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National assessment of shoreline change: A GIS compilation of vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the north coast of Alaska, Icy Cape to Cape Prince of Wales

January 14, 2020

Beach erosion is a persistent problem along most open-ocean shores of the United States. Along the Arctic coast of Alaska, coastal erosion is widespread and threatens communities, defense and energy-related infrastructure, and coastal habitat. As coastal populations continue to expand and infrastructure and habitat are increasingly threatened by erosion, there is increased demand for accurate information regarding past and present trends and rates of shoreline movement. There also is a need for a comprehensive analysis of shoreline change with metrics that are consistent from one coastal region to another. To meet these national needs, the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting an analysis of historical shoreline changes along the open-ocean sandy shores of the conterminous United States and parts of Hawaii, Alaska, and the Great Lakes. One purpose of this work is to develop standard, repeatable methods for mapping and analyzing shoreline change so that periodic, systematic, and internally consistent updates regarding coastal erosion and land loss can be made nationally. This dataset is one in a series of regionally focused reports on historical shoreline change. Previous investigations include analyses and descriptive reports for the coasts of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the Southeast Atlantic, California, the New England and Mid-Atlantic, portions of Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest coasts of Oregon and Washington, and the north coast of Alaska from the U.S. Canadian Border to Icy Cape. Shoreline change data from this and previous investigations can be viewed in the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards Portal at https://marine.usgs.gov/coastalchangehazardsportal/