A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Olympic National Park (OLYM), Washington. The CVI scores 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, shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean wave height. The rankings for each 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 Olympic National Park coast consists of rocky headlands, pocket beaches, glacial-fluvial features, and sand and gravel beaches. The Olympic coastline that is most vulnerable to sea-level rise are beaches in gently sloping areas.
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Coastal vulnerability assessment of Olympic National Park to sea-level rise