Level III Ecoregions of the Conterminous United States (LMIC/MPCA Version of USEPA Omernik Map for Minnesota - 'ECOREG')

Metadata for the

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These metadata were created using the Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines .

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1. Identification Information
2. Data Quality Information
3. Spatial Data Organization Information
4. Spatial Reference Information
5. Entity and Attribute Information
6. Distribution Information
7. Metadata Reference Information

Section 1

Identification Information

Originator Land Management Information Center (LMIC), Minnesota Planning and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Title Level III Ecoregions of the Conterminous United States (LMIC/MPCA Version of USEPA Omernik Map for Minnesota - 'ECOREG')
Abstract Aquatic ecoregions were defined by Omernik and associates at the Corvallis Environmental Research Laboratory of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The ecoregions are based on land use, soils, land surface form and potential natural vegetation, and are used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to categorize stream and lake characteristics. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recompiled the ecoregions in terms of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources major and minor watershed boundaries. The Land Management Information Center created the ecoregion file using the MLMIS40 DNR watershed files and a translation table. This file represents the Level III Ecoregion. There are 7 Level III ecoregion categories in Minnesota.
Purpose From USEPA online metadata: 'The approach used to compile these data is based on the premise that ecological regions can be identified through the analysis of the patterns and the composition of biotic and abiotic phenomena that affect or reflect the differences in ecosystem quality and integity (Wiken, 1986, Omernik, 1987,1995). These phenomena include geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife, and hydrology. The relative importance of each characteristic varies from one ecological region to another regardless of the hierarchical level. Because of possible confusion with other meanings of terms for different levels of ecological regions, a Roman numeral classification scheme has been adopted for this effort.

Level I is the most coarse level, dividing North America into nine ecological regions. Level II subdivides the continent into 32 classes. Level III further subdivides the continent into 78 classes. For portions of the United States the ecoregions have been further subdivided into Level IV. The applications of the ecoregions are explained in Gallant et. al., (1989) and in reports and publications from state and regional projects.'

The State of Minnesota coverage was created by LMIC for the MPCA originally in 1984. At that time there was no GIS ecoregion coverage at sufficient scale for MPCA applications. MPCA used the coverage to characterize watersheds and water quality, and to assess nonpoint source pollution potential by ecoregion.
Time Period of Content Date 1989
Currentness Reference Original MLMIS40 version created in 1984 based on Omernik small-scale ecoregion map and LMIC MLMIS40 DNR watershed boundaries. Current (1989) version was created using vectorized Arc/INFO version of the MLMIS40 DNR watersheds. The file is therefore consistent with the 1989 vectorized version of the DNR MLMIS40 minor watershed file (derived from MLMIS40). The DNR minor watershed file has since been updated, in 1993 and 1995.
Progress Complete
Maintenance and Update Frequency None planned
Spatial Extent of Data Spatial Extent of Data: State of Minnesota (does not extend beyond state boundaries).
Bounding Coordinates -97.5
Place Keywords Minnesota, Statewide
Theme Keywords Omernik Ecoregions, Aquatic Ecoregions, Conterminous United States, Northern Glaciated Plains, Western Cornbelt Plains, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Northern Lakes and Forests, North Central Hardwood Forests, Driftless Area, Red River Valley/Lake Agassiz Plain
Theme Keyword Thesaurus None
Access Constraints None
Use Constraints Users should take into account the fact that the data is very generalized.
Contact Person Information Susanne Maeder,
Land Management Information Center (LMIC), Minnesota Planning
330 Centennial Building; 658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
Phone: 651.296.1211
FAX: 651.296.1212
E-mail: clearinghouse@mnplan.state.mn.us
Browse Graphic File Name none available
Browse Graphic File Description
Associated Data Sets USEPA 1:250,000 ecoregion GIS file is available at the USEPA NSDI Site: http://nsdi.epa.gov/nsdi References:

Gallant, A.L., T.R. Whittier, D.P. Larson, J.M. Omernik, and R.M. Hughes, 1989. Regionalization as a Tool for Managing Environmental Resources. EPA/600/3089/060. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR. 152p.

