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Massachusetts Shoreline Change Project: A GIS Compilation of Vector Shorelines for the 2018 update


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Himmelstoss, E.A., Farris, A.S., and Weber, K.M., 2018, Massachusetts shoreline change project: A GIS compilation of vector shorelines for the 2018 update: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management launched the Shoreline Change Project in 1989 to identify erosion-prone areas of the coast. The shoreline position and change rate are used to inform management decisions regarding the erosion of coastal resources. In 2001, a 1994 shoreline was added to calculate both long- and short-term shoreline change rates at 40-meter intervals along ocean-facing sections of the Massachusetts coast. In 2013 two oceanfront shorelines for Massachusetts were added using 2008-2009 color aerial orthoimagery and 2007 topographic lidar datasets obtained from NOAA's Ocean Service, Coastal Services Center. This 2018 update includes two new mean high water (MHW) shorelines for the Massachusetts coast extracted [...]

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Shoreline positions serve as easily understood features that can be used to describe the movement of beaches through time. This particular shoreline dataset consists of mean high water (MHW) datum-based shorelines extracted using either a profile or a contour method. These data are used in conjunction with other shoreline files to calculate rates of shoreline change.

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DOI doi:10.5066/P9O7S72B

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