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Open-File Report 2012–1008

National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS Compilation of Vector Shorelines and Associated Shoreline Change Data for the Pacific Northwest Coast

By Meredith Kratzmann, Emily A. Himmelstoss, Peter Ruggiero, E. Robert Thieler, and David Reid

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (8.22 MB)Abstract

Sandy ocean beaches are a popular recreational destination and are often surrounded by communities that consist of valuable real estate. Development along sandy coastal areas 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. Investigators with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Assessment of Shoreline Change Project have compiled a comprehensive database of digital vector shorelines and rates of shoreline change for the Pacific Northwest coast including the states of Washington and Oregon. No widely accepted standard for analyzing shoreline change currently exists. Current measurement and methods for calculating rates of change 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 that is consistent from coast to coast for measuring changes in shoreline position. 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 the Pacific Northwest coast that contains a discussion of the data presented here is available and cited in the Geospatial Data section of this report.

First posted December 9, 2013

  • Companion Report Open-File Report 2012-1007 titled "National Assessment of Shoreline Change: Historical Shoreline Change Along the Pacific Northwest Coast" is available.
    Click here

For additional information, contact:
Director, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
384 Woods Hole Road
Quissett Campus
Woods Hole, MA 02543

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Suggested citation:

Kratzmann, Meredith, Himmelstoss, E.A., Ruggiero, Peter, Thieler, E.R., and Reid, David, 2013, The National assessment of shoreline shange—A GIS compilation of vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the Pacific Northwest coast: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1008,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)





Geospatial Data

References Cited

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