Omernik, J.M., 1987 'Ecoregions of the Conterminous United States.' Map (scale 1:7,500,000). Annals of the Association of American Geographers 77(1):118-125.

Omernik, J.M. 1995. 'Ecoregions: A Framework for Environmental Management.' in: Biological Assessment and Criteria: Tools for Water Resource Planning and Decision Making. W. Davis and T. Simon (eds.) Lewis Publishers, Chelsea, MI

Wiken, E. 1986. Terrestrial Ecozones of Canada. Environment Canada. Ecological Land Classification Series No. 19. Ottawa, Canada..

Section 2

Data Quality Information - - - - - - Go back to top

Attribute Accuracy File consists of 23 polygons, defining 7 distinct ecoregions. Ecoregion codes have all been verified.
Logical Consistency
Completeness Complete for state
Horizontal Positional Accuracy Not available
Lineage 1. In 1984/85, LMIC plotted a 1:250,000-scale map of Major/Minor watersheds from the DNR 1979 Watershed Mapping Project, using the MLMIS40 grid cell version of the file existing at the time (EPP.WS30 and EPP.WS31).

2. Using a paper EPA Ecoregion map (scale = 1:500,000) as a reference, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency staff created a table assigning each minor watershed to an ecoregion.

3. LMIC used this table, and the MLMIS40 DNR Major and minor watershed files, to create an ECOREGION variable in MLMIS40.

4. The ecoregion file was then used to do a number of comparisons with other MLMIS40 data layers (soils, land use, slope, water orientation), with the intention of doing state rankings and ecoregion rankings for nonpoint source pollution potential. To this point, all of the mapping and reclass work had been done in EPPL6, with data manipulation done in INFO. A state rank table and an ecoregion rank table were done for the ranking part of the project, which are still available in INFO as STATE.RANK.TABLE and ECO.RANK.TABLE.

5. A statewide nonpoint source pollution potential map was eventually created for MPCA. Map output format was in Arc/INFO.

6. In 1989 the current ECOREGION arc cover was created from the Arc/INFO vectorized MLMIS40 major/minor watershed covers (old EPP.WS30 and EPP.WS31), as follows:
a. The vectorized MLMIS40 major/minor watershed cover (shifted), WSHED_S was copied to a temporary cover.
b. An ECOREG data field was added to the temporary cover.
c. ECOREGION values were brought into the temporary cover by relating the INFO STATE.RANK.TABLE by MINOR5 (DNR minor watershed number). ECOREGION was calculated from the ECOREGION field on the STATE.RANK.TABLE into the ECOREG field in the temporary cover.
d. The temporary cover was dissolved out on the ECOREG field to create the new cover, ECOREGION.
e. The coverage was later unshifted to match other ARC/INFO data layers, renamed ECOREG to be ArcView compliant, and converted to NAD83.

NOTE: the Ecoregion coverage was created to coincide with the extant version of the DNR Major/Minor watershed file, which was a grid cell-based file. This can still be seen in the stair-step nature of the file when a small area is viewed. Watershed boundaries changed slightly when the original DNR 1:24,000 boundary maps were scanned at 1:100,000. Therefore at a micro scale the ECOREGION file no longer matches later versions of the DNR minor watershed coverage. The ecoregion data, in any case, is a very generalized coverage. Note also that other versions of this coverage are now available directly from EPA via their WEB site. The state ECOREG cover is the only version which contains any direct relationship to state minor watershed mapping.
Source Scale Denominator 500000

Section 3

Spatial Data Organization Information - - - - - - Go back to top

Native Data Set Environment Arc/INFO 7.1.1
Geographic Reference for Tabular Data None
Spatial Object Type Vector
Vendor Specific Object Types Polygon
Tiling Scheme None. Statewide Cover

Section 4

Spatial Reference Information - - - - - - Go back to top

Horizontal Coordinate Scheme UTM
Ellipsoid GRS80
Horizontal Datum NAD83
Horizontal Units Meters
Distance Resolution Not available
UTM Zone Number 15E

