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Relative Coastal Vulnerability Assessment of Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS) to Sea-Level Rise

Elizabeth A. Pendleton, S. Jeffress Williams, E. Robert Thieler

USGS Open-File Report 03-439

Download CVI Shoreline Shapefile and metadata

View photographs from field visit to Fire Island National Seashore


Relative Coastal Vulnerability for Fire Island National Seashore. The innermost color bar is the relative coastal vulnerability index (CVI). The remaining color bars are separated into the geologic variables (1-3) and physical process variables (4 - 6). The very high vulnerability shoreline is near Moriches inlet and the Fire Island lighthouse where the shoreline change rates are highest. High vulnerability shoreline is concentrated east of Watch Hill where overwash occurence is most frequent. Moderate vulnerability shoreline is along the community section of Fire Island, and the low vulnerability portion of the shore lies within Robert Moses State Park where shoreline accretion rates are high because of spit progradation. Large-scale (10-15 km) coastal vulnerability is controlled by the geologic framework differences that exist east and west of Watch Hill. Smaller-scale (2-5 km) variations in vulnerability reflect the rates of historic shoreline change in the area.

The Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) provides insight into the relative potential of coastal change due to future sea-level rise. The maps and data presented here can be viewed in at least two ways: 1) as an example of where physical changes are most likely to occur as sea-level rises; and 2) as a planning tool for Fire Island National Seashore.

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