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A GIS Compilation of Vector Shorelines for Puerto Rico from 2015 to 2018

November 19, 2021

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maintains shoreline positions for the United States coasts from both older sources, such as aerial photographs or topographic surveys, and contemporary sources, such as lidar-point clouds and digital elevation models. These shorelines are compiled and analyzed in the Digital Shoreline Analysis System software to compute their rates of change. Keeping a record of historical shoreline positions is an effective method to monitor change over time, enabling scientists 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 from 2015 to 2018. The USGS, in cooperation with the Coastal Research and Planning Institute of Puerto Rico-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 using a variety of methods. These historical shoreline data are then used to measure the rate of shoreline change over time.