National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise

Science Center Objects

This research seeks to objectively determine the relative risks due to future sea-level rise for the U.S. Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Research is part of National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project. 

coastal vulnerability of sea-level rise map

National assessment of coastal vulnerability of sea-level rise: U.S. Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico coasts. (Public domain.)

This project, part of the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program's National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards, seeks to objectively determine the relative risks due to future sea-level rise for the U.S. Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Through the use of a coastal vulnerability index (CVI) the relative risk that physical changes will occur as Sea Level rises is quantified based on the following criteria: tidal range, wave height, coastal slope, shoreline change, geomorphology, and historical rate of relative sea-level rise.

This approach combines a coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, and yields a relative measure of the system's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise.

The USGS is now involved with the National Park Service applying the coastal vulnerability index to coastal park units.