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Open-File Report 2011–1009

Prepared in cooperation with the University of Hawaii

National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS Compilation of Vector Shorelines and Associated Shoreline Change Data for the Sandy Shorelines of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, Hawaii

By Bradley M. Romine, Charles H. Fletcher, Ayesha S. Genz, Matthew M. Barbee, Matthew Dyer, Tiffany R. Anderson, S. Chyn Lim, Sean Vitousek, Christopher Bochicchio, and Bruce M. Richmond

Thumbnail of and link to Title Page (10 KB)Abstract

Sandy ocean beaches are a popular recreational destination, and often are surrounded by communities that consist of valuable real estate. Development is increasing despite the fact that coastal infrastructure may be repeatedly subjected to flooding and erosion. As a result, the demand for accurate information regarding past and present shoreline changes is increasing. Working with researchers from the University of Hawaii, investigators with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Assessment of Shoreline Change Project have compiled a comprehensive database of digital vector shorelines and shoreline-change rates for the islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, Hawaii. No widely accepted standard for analyzing shoreline change currently exists. Current measurement and rate-calculation methods vary from study to study, precluding the combination of study results into statewide or regional assessments. The impetus behind the National Assessment was to develop a standardized method for measuring changes in shoreline position that is consistent from coast to coast. The goal was to facilitate the process of periodically and systematically updating the measurements in an internally consistent manner. A detailed report on shoreline change for Kauai, Maui, and Oahu that contains a discussion of the data presented here is available and cited in the Geospatial Data section of this report.

First posted May 7, 2012

  • OFR 2011–1009
  • Companion report Open-File Report 2011-1051 titled "National Assessment of Shoreline Change: Historical Shoreline Change in the Hawaiian Islands" is available. Click here

For additional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
384 Woods Hole Road
Quissett Campus
Woods Hole, MA 02543
(508) 548–8700

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Suggested citation:

Romine, B.M., Fletcher, C.H., Genz, A.S., Barbee, M.M., Dyer, Matthew, Anderson, T.R., Lim, S.C., Vitousek, Sean, Bochicchio, Christopher, and Richmond, B.M., 2012, National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS compilation of vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the sandy shorelines of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1009, available online at

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