Shoreline Change

Coastal managers in the New England use historic shoreline positions to assess the rates of shoreline change, erosion and deposition. Typically, this analysis uses historic topographic sheets or T-sheets for the derived shorelines approximate mean high water. The use of maps with shorelines that represent different features such as mean high water versus mean sea level, can introduce errors and inaccuracies in calculating shoreline change. The NOAA Coastal Services Center has an animated graphic that demonstrates how shorelines are used to calculate rates of change.

Erosion rates in parenthesis (feet/year) at transects in Massachusetts.

Sources of Shoreline Change Data:

Shoreline Change Tools:

Shoreline Change Forecasting:

A summary of shoreline change forecasting methods is contained in Appendix 2 of the Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.1 entitled Coastal sensitivity to sea-level rise: A focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.