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Relative Coastal Vulnerability Assessment of National Park Units to Sea-Level Rise

Project Description

The National Park Service (NPS) is responsible for managing nearly 12,000 km (7,500 miles) of shoreline along oceans and lakes. In 2001 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in partnership with the NPS Geologic Resources Division, began conducting hazard assessments of future sea-level change by creating maps to assist NPS in managing its valuable resources. This website contains results of the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) assessment for several national park units, highlighting areas that are likely to be most affected by future sea-level rise.

Through the use of a CVI, the likelihood that physical changes will occur as sea-level rises is quantified based on the following criteria: tidal range, wave height, coastal slope, shoreline change, geomorphology, and historical rate of relative sea-level rise. This approach combines a coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, and yields a relative measure of the system's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. National Park Service staff are using the CVI data for long-term resource management plans, park facilities planning such as relocating building or roads, and assessing long-term threats to resources.

Project Fact Sheet

CVI park locator map for the US lower-48 Dry Tortugas NP Cape Cod NS Fire Island NS Gateway NRA Assateague Island NS Sleeping Bear Dunes NL Indiana Dunes NL Apostle Islands NL Cape Hatteras NS Dry Tortugas NP Cumberland Island NS Gulf Islands NS Padre Island NS Channel Islands NP Golden Gate NRA Point Reyes NS Olympic NP CVI park locator map for Alaska, Hawaii, and US territories War in the Pacific NHP Vigrin Islands NP National Park of American Samoa Kaloko-Honokohau NHP Glacier Bay NPP Kenai Fjords NP

Click on a park to see CVI assessment for that park

Click Here to select parks by name

For Additional Information:

See the National Coastal Vulnerability Study at, or view the USGS online fact sheet for this project in PDF format at


E. Robert Thieler and S. Jeffress Williams and Elizabeth A. Pendleton
U.S. Geological Survey
384 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Telephone: 508-457-2200 or 508-548-8700

Rebecca Beavers
National Park Service
Natural Resource Program Center
Geologic Resources Division
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287
Telephone: 303-987-6945

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This page last modified on Monday, 24-Nov-2014 13:10:09 EST