of the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. Some records may also have been caught by fishermen.

  12. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Selection group, click Clear to clear selected points on the chart.
  13. In the Contents pane, right-click the symbol for the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer and choose Ginger Pink.

    Change observation point color

    The map and chart update with the selected color.

    Updated chart symbology

    Next, you'll modify the chart title and add a legend title and description.

  14. In the Chart Properties pane, click General. Change the following parameters:

    • For Chart title, type Coral Observations Over Time.
    • For X axis title, type Observation Date.
    • For Y axis title, type Number of Observations.
    • For Description, type Coral Observations within the U.S. EEZ around Hawaii. Coral data obtained from NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Database.

    Updated general line chart properties

  15. Click the Data tab.

    The chart properties are updated.

    Updated chart titles

    Note:

    Charts are maintained within your ArcGIS Pro project as a property of the layer from which they are derived and may be added to layouts as needed. If you choose to add a chart to a story map or use them in other presentations, it is necessary to export and save them independently as graphics.

  16. In the Chart view, click Export.
  17. Save your line chart as Coral Observations Over Time.jpg in the Graphs folder.

    You need to add .jpg to the output name to ensure your graph is saved in the correct image format.

  18. Close the Chart Properties pane and the line chart.
    Note:

    Closing a chart does not remove the chart from the project. The chart remains in the Contents pane unless you delete it.

    Chart in layer legend

How were observations collected?

Next, you'll gain a better understanding of how the original and current deep-sea coral observations were recorded. You'll do this by charting the recording methods contained in the RecordType field for each observation.

Black coral (Bathypathes)

Black coral (Bathypathes) on a rocky ridge crest of Johnston Atoll. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer, point to Create Chart, and choose Bar Chart.
  2. In the Chart Properties pane, set the following parameters:

    • For Category or Date, choose RecordType.
    • For Aggregation, choose Count.
    • For Data Labels, check Label bars.

    The bar chart updates to display a count per observation record type.

    Bar chart of record types

    As you learned, the bar chart shows that the majority of observations were collected using video observation and identified by experts from the video footage. Most of the deep-sea coral records taken from video surveys in the United States Pacific Islands region before and during the mid-2000s were collected fairly close to shore.

    ROV collecting corals

    ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) collects an unknown Corallium species at 2,078 meters depth. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2015 Hohonu Moana.

    The 2015–2017 NOAA Campaign to Address Pacific Monument Science, Technology, and Ocean Needs (CAPSTONE) expedition dramatically expanded both the geographic and depth limits that had been explored in the region previously.

  3. In the Chart pane, click Sort and choose Y-axis Descending.

    Sort bar chart by Y-axis Descending

    The RecordType values are sorted in order from highest to lowest from left to right.

  4. Open the Symbology pane for the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer. For Primary symbology, choose Unique Values, and for Field 1, choose RecordType. Choose an appropriate color scheme.

    Update bar chart symbology

    The color values associated with the observations are reflected in the chart. Your colors may vary based on the symbols you chose.

    Symbolized bar chart

    Note:

    The RecordType field denotes the origin and type of record. The options are published literature (literature); a collected specimen (specimen); observation from a still image (still image); observation from video (video observation); notation without a specimen or image (notation); or observation from trawl surveys, longline surveys, or observer records (catch record).

    Video observation

    ROV Deep Discoverer images a stalked sponge. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2015 Hohonu Moana.

  5. In the Chart Properties pane, click General. Change the following parameters:

    • For Chart title, type Coral Observations by Record Type.
    • For X axis title, type Record Type.
    • For Y axis title, type Number of Coral Observations.
    • For Description, type Coral Observations within the U.S. EEZ around Hawaii. Coral data obtained from NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Database.

    Set bar chart properties

  6. Click the Data tab.

    The properties update on the chart.

    The vast majority of observations were made using video-based methods. Submersible vehicles could easily be used to remotely record video footage at great depths without harm to divers and researchers. Over 1,900 observations were made by collecting physical specimens of corals. It is doubtful that many deep-sea coral specimens could efficiently have been collected in this manner due to the limitations placed on the collection methods used for these specimens.

  7. Click the specimen bar.

    Selected specimen records

    These 1,907 observations are distributed along the entire Hawaiian Islands chain, with the majority of observations concentrated around the five major islands in the south. This may have been as a result of specimen acquisition from local fishermen and divers.

    Note:

    Your number of observations may differ.

