High-resolution shoreline change measurements (1997-2005) from Corolla to Cape Hatteras, NC (swash_shorelines.shp, geographic, WGS 84)

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Frequently anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title:
High-resolution shoreline change measurements (1997-2005) from Corolla to Cape Hatteras, NC (swash_shorelines.shp, geographic, WGS 84)
Abstract:
The northeastern North Carolina coastal system, from False Cape, Virginia, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina, has been studied by a cooperative research program that mapped the Quaternary geologic framework of the estuaries, barrier islands, and inner continental shelf. This information provides a basis to understand the linkage between geologic framework, physical processes, and coastal evolution at time scales from storm events to millennia. The study area attracts significant tourism to its parks and beaches, contains a number of coastal communities, and supports a local fishing industry, all of which are impacted by coastal change. Knowledge derived from this research program can be used to mitigate hazards and facilitate effective management of this dynamic coastal system. This regional mapping project produced spatial datasets of high-resolution geophysical (bathymetry, backscatter intensity, and seismic reflection) and sedimentary (core and grab-sample) data. The high-resolution geophysical data were collected during numerous surveys within the back-barrier estuarine system, along the barrier island complex, in the nearshore, and along the inner continental shelf. Sediment cores were taken on the mainland and along the barrier islands, and both cores and grab samples were taken on the inner shelf. Data collection was a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and several other institutions including East Carolina University (ECU), the North Carolina Geological Survey, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). The high-resolution geophysical data of the inner continental shelf were collected during six separate surveys conducted between 1999 and 2004 (four USGS surveys north of Cape Hatteras: 1999-045-FA, 2001-005-FA, 2002-012-FA, 2002-013-FA, and two USGS surveys south of Cape Hatteras: 2003-003-FA and 2004-003-FA) and cover more than 2600 square kilometers of the inner shelf. Single-beam bathymetry data were collected north of Cape Hatteras in 1999 using a Furuno fathometer. Swath bathymetry data were collected on all other inner shelf surveys using a SEA, Ltd. SwathPLUS 234-kHz bathymetric sonar. Chirp seismic data as well as sidescan-sonar data were collected with a Teledyne Benthos (Datasonics) SIS-1000 north of Cape Hatteras along with boomer seismic reflection data (cruises 1999-045-FA, 2001-005-FA, 2002-012-FA and 2002-013-FA). An Edgetech 512i was used to collect chirp seismic data south of Cape Hatteras (cruises 2003-003-FA and 2004-003-FA) along with a Klein 3000 sidescan-sonar system. Sediment samples were collected with a Van Veen grab sampler during four of the USGS surveys (1999-045-FA, 2001-005-FA, 2002-013-FA, and 2004-003-FA). Additional sediment core data along the inner shelf are provided from previously published studies. A cooperative study, between the North Carolina Geological Survey and the Minerals Management Service (MMS cores), collected vibracores along the inner continental shelf offshore of Nags Head, Kill Devils Hills and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1996. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers collected vibracores along the inner shelf offshore of Dare County in August 1995 (NDC cores) and July-August 1995 (SNL cores). These cores are curated by the North Carolina Geological Survey and were used as part of the ground validation process in this study. Nearshore geophysical and core data were collected by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. The nearshore is defined here as the region between the 10-m isobath and the shoreline. High-resolution bathymetry, backscatter intensity, and chirp seismic data were collected between June 2002 and May 2004. Vibracore samples were collected in May and July 2005. Shallow subsurface geophysical data were acquired along the Outer Banks barrier islands using a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) system. Data were collected by East Carolina University from 2002 to 2005. Rotasonic cores (OBX cores) from five drilling operations were collected from 2002 to 2006 by the North Carolina Geological Survey as part of the cooperative study with the USGS. These cores are distributed throughout the Outer Banks as well as the mainland. The USGS collected seismic data for the Quaternary section within the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system between 2001 and 2004 during six surveys (2001-013-FA, 2002-015-FA, 2003-005-FA , 2003-042-FA, 2004-005-FA, and 2004-006-FA). These surveys used Geopulse Boomer and Knudsen Engineering Limited (KEL) 320BR Chirp systems, except cruise 2003-042-FA, which used an Edgetech 424 Chirp and a boomer system. The study area includes Albemarle Sound and selected tributary estuaries such as the South, Pungo, Alligator, and Pasquotank Rivers; Pamlico Sound and trunk estuaries including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers; and back-barrier sounds including Currituck, Croatan, Roanoke, Core, and Bogue.
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    List, Jeffrey, 2013, High-resolution shoreline change measurements (1997-2005) from Corolla to Cape Hatteras, NC (swash_shorelines.shp, geographic, WGS 84): Open-File Report 2011-1015, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, Woods Hole, MA.

