Sandy ocean beaches are a popular recreational destination, and often are surrounded by communities that consist of valuable real estate. Development is increasing despite the fact that coastal infrastructure may be repeatedly subjected to flooding and erosion. As a result, the demand for accurate information regarding past and present shoreline changes is increasing. Working with researchers from the University of Hawaii, investigators with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Assessment of Shoreline Change Project have compiled a comprehensive database of digital vector shorelines and shoreline-change rates for the islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, Hawaii. No widely accepted standard for analyzing shoreline change currently exists. Current measurement and rate-calculation methods vary from study to study, precluding the combination of study results into statewide or regional assessments. The impetus behind the National Assessment was to develop a standardized method for measuring changes in shoreline position that is consistent from coast to coast. The goal was to facilitate the process of periodically and systematically updating the measurements in an internally consistent manner. A detailed report on shoreline change for Kauai, Maui, and Oahu that contains a discussion of the data presented here is available and cited in the Geospatial Data section of this report.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
National Assessment of Shoreline Change: A GIS compilation of vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the sandy shorelines of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, Hawaii