  8. Clear the selection. In the Chart view, click Export.
  9. Save your line chart as Coral Observations by Record Type.jpg in the Graphs folder.
  10. Close the Chart Properties pane and the bar chart. Save the project.

What equipment was used to collect the coral data?

Now that you know what the record types are, you'll learn more about the sampling equipment used to collect the coral observations. You'll create another bar graph to help visualize this data.

Gorgonian coral

A Hawaiian species of gorgonian called Rhodaniridogorgia bending in the current. Image courtesy of NOAA-HURL Archives.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer, point to Create Chart, and choose Bar Chart.
  2. In the Chart Properties pane, set the following parameters:

    • For Category or Date, choose SamplingEquipment.
    • For Aggregation, choose Count.
    • For Data Labels, check Label bars.

  3. In the Chart pane, sort the chart by Y-axis Descending.

    Sampling equipment bar chart

    The graph shows that the majority of the records were collected by submersible and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) observations.

    Note:

    The SamplingEquipment field refers to the method of data collection and includes ROV, AUV, submersible, drop camera, towed camera, trawl, net, dredge, longline, pot, hook and line, grab, corer, SCUBA, other, NA, and N.

  4. In the Chart Properties pane, click General. Change the following parameters:

    • For Chart title, type Coral Observations by Sampling Equipment.
    • For X axis title, type Sampling Equipment.
    • For Y axis title, type Number of Coral Observations.
    • For Description, type Coral Observations within the U.S. EEZ around Hawaii. Coral data obtained from NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Database.

    The majority of deep-sea coral observations were made using a submersible vehicle (possibly occupied) followed by observations obtained by using an ROV (unoccupied). Both of these methods are modern and make it easy and quick to cover large areas and collect large amounts of data that can be processed at a later date. It would be safe to assume that older sample methods involved trawling, nets, and dredging. SCUBA observations are limited by the depth that divers can descend to collect specimens.

  5. In the Chart view, click Export. Save your bar chart as Observations by Sampling Equipment.jpg in the Graphs folder.
  6. Close the Chart Properties pane and the bar chart. Save the project.

What types of corals are found around Hawaii?

There are many different types of deep-sea corals. You'll use some of the charting tools to categorize the different coral types and their associated quantities. You'll use the Vernacular Name Category field to accomplish this within a bar chart.

Iridogorgia soft coral

Iridogorgia soft coral located off the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

  1. Download the Deep Sea Corals layer file.

    NOAA provides a layer file that mimics the way that the data is displayed on the Deep-Sea Coral Data Portal. You'll use the file to apply the symbology to your corals layer for Hawaii and create a chart showing the different vernacular name classifications and associated counts.

  2. Copy the deep-sea-coral.lyr file to the HawaiiDeepSeaCorals folder.
  3. In the Contents pane, click the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer.
  4. On the ribbon, on the Appearance tab, in the Drawing group, click Import.
  5. For the Apply Symbology from Layer tool, change the following parameters:
    • For Input Layer, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.
    • For Symbology Layer, browse to deep_sea_coral.lyr.

    Apply Symbology From Layer tool

  6. Click Run.

    The layer symbology updates and the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer observations display using the vernacular or common name of the observed deep-sea coral type.

  7. In the Contents pane, right-click the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer, point to Create Chart, and choose Bar Chart.
  8. In the Chart Properties pane, configure the following settings:
    • For Category or Date , choose VernacularNameCategory.
    • For Aggregation, choose Count.
    • For Data Labels, check Label bars.

    The bar chart updates to display coral types by name.

    Coral counts by vernacular name bar chart

    The top three vernacular name categories that have been observed are gorgonian coral, black coral, and glass sponge, but in the current chart configuration it is hard to easily identify the top three coral types.

  9. In the Chart pane, sort the chart by Y-axis Descending.
  10. On the General tab, change the following parameters:
    • For Chart title, type Coral Observations by Vernacular Name Category.
    • For X axis title, type Vernacular Name Category.
    • For Y axis title, type Number of Coral Observations.
    • For Description, type Coral Observations within the U.S. EEZ around Hawaii. Coral data obtained from NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Database.

    Sorted coral counts by vernacular name bar chart

    Lace corals are least observed and may have a very specific depth, light, and nutrient requirement to thrive. Next, you'll explore coral depths to gain insight into this factor affecting location and distribution.

  11. In the Chart view, click Export. Save your line chart as Coral Observations by Vernacular Name Category.jpg in the Graphs folder.
  12. Close the Chart Properties pane and the bar chart. Save the project.

How deep are the corals?

A histogram of the observed coral locations will help you better understand the depths and associated ranges where coral observations were made.