    Online Links:

    This is part of the following larger work.

    Thieler, E.R., Foster, D.S., Mallinson, D.M., Himmelstoss, E.A., McNinch, J.E., List, J.H., and Hammar-Klose, E.S., 2013, Quaternary Geophysical Framework of the Northeastern North Carolina Coastal System: Open-File Report 2011-1015, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -75.824128
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -75.460010
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 36.377934
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 35.217354
  3. What does it look like?
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Beginning_Date: 20-Sep-1997
    Ending_Date: 29-Aug-2005
    Currentness_Reference:
    ground condition
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: vector digital data
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):
      • String (134)
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.000001. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.000001. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees. The horizontal datum used is D_WGS_1984.
      The ellipsoid used is WGS_1984.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.000000.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257224.
      Vertical_Coordinate_System_Definition:
      Depth_System_Definition:
      Depth_Datum_Name: Mean high water
      Depth_Resolution: 9999
      Depth_Distance_Units: meters
      Depth_Encoding_Method: Explicit depth coordinate included with horizontal coordinates
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    swash_shorelines
    The data consist of (x,y) position of mean high water on the beach. Mean high water is defined to be 0.26 m above NAVD88, relative to Geoid96. (Source: Information unavailable from original metadata.)
    FID
    Internal feature number. (Source: ESRI) Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.
    Shape
    Feature geometry. (Source: ESRI) Coordinates defining the features.
    LINENAME
    The line name is a unique identification number that indicates survey year, followed by month, day, and location "north" or "south" of Oregon Inlet. (Source: U.S. Geological Survey) Information unavailable from original metadata.
    DATE_
    Survey year, followed by month and day (Source: U.S. Geological Survey) Information unavailable from original metadata.
    YEAR_
    Survey year (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
    Range of values
    Minimum:1997
    Maximum:2005
    MONTH_
    Survey month (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
    Range of values
    Minimum:1
    Maximum:12
    DAY_
    Survey day (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
    Range of values
    Minimum:1
    Maximum:31

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • Jeffrey List
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    Jeffery List
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Research Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA
    USA

    508-548-8700 x2343 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    jlist@usgs.gov

Why was the data set created?

The shoreline positions included in this dataset represent a high-resolution set of large-scale shoreline change observations collected by the ground-based SWASH (Surveying Wide-Area Shorelines) system. Between 1999 and 2005, the shoreline position has been re-surveyed 61 times over 130 km of coast from Corolla near the VA/NC border to the tip of Cape Hatteras. This represents a unique time series for quantifying large-scale coastal evolution. Because of this intensive sampling, significant inter-annual patterns of shoreline change have been identified along many sections of coast (for example, the series is long enough to extract a significant inter-annual trend "signal" from the daily shoreline change "noise"). One of the most relevant coastal change problems in North Carolina is coastal erosion leading to shoreline change. Rates of shoreline recession exceeding several meters per year threaten transportation infrastructure and result in the continual destruction of coastal property. In northern Dare County, these problems have motivated extensive studies and planning for coastal renourishment that will cost in excess of several hundred of million dollars. The processes responsible for the observed patterns of erosion and accretion along this coast are remain poorly understood, however, and the shoreline change models used in these studies have simply been tuned to match observations thereby providing no real predictive capability.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
    Information unavailable from original metadata. (source 1 of 1)
    The source information was incomplete and had to be modified to meet the standard. Assumed to be U.S. Geological Survey., unknown, Information unavailable from original metadata..

