Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Coastal vulnerability assessment of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to sea-level rise

March 30, 2021

A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within the legislative boundary of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in Northern California. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, historical shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean significant wave height. The rankings for each input variable were combined, and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers. The GGNRA coastlines consists of sand and gravel beaches, rock cliffs, sand dune cliffs, unconsolidated bluffs, and pocket beaches. The areas within GGNRA that are likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise are areas of unconsolidated sediment where shoreline erosion rates are high and wave energy is high.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2005
Title Coastal vulnerability assessment of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to sea-level rise
DOI 10.3133/ofr20051058
Authors Elizabeth A. Pendleton, E. Robert Thieler, S. Jeffress Williams
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2005-1058
Index ID ofr20051058
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center