Dense and diverse deep-sea coral community

ROV Deep Discoverer observes 4 different species of coral and 12 different colonies at a depth of 1,967 meters at 16.14331 N, 167.85602 W. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2015 Hohonu Moana.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer, point to Create Chart, and choose Histogram.
  2. In the Chart Properties pane, configure the following parameters:
    • For Number, choose DepthInMeters.
    • Check Show Normal distribution.
    • For Bins, choose 32.
    • Check Mean.
    • Check Median.
    • Check Std. Dev.

    Histogram properties

    The histogram updates to display coral count distribution by depth.

    Coral count distribution by depth

    This graph shows that the highest number of observed deep-sea corals are found between 308 and 459 meters of depth. The mean or average depth where corals were observed is 1,061 meters and the median is 633 meters. However, this does not show you at which depths specific species are located.

  3. On the General tab, change the following parameters:

    • For Chart title, type Coral Observations by Depth.
    • For X axis title, type Depth (m).
    • For Y axis title, type Legend.
    • For Description, type Coral Observations within the U.S. EEZ around Hawaii. Coral data obtained from NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Database.

  4. Click the Data tab.
  5. In the Chart view, click Export. Save your line chart as Coral Observations by Depth.jpg in the Graphs folder.
  6. Close the Chart Properties pane and the histogram. Save the project.

What depths do different types of corals prefer?

While it's helpful to understand the coral observations by depth values, it would also be interesting to know at what depths certain corals were observed, helping you to identify what depths specific species of coral may prefer. You can find this out by generating a box plot.

Zoanthids overgrowing coral

Zoanthids overgrowing coral off the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer, point to Create Chart, and choose Box Plot.
  2. In the Chart Properties pane, for Numeric Field(s), check DepthInMeters and click Apply.
  3. For Category, choose VernacularNameCategory.

    Box plot properties

    The box plot updates to display deep-sea coral depths by each vernacular name category.

    Box plot of depth by coral type

    The box plot shows the ranges of observed deep-sea coral depths by each vernacular name category.

    Gold coral

    Gold coral (left) in the process of overgrowing a bamboo coral colony (right) that it will eventually completely cover. Image courtesy of NOAA-HURL Archives.

    Gold coral has the narrowest depth range, found between 165 and 661 meters, but most are found between 370 and 426 meters (first and third quartile) with an average depth of 396 meters.

    Gold coral box plot

    Note:

    Your values may differ as more records are added to the corals database.

    Glass sponges, on the other hand, show the widest depth range and are found between 87 and 4,824 meters, but most are found between 1,460 and 2,106 meters (first and third quartile) with an average depth of 1,866 meters.

    Glass sponge box plot

  4. In the In the Chart Properties pane, on the General tab, change the following parameters:
    • For Chart title, type Depth Distribution by Vernacular Name Category.
    • For X axis title, type Vernacular Name.
    • For Y axis title, type Depth (m).
    • For Description, type Coral Observations within the U.S. EEZ around Hawaii. Coral data obtained from NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Database.
  5. Click the Data tab.
  6. In the Chart view, click Export. Save your line chart as Depth Distribution by Vernacular Name Category.jpg in the Graphs folder.
  7. Close the Chart Properties pane and the box plot. Save the project.

How far from the shore are corals?

The NOAA deep-sea coral data came with many attributes that have helped you answer questions about the Hawaiian deep-sea corals. However, to answer more complex questions, you may need to enrich the data with additional attributes. Next, you'll enrich the deep-sea coral data with information related to how far observations are from the shore by using an online layer from the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World.

Stylasterid coral Crypthelia kelleyi

Newly described species of stylasterid coral, Crypthelia kelleyi, discovered in 2015 on a CAPSTONE expedition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

  1. In the Catalog pane, click Portal. Click the Living Atlas button.
  2. Search for distance from shore and press Enter.

    Living Atlas search for distance from shore

  3. In the search results, right-click the Distance from Shore (km) imagery layer and choose Add To Current Map.

    The Distance from Shore (km) layer is a continuous raster where each pixel represents a distance away from shore.

    Distance from Shore layer added to map

    Currently, the layer displays transformed pixel values displayed in a red, green, blue (RGB) image, based on a predefined color scheme.

  4. In the Contents pane, right-click the Distance from Shore (km) layer and choose Properties.
  5. In the Layer Properties window, for Processing Templates, change Processing Template to None.

