Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) Version 5.0 User Guide

Open-File Report 2018-1179
By: , and 



The Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) is a freely available software application that works within the Esri Geographic Information System (ArcGIS) software. DSAS computes rate-of-change statistics for a time series of shoreline vector data. DSAS version 5.0 (v5.0) was released in December 2018 and has been tested for compatibility with ArcGIS versions 10.4 and 10.5. It is supported on Windows 7 and Windows 10 operating systems. If you use it, please cite it as follows and make note of the current version:

Himmelstoss, E.A., Farris, A.S., Henderson, R.E., Kratzmann, M.G., Ergul, Ayhan, Zhang, Ouya, Zichichi, J.L., Thieler, E. R., 2018, Digital Shoreline Analysis System (version 5.0): U.S. Geological Survey software release,

This user guide describes the system requirements, installation procedures, and necessary inputs to establish measurement locations with DSAS-generated transects and compute rate-of-change calculations. Although the nomenclature for this software utility is based on use in a coastal environment, the DSAS application could be used to compute rates of change for any boundary-change problem that incorporates a clearly identified feature position at discrete times, such as glacier limits, river banks, or land use/cover boundaries.

Suggested Citation

Himmelstoss, E.A., Henderson, R.E., Kratzmann, M.G., and Farris, A.S., 2018, Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) version 5.0 user guide: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1179, 110 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Installation Steps
  • 3. Sample Data
  • 4. DSAS Toolbar
  • 5. Required Inputs
  • 6. DSAS Workflow
  • 7. Statistics
  • 8. Beta Shoreline Forecasting
  • 9. Summary Report
  • 10. Metadata
  • 11. References Cited
  • 12. Appendix 1. Troubleshooting
  • 13. Appendix 2. A Case Study of Complex Shoreline Data
  • 14. Appendix. 3. Summary Report Text
  • 15. Appendix 4. Sample Data Workflows
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) version 5.0 user guide
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2018-1179
DOI 10.3133/ofr20181179
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description Report: xi, 110 p.; Software
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details