U.S. Geological Survey
Coastal and Marine Geology
Woods Hole Field Center

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National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: Preliminary Results for the U.S. Atlantic Coast


The coastal vulnerability index (CVI) provides insight into the relative potential of coastal change due to future sea-level rise. The maps and data presented here can be viewed in at least two ways:

As ranked in this study, coastal geomorphology is the most important variable in determining the CVI. Coastal slope, wave height, relative sea-level rise, and tide range provide large-scale variability to the coastal vulnerability index. Erosion and accretion rates contribute the greatest variability to the CVI at short (~3 km) spatial scales. The rates of shoreline change, however, are the most complex and poorly documented variable in this data set. The rates used here are based on a dated, low-resolution data set and thus far corrections have been made only on a preliminary level. To best understand where physical changes may occur, large-scale variables must be clearly and accurately mapped, and small-scale variables must be understood on a scale that takes into account their geologic, environmental, and anthropogenic influences.

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Introduction/ Risk Variables/ Data Ranking/ CVI/ Results/ Discussion/ Summary/ References
Web Page by Donna Newman
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