    Type_of_Source_Media: Information unavailable from original metadata.
    Source_Contribution:
    Information unavailable from original metadata. Assumed to be data from the individual field activities contributing to the dataset.
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: unknown (process 1 of 15)
    The SWASH system is mounted on a six-wheel amphibious all-terrain vehicle. As the vehicle transits the coast, an array of GPS sensors at a sampling frequency of 0.5 seconds are used to make high-accuracy measurements of horizontal position (x,y), elevation or vertical position (z), and beach slope. Person who carried out this activity:
    Jeffrey List
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Research Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA
    USA

    508-548-8700 x2343 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    jlist@usgs.gov
    Date: unknown (process 2 of 15)
    Following the field survey, the shoreline position is calculated in MATLAB by using the GPS data to extrapolate the position of the measured survey line to the position of the Mean High Water (z=0.26, Geoid96, NAVD88) contour. Obvious outliers are removed. Person who carried out this activity:
    Amy Farris
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA
    USA

    508-548-8700 x2288 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    afarris@usgs.gov
    Date: unknown (process 3 of 15)
    The location of MHW (as easting and northing in UTM 18N, WGS84) was written out to ASCII data files. Files are named by date of data collection. Person who carried out this activity:
    Amy Farris
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA
    USA

    508-548-8700 x2288 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    afarris@usgs.gov
    Date: 2006 (process 4 of 15)
    A point feature class was created from the x,y coordinates for each shoreline file within ArcCatalog (v9.1) by right-clicking on the table in the ArcCatalog tree, "Create Feature Class" > "From XY Table." The appropriate x-coordinate and y-coordinate fields were specified in the window dialog and the spatial reference information was defined (UTM 18N, WGS84). This process step and all subsequent steps were performed by the same person: Emily Himmelstoss. Person who carried out this activity:
    Emily Himmelstoss
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA
    USA

    508-548-8700 x2262 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    ehimmelstoss@usgs.gov
    Date: 2006 (process 5 of 15)
    Each point shapefile was converted to a polyline shapefile using XTools Pro (v3.2), a software extension for ArcGIS. The "Make one Polyline from Points" tool was used to convert the point shapefile into a polyline shapefile.
    Date: 2006 (process 6 of 15)
    The individual polyline shapefiles for each survey were appended into a single shapefile containing all the surveys in ArcToolbox (v9.1) under "Data Management Tools" > "General" > "Append".
    Date: 08-Feb-2011 (process 7 of 15)
    The resulting polyline shapefiles contain single line segments for each shoreline date (one row in the attribute table). The line segments were split at each vertex in ArcToolbox (v9.3) under "Data Management" > "Features" > "Split Line At Vertices" tool.
    Date: 10-Feb-2011 (process 8 of 15)
    The length of each line segment was calculated using XTools Pro (v5.2) and added as an attribute field (length_m) to the shapefile (UTM 18N, WGS84). A query was performed using the "Select by Attributes" option so that all line segments greater than 80 meters in length were selected. These line segments were deleted within an ArcMap (v9.3) edit session. When the distance between swash shoreline points was greater than 80 meters, the span results in a break in the shoreline. Therefore the nominal line segment length is 2 meters, but can be as much as 80 meters.
    Date: 10-Feb-2011 (process 9 of 15)
    The attribute table was then aggregated based on the survey name within ArcToolbox (v9.3) using "Data Management Tools" > "Generalization" > "Dissolve". The dissolve was based on the LINENAME field and multipart features were not allowed. This resulted in a condensed, and more manageable attribute table. The dissolve process did not preserve the length_m attribute field since multiple line segments were aggregated into a single row within the attribute table.
    Date: 10-Feb-2011 (process 10 of 15)
    The swash shoreline shapefile was projected from UTM 18N (WGS 84) to geographic (WGS 84) coordinates using ArcToolbox (v9.3) "Data Management Tools" > "Projections and Transformations" > "Feature" > "Project".
    Date: 15-Jun-2016 (process 11 of 15)
    Edits to the metadata were made to fix any errors that MP v 2.9.32 flagged. This is necessary to enable the metadata to be successfully harvested for various data catalogs. In some cases, this meant adding text "Information unavailable" or "Information unavailable from original metadata" for those required fields that were left blank. Other minor edits were probably performed (title, publisher, publication place, etc.). The link to the data in the Distribution_Information section had to be fixed. The link to the data catalog was fixed. The source information was incomplete and had to be modified to meet the standard. In the case of the depth resolution, the value of 9999 was entered to indicate that the original metadata did not contain the required information. Minor fixes to the attribute format for some attributes were needed. The distribution format name was modified in an attempt to be more consistent with other metadata files of the same data format. The metadata date (but not the metadata creator) was edited to reflect the date of these changes. The metadata available from a harvester may supersede metadata bundled within a download file. Compare the metadata dates to determine which metadata file is most recent. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Rd.
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    vatnipp@usgs.gov
    Date: 13-Feb-2018 (process 12 of 15)
    An error was fixed in one of the originator names. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    vatnipp@usgs.gov
    Date: 20-Jul-2018 (process 13 of 15)
    USGS Thesaurus keywords added to the keyword section. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    vatnipp@usgs.gov
    Date: 18-Nov-2019 (process 14 of 15)
    Crossref DOI link was added as the first link in the metadata. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    vatnipp@usgs.gov
    Date: 08-Sep-2020 (process 15 of 15)
    Added keywords section with USGS persistent identifier as theme keyword. Person who carried out this activity:
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Attn: VeeAnn A. Cross
    Marine Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA

    508-548-8700 x2251 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    vatnipp@usgs.gov
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    The horizontal uncertainty of the post-processed derived MHW shoreline position (not the original driven track of the buggy, but the shoreline calculated from the buggy x,y,z and the beach slope) is highly variable depending mainly on the deviation between the elevation of the driven buggy track and the MHW elevation, and the beach slope. If the buggy happened to be driven exactly at MHW, then the horizontal uncertainty of the derived MHW position is only the GPS positioning error, or less than about 10 cm. If the beach is very flat and the elevation of the driven buggy track deviates greatly (more than 1 m) from MHW, the estimated uncertainty can be 50 m or more. The average horizontal accuracy calculated for the combined surveys is plus or minus 2.31 meters.
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
    In keeping with historical sources on shoreline information, the Mean High Water (MHW) contour was chosen as the definition of the shoreline. MHW (z=0.26, Geoid96, NAVD88) is extrapolated at discrete points where horizontal position, elevation and beach slope were measured. Mean high water is defined to be 0.26 m above NAVD88, relative to Geoid96.
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    All swash survey data collected between 1997 and 2005 along the Outer Banks of North Carolina have been included in this shoreline compilation.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    No additional checks for topological consistency were performed on this data.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: none
Use_Constraints:
Public domain data from the U.S. Government are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. Please recognize the U.S. Geological Survey as the originator of the dataset.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    E. Robert Thieler
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Research Geologist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA
    USA

    508-548-8700 x2350 (voice)
    508-457-2310 (FAX)
    rthieler@usgs.gov
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? Downloadable Data
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    Neither the U.S. Government, the Department of the Interior, nor the USGS, nor any of their employees, contractors, or subcontractors, make any warranty, express or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, nor represent that its use would not infringe on privately owned rights. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the USGS in the use of these data or related materials. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
  4. How can I download or order the data?
  5. What hardware or software do I need in order to use the data set?
    These data are available in Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) shapefile format. The user must have ArcGIS or ArcView 3.0 or greater software to read and process the data file. In lieu of ArcView or ArcGIS, the user may utilize another GIS application package capable of importing data. A free data viewer, ArcExplorer, capable of displaying the data is available from ESRI at www.esri.com.

Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 08-Sep-2020
Metadata author:
Amy Farris
USGS
Geologist
384 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA
USA

508-548-8700 x2288 (voice)
508-457-2350 (FAX)
afarris@usgs.gov
Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

This page is <https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/catalog/whcmsc/open_file_report/ofr2011-1015/swash_shorelines.faq.html>
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