Assessing the physical change to shorelines and wetlands is critical for determining the resiliency of wetland systems that protect adjacent habitat and communities. The wetland and back-barrier shorelines of the New Jersey barrier islands were changed by wave action and storm surge from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program is assessing the impact of Hurricane Sandy to understand its historical context and the vulnerability of wetland systems. These assessments require data that document physical changes over time, such as maps, aerial photographs, satellite imagery, and lidar elevation data.
This Data Series Report includes open-ocean shorelines, back-island shorelines, back-island shoreline points, sand polygons, and sand lines for the undeveloped areas of New Jersey barrier islands. These data were extracted from orthoimagery (aerial photography) taken between March 9, 1991, and July 30, 2013. The images used were 0.3–1-meter (m)-resolution U.S. Geological Survey Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quads (DOQQ), U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) images, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration images, and New Jersey Geographic Information Network images. The back-island shorelines were hand-digitized at the intersects of the apparent back-island shoreline and transects spaced at 20-m intervals. The open-ocean shorelines were hand-digitized at the approximate still-water level, such as tide level, which was fit through the average position of waves and swash apparent on the beach. Hand-digitizing was done at a scale of approximately 1:2,000. The sand polygons were derived by an image-processing unsupervised classification technique that separates images into classes. The classes were then visually categorized as either sand or not sand. Sand lines were taken from the sand polygons. Also included in this report are 20-m-spaced transect lines and the transect base lines.