    For analysis, you need to have access to the underlying pixel values (real distances) to enrich each observation point with its distance from shore. By choosing None from the processing template, you are switching pixel values from display values in RGB to real distance values in kilometers for analysis.

    Update processing template

  6. Click OK.

    Distance from Shore actual pixel values

    The Distance from Shore (km) layer updates and now displays the underlying pixel values representing distance that are useful for analysis. Next, you'll use the distance values to enrich coral observations.

  7. On the ribbon, on the Analysis tab, in the Geoprocessing group, click Tools.
  8. In the Geoprocessing pane, search for and open the Extract Multi Values to Points tool.

    Extract Multi Values to Points tool

  9. For the Extract Multi Values to Points tool, click Environments.
  10. Change Extent to deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.

    Extract Multi Values to Points tool environment settings

  11. Click Parameters.
  12. Change the following parameters:
    • For Input point features, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.
    • For Input rasters, choose Distance from Shore (km).
    • For Output Field Name, type Distance_from_Shore__km.

    Extract Multi Values to Points tool parameter settings

  13. Click Run.

    This process adds a new attribute field to the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer that you can use to determine how far away from the shore an observation was made. Next, you'll generate statistics that summarize the minimum, maximum, and mean distance of each coral type from the shore.

  14. Search for and open the Summary Statistics geoprocessing tool. Set the following parameters:
    • For Input Table, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.
    • For Output Table, type Hawaii_Corals_Dist_From_Shore.
    • For Field, choose Distance_from_Shore__km, and for Statistic Type, choose Minimum.
    • For Field, choose Distance_from_Shore__km, and for Statistic Type, choose Maximum.
    • For Field, choose Distance_from_Shore__km, and for Statistic Type, choose Mean.
    • For Case field, choose VernacularNameCategory.

    Generate summary statistics

  15. Click Run.

    A new stand-alone table is added to the Contents pane.

  16. Open the Hawaii_Corals_Dist_From_Shore table.

    Summary statistics table

    The table shows that demosponge, glass sponge, and gold coral have mean distances of roughly 140 kilometers from shore and maximum distances of roughly 370 kilometers. It would be safe to assume that these corals are highly selective in their range and need less-turbulent locations away from shorelines.

  17. Close any open tables. Save the project.

In this lesson, you used several different ArcGIS Pro charting tools and data enrichment workflows to answer questions related to deep-sea corals located in Hawaii. By posing and answering these questions, you have gained a better understanding of deep-sea corals and what factors affect their distribution and their survival in the future. In the next lesson, you'll generate a short report summarizing some of your results.


Design a coral report

In the previous lesson, you explored the coral data. In this lesson, you'll summarize the number of each deep sea coral type observed within and outside of marine protected areas.

Determine which corals are in protected areas

Previously, you downloaded and added the Marine Protected Areas (MPA_2017) layer to your map. Next, you'll use the MPA data to determine which corals are located in protected areas and which are not.

Mushroom coral

Close-up of a mushroom coral at almost 2,000 meters. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2015 Hohonu Moana.

  1. If necessary, open your project.
  2. On the ribbon, on the Analysis tab, in the Geoprocessing group, click Tools. In the Geoprocessing pane, search for and open the Add Field tool.
  3. In the Add Field tool, set the following parameters:

    • For Input Table, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.
    • For Field Name, type MPA.
    • For Field Type, choose Text.
    • For Field Length, type 5.
    • For Field Alias, type Inside MPA.
    • Check Field IsNullable.

    Add Field tool parameters

  4. Click Run.

    The field is added to the table.

  5. In the Contents pane, turn off all layers except deep_sea_corals_Hawaii, MPAI_2017, and the basemap.
  6. In the Contents pane, click the symbol for MPAI_2017 to open the Symbology pane.
  7. If necessary, click the Gallery tab. Search for and click Extent Transparent Yellow.

    Extent Transparent Yellow symbol

  8. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Selection group, click Select By Location.
  9. In the Select By Location tool, set the following parameters:

    • For Input Features, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.
    • For Relationship, choose INTERSECT.
    • For Selecting Features, choose MPAI_2017.
    • For Selection type, choose New selection.

    Select Layer By Location tool parameters

  10. Click Run.
  11. If necessary, open the attribute table for the deep_sea_corals_Hawaii layer. Confirm that about 40,000 coral observations are selected. (Your number may differ.)
  12. In the table, right-click the Inside MPA field and choose Calculate Field.

    Calculate Inside MPA field

  13. For the Calculate Field tool, set the following parameters:

    • For Input Table, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.
    • For Field Name, choose Inside MPA.
    • For MPA =, type "Yes".

