USGS - science for a changing world

Significant Topographic Changes in the United States

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Summary Statistics and Rankings
The spatial distribution of the topographic change polygons across the states is shown in the figure below. Some noteworthy patterns seen on the map are a dense concentration of polygons in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, a distinct cluster of polygons in northern Minnesota, several larger groups of polygons in Wyoming and southern Arizona, a concentration of polygons in the highly urbanized areas of coastal southern California, and an overall higher density of polygons in the eastern United States. Change polygons are located in all states except Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.

Map of the 5,263 polygons that delineate areas of significant topographic change in the conterminous United States
Map of the 5,263 polygons that delineate areas of significant topographic change in the conterminous United States. Cut areas are those polygons that have a decrease in elevation, while fill areas are those with an increase in elevation.

This table lists the top ranked 15 states in a number of categories.

the top ranked 15 states in a number of categories

Considering the numerical positions in all six categories, the top ranked states affected by topographic change are, in order:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Arizona
  3. Nevada
  4. Wyoming
  5. Kentucky
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. California
  8. Michigan
  9. New Mexico
  10. West Virginia

Summary Statistics and Rankings:
States Containing Topographic Change Polygons

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Page Last Modified: December 08, 2015