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Coastal Vulnerability Assessment of Cape Hatteras National Seashore to Sea-Level Rise, USGS Open-File Report 2004-1064

Map of Coastal Vulnerability

Skip past contents informationTable of Contents link to Title Page Link to Abstract Page Link to Introduction Page Link to Data Ranking Page Link to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Page Link to Methology Page Link to Geologic Variables Page Link to Physical Process Variables Page Link to Calculating the Vulnerability Index Page Link to Results Page Link to Discussion Page Link to Conclusions Page Link to References Page


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:

1) as an example of where physical changes are most likely to occur as sea-level rises; and

2) as a planning tool for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

As ranked in this study, geomorphology, shoreline change, coastal slope, and significant wave height are the most important variables in determining the CVI for Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Tide range and sea-level rise do not contribute to the spatial variability in the CVI.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore preserves a dynamic natural environment, which must be understood in order to be managed properly. The CVI is one way that a park can assess objectively the natural factors that contribute to the evolution of the coastal zone, and thus how the park may evolve in the future.

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