USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) created this online tool - the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal - that provides an interactive view of past, present and future hazards along the U.S. coasts. A user can choose any coastal location, zoom in to a relatively local level, and view potential impacts from extreme storms, historic shoreline changes, and coastal vulnerability to sea-level rise. USGS suggests that this tool can aid in decisions that involve emergency preparedness, ecosystem restoration, and where and how to develop coastal areas.

The application runs on web browsers, tablets, and smartphones, and is designed for a wide-range of audiences, from federal and state agencies to non-governmental organizations, public entities, and private citizens. 

For viewing the sea level rise map layer, the USGS has developed two methods that describe the vulnerability of a coastal region to sea-level rise: a Coastal Vulnerability Index, and probabilistic assessment of shoreline change that uses a Bayesian network approach.

For the Coastal Vulnerability Index view of sea level rise, the data provides a preliminary overview the relative susceptibility of the Nation's coast. This classification is based upon the following variables: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, tide range, wave height, relative sea-level rise and shoreline erosion and accretion rates. The combination of these variables and the association of these variables to each other furnish an overview of local regions where physical changes are likely to occur due to sea-level rise. Susceptibility is ranked a low, moderate, high, and very high.  






Publication Date: 2012

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  • Mapping tool


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