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A GIS Compilation of Vector Shorelines and Shoreline Classification for Puerto Rico from 1970 and 2010

November 19, 2021

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maintains shoreline positions for the United States coasts from both older sources, such as aerial photos or topographic surveys, as well as contemporary sources like lidar point clouds and digital elevation models (DEMs). These shorelines are compiled and analyzed in the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) software to compute rates of change. It is useful to keep a record of historical shoreline positions as a method of monitoring change over time to identify areas most susceptible to erosion or accretion. These data can help coastal managers understand which areas of the coast are vulnerable to change. This data release and other associated products represent an expansion of the USGS national-scale shoreline database to include Puerto Rico and its islands, Vieques and Culebra. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Coastal Research and Planning Institute of Puerto Rico (CoRePI, part of the Graduate School of Planning at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus) has derived and compiled a database of historical shoreline positions and recorded a detailed classification of the coast from aerial photo interpretations. These shoreline data are used in conjunction with other compiled shorelines provided in complementary data releases to calculate rates of shoreline change.