Section 5

Entity and Attribute Information - - - - - - Go back to top

Entity and Attribute Overview
Entity and Attribute Detailed Citation ECOREG.PAT contains the following data elements:
AREA - Area of polygon in square coverage unit
PERIMETER - Perimeter of polygon in coverage units
ECOREG# - Internally-assigned polygon feature number
ECOREG-ID - User-assigned polygon feature number
ECOREG - MPCA Ecoregion Number (numbering is unique to Minnesota):
1. Red River Valley (Lake Agassiz Plain)
2. Northern Minnesota Wetlands
3. Northern Lakes and Forests
4. North Central Hardwood Forest
5. Driftless Area
6. Western Cornbelt Plains
7. Northern Glaciated Plains
ECOREG.TXT - Ecoregion name, as listed above

Section 6

Distribution Information - - - - - - Go back to top

Publisher Land Management Information Center (LMIC), Minnesota Planning
Publication Date 1989
Contact Person Information Susanne Maeder,
Land Management Information Center (LMIC), Minnesota Planning
330 Centennial Building; 658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
Phone: 651.296.1211
FAX: 651.296.1212
E-mail: clearinghouse@mnplan.state.mn.us
Distributor's Data Set Identifier
Distribution Liability Limitations: Although extensive effort has been made to produce error free and complete data, all geographic information has limitations due to the scale, resolution, date and interpretation of the original source materials. You should consult available data documentation (metadata) for these particular data to determine their limitations and the precision to which they depict distance, direction, location or other geographic characteristics. These data may be subject to periodic change without prior notification.

No Warranty: These data are provided as is, without any warranty whatsoever, including but not limited to any warranty as to their performance, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose.

Liability: The entire risk as to the results of the use of these data is assumed by the user. LMIC is not responsible for any interpretation or conclusions based on these data made by those who acquire or use it. LMIC shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, compensatory or consequential damages or third party claims resulting from the use of these data, even if LMIC has been advised of the possibility of such potential loss or damage. In States that do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, you may not use these data.

Redistribution Conditions: In obtaining these data from LMIC, it is understood that you and/or your organization have the right to use them for any internal purpose. If you modify them, you should document those changes in a metadata record that should accompany all redistributed data. If you transmit or provide these data in any form to another user, the data MUST be accompanied by a copy of this disclaimer and all documentation provided with the original data set including the full metadata record.

Data Delivered on Electronic Media: If these data have been requested from LMIC on magnetic media, CD-ROM or any other physical media, LMIC will deliver this product in the computer-readable format agreed upon with the requestor. LMIC will re-issue these data if they are determined unreadable by correctly adjusted computer input devices, or when the medium is delivered in a damaged condition. Requests for re-issue of this digital data product must be made within 30 days of the date shipped from LMIC.
Transfer Format Name Arc/INFO Export
Transfer Format Version Number 7.1.1
Transfer Size 0.36 MB as self-extracting zip (.exe) file; 1.0 MB when expanded
Ordering Instructions This data set is distributed on the internet by clicking below after Online Linkage. Doing so will tell your browser to start downloading a self-extracting 'ZIP' file which will contain the following:

- Arc Export files (.e00) of coverage
- Metadata (.htm) file of coverage
- NOTICE.RTF, an important notice about this data set that can be read by most word processing software, and an ascii text version of the same notice (NOTICE.TXT)

After downloading this self-extracting 'zip' file (which will have an 'exe' extension), simply execute (run) the file. (For example, you can double click it from Windows Explorer or File Manager). Doing this will automatically extract the files described above.
Online Linkage Click here to download data. (See Ordering Instructions above for details.) By clicking here, you agree to the notice in "Distribution Liability" above.

Section 7

Metadata Reference Information - - - - - - Go back to top

Metadata Date 12/10/1998
Contact Person Information Susanne Maeder,
Land Management Information Center (LMIC), Minnesota Planning
330 Centennial Building; 658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
Phone: 651.296.1211
FAX: 651.296.1212
E-mail: clearinghouse@mnplan.state.mn.us
Metadata Standard Name Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines
Metadata Standard Version 1.2
Metadata Standard Online Linkage http://www.lmic.state.mn.us/gc/stds/metadata.htm

This page last updated 12/10/1998.

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