NOTICE (March 2018): This website provides access to the CDIAC archive data temporarily. It will be gradually transitioned into data packages in the new ESS-DIVE archive. This site will continue to operate in parallel during and after the transition, and will be retired at a future date. If you have any questions regarding the data or the transition, please contact

image image image image

A Coastal Hazards Data Base for the U.S. Gulf Coast (1993) (NDP-043b)

DOI: 10.3334/CDIAC/ssr.ndp043b

image Data


V. M. Gornitz and T. W. White

This document describes the contents of a digital data base that may be used to identify coastlines along the U.S. Gulf Coast at risk to sea-level rise. The data base integrates point, line, and polygon data for the U.S. Gulf Coast into 0.25° latitude by 0.25° longitude grid cells and into 1:2,000,000 digitized line segments that can be used by raster or vector geographic information systems (GIS) as well as by non-GIS data base systems. Each coastal grid cell and line segment contains data on elevations, geology, geomorphology, sea-level trends, shoreline displacement (erosion/accretion), tidal ranges, and wave heights.

To allow for the identification of coastlines at risk from sea level rise, 7 of the 22 original data variables in this data base were classified by vulnerability and used to create 7 relative risk variables. These relative risk variables range in value from 1 to 5 and may be used to calculate a coastal vulnerability index for each grid cell and/or line segment. The data for these 29 variables (i.e., the 22 original variables and 7 risk variables) have been placed into the following data formats:

  1. Gridded polygon data for the 22 original data variables. Data include elevations, geology, geomorphology, sea-level trends, shoreline displacement (erosion/accretion), tidal ranges, and wave heights.
  2. Gridded polygon data for the seven classified risk variables. The risk variables are classified versions of mean coastal elevation, geology, geomorphology, local subsidence trend, mean shoreline displacement, maximum tidal range, and maximum significant wave height.
  3. 1:2,000,000 line segment data containing the 29 data variables (i.e., the 22 original data variables and the 7 classified risk variables).
  4. Supplemental point data for the stations used in calculating the sea-level trend and tidal range data sets.
  5. Supplemental line segment data containing a 1:2,000,000 digitized coastline of the U.S. Gulf Coast as defined by this numeric data package (NDP).

These data are available as an NDP from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC). The NDP consists of this document and machine-readable files available on 9-track magnetic tape, IBM-formatted floppy diskettes, and CD-ROM and through Internet by means of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) from CDIAC's anonymous FTP area. This document provides sample listings of the data and detailed descriptions of the file formats; offers FORTRAN and SASTM retrieval program listings; describes the methods used in calculating each variable; discusses the sources, restrictions, and limitations of the data; provides five ARC/INFOTM export coverages and flat ASCII data files containing these data; and provides reprints of pertinent literature.