    Calculate Field tool parameters

  14. Click Run.
  15. In the attribute table, confirm that Yes was added to the Inside MPA field for the selected records.

    Updated Inside MPA field with Yes value

  16. Above the table, click the Switch button.

    Switch selection

    The selection switches from the corals that intersect the MPAs to the ones that do not intersect. Next, you'll run the Calculate Field tool again to populate the Inside MPA field with No for those corals that do not intersect the MPAs.

  17. In the Calculate Field tool, set the following parameters:

    • For Input Table, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.
    • For Field Name, choose Inside MPA.
    • In the MPA = box, replace the existing text with No.

  18. Click Run. Confirm that No was successfully added to the Inside MPA field for the selected records.
  19. Clear the selection.

    Based on the table, 39,167 observations were located inside the MPA and 56,879 were located outside the MPA.

  20. Save the project.

Create a report

Next, you'll create a report to convey some of your findings. Reports allow you to configure data, apply field grouping and sorting, add summary statistics, and choose a template and styling theme.

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Project group, click New Report.

    New Report button

    The Create New Report pane appears.

  2. In the Create New Report pane, change Report name to Hawaii Deep Sea Coral in Marine Protected Areas.

    Report name option

  3. For Data source, choose deep_sea_corals_Hawaii.

    Data source option

  4. Click Next.

    Next button

    The Filter the data page opens.

  5. For Rows, choose Filter by expression.

    Filter by expression option for Rows parameter

  6. Click New expression.

    New expression button

    The query builder opens.

  7. Build the expression Where Inside MPA is equal to Yes and click the Validate button.

    Build expression

    The expression is validated, confirming that it will run correctly.

  8. For Fields, uncheck Select all.
  9. In the list of fields, check the following fields:
    • VernacularNameCategory{VernacularNameCategory}
    • DepthInMeters{DepthInMeters}
    • Distance_from_Shore_km{Distance_from_Shore_km}

    Select fields for report

    These fields will be added to the final report.

    Tip:

    If your list does not include Distance_from_Shore, save your project, and then close and reopen ArcGIS Pro to refresh the list.

  10. In the list of fields, drag VernacularNameCategory to the top of the list. Drag the DepthInMeters and Distance_from_Shore_km fields below the VernacularNameCategory field.

    Reordered report fields

  11. Click Next.
  12. On the Organize the data page, under Grouping and Sorting, in the Grouping column, click (Add item) and choose VernacularNameCategory.

    Group by VernacularNameCategory field

    Note:

    To learn more about organizing data in a report, go to the Organize report data documentation page.

  13. Under Summary statistics, select the following field and statistic combinations:

    • For Field, choose DepthInMeters. For Statistic, choose Mean.
    • For Field, choose Distance_from_Shore_km. For Statistic, choose Mean.

    Select summary statistics fields

  14. Click Next.
  15. On the Design the report page, for Template, choose Basic Summary with Grouping.

    Basic Summary with Grouping option

  16. For Styling, choose Cool Tones.

    Cool Tones styling option

  17. For Margins, choose Narrow.

    Narrow margins option

  18. Click Finish.

    The report is added to the project in design layout. The final report will appear differently. For example, in the final report, all text in braces will be replaced by actual attribute values.

    Project report layout page

    Later, you may choose to modify your report layout by updating the properties of elements. These include changing text fonts and color as well as grouping and sorting and adding new fields.

  19. Confirm that the report view is active.

    A report can be shared as either a PDF file or a report file. In this scenario, you'll generate a PDF file to send to MPA managers to inform them of which deep-sea corals are located in protected areas.

  20. On the ribbon, on the Share tab, in the Export group, click PDF.
  21. In the Export Reportwindow, browse to the HawaiiDeepSeaCorals folder. Click Save.

    When the report is exported, the PDF opens in your default PDF viewer.

  22. Save the project.

In this lesson, you investigated the NOAA National Database for Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges using the NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Data Portal. You used the portal to locate and download coral data for the North Pacific Ocean. Using ArcGIS Pro, you imported, explored, enriched, and analyzed the data to gain a better understanding of deep-sea coral distribution and the depth at which corals are located. Finally, you generated a report summarizing some of your findings.

Special thanks to the NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program for creating and sharing the NOAA National Database for Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges (Database version: 20190117-0). To explore the latest data and images, visit the NOAA Deep Sea Coral Data Portal website.

You can find more lessons in the Learn ArcGIS Lesson Gallery.