5. Applications of the Data

This coastal hazards data base contains information on elevation, bedrock geology, geomorphology (coastal landform), sea-level trends, horizontal shoreline displacement (erosion), tidal ranges, and wave heights. These data variables were selected for inclusion in this data base because of the roles they play in determining the vulnerability of coastal areas to variations in sea level and long-term erosion.

The 29 data variables in this data base effectively measure two basic risk factors, erosion and inundation. The erosion risk was determined on the basis of historical shoreline displacement, resistance to erosion (geology, geomorphology), and ocean-forcing factors (tidal ranges and wave heights). The inundation risk was estimated on the basis of sea-level trends and elevation data.

This data base and the coastal vulnerability indices (CVIs) that may be calculated with it may be used to identify coastal zones that are at risk from coastal erosion or possible changes in relative sea level.