National Shoreline Change: Summary Statistics of Shoreline Change From the 1800s To the 2010s for the Coast of California

Data Report 1187



Rates of shoreline change have been updated for the open-ocean sandy coastline of California as part of studies conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey. Shorelines from the original assessment (1800s through 1998 or 2002), as well as additional shoreline position data from 2009 to 2011, 2015, and 2016 extracted from light detection and ranging (lidar) data, were used to compute long-term rates (approximately 150 years) that incorporate the proxy-datum bias on a transect-by-transect basis. The proxy-datum bias accounts for the unidirectional onshore bias of proxy-based high water line shorelines relative to datum-based mean high water shorelines. In areas where the methods for delineating shorelines did not make it possible to compute a bias correction, the rates are reported without that correction. In this study, the coasts of northern and central California exhibited the highest average rates of erosion, whereas southern California exhibited the highest average rate of accretion. The maximum erosion rate was in San Mateo County in central California. The maximum rate of accretion was in Humboldt County in northern California. Rates were calculated at 19,063 transect locations. Shoreline positions from the mid-1800s through 2016 were used to update shoreline change rates in California using the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) software.

Suggested Citation

Kratzmann, M.G., 2024, National shoreline change—Summary statistics of shoreline change from the 1800s to the 2010s for the coast of California: U.S. Geological Survey Data Report 1187, 7 p.,

ISSN: 2771-9448 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Calculation and Interpretation of Shoreline Change Results
  • Results From Historical Shoreline Change Analysis
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title National shoreline change—Summary statistics of shoreline change from the 1800s to the 2010s for the coast of California
Series title Data Report
Series number 1187
DOI 10.3133/dr1187
Year Published 2024
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description Report: iv, 7 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State California
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details