Being able to visualize potential impacts from sea level rise is a powerful teaching and planning tool, and the Sea Level Rise Viewer brings this capability to coastal communities. A slider bar is used to show how various levels of sea level rise will impact coastal communities. Additional coastal counties will be added in the near future. Maps are not available for Alaska due to elevation data accuracy and vertical datum transformation gaps.
- Displays potential future sea levels
- Provides simulations of sea level rise at local landmarks
- Communicates the spatial uncertainty of mapped sea levels
- Models potential marsh migration due to sea level rise
- Overlays social and economic data onto potential sea level rise
- Examines how tidal flooding will become more frequent with sea level rise
The NOAA Coastal Services Center would like to acknowledge those organizations that provided direct content used in this tool or feedback, ideas, and reviews over the course of the tool’s development. Specifically the Center would like to acknowledge the following groups
The University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology through the NOAA Coastal Storms Program performed the mapping for Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Hawaii.
The U.S. Geological Survey collaborated with the Center on the development of two previous sea level rise mapping tools, one in Wilmington, Delaware, and one in Mississippi and Alabama. The lessons learned from these pilots led to the enhancement of the mapping methods and visual display used in this tool.
The Delaware Coastal Management Program provided content to and feedback on the development of the first of the pilots.
State Sea Grant programs―specifically Mississippi-Alabama, Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina―provided valuable feedback on the development of the second pilot, content on the explanation of sea level rise, and grants for developing and providing Social Vulnerability Index data.
Culver, M. E., J. R. Schubel, M.A. Davidson, J. Haines, and K.C. Texeira (editors). 2010. Proceedings from the Sea Level Rise and Inundation Community Workshop, Lansdowne, Virginia, December 3-5, 2009. Sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Geological Survey.
The University of South Carolina Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute for providing Social Vulnerability Index data.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics for providing the block group analysis of the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.
The North Carolina Sea Level Rise study team for providing a good forum for discussion of new sea-level-rise risk assessment techniques.
NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services for providing 3-year water level analysis for flood frequency content.
Special thanks are also extended to the NOAA Digital Coast Partnership for providing comments on the alpha review of the tool. The Nature Conservancy in particular provided helpful input on mapping-confidence methods and marsh migration results.
Stories from the Field
Planning for Sea Level Rise Adaptation at the Site Scale in New Jersey
Data from the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer was used to assess vulnerability and provide recommendations at three publicly accessible waterfront recreation areas.
Visualizing Coastal Flooding Vulnerabilities to Plan for Resilience in New Jersey
The NJ Flood Mapper has been widely adopted in Sandy’s aftermath to assess coastal vulnerability and plan for resilience.
Communicating the Importance of Regional Marsh Systems in the Northeast
A custom Wetland Benefits Snapshot and sea level rise maps were used to educate residents of several counties in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
Understanding Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise in Southeast Florida
Data from the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer helped in the development of policies and programs to address sea level rise.
Bringing Data and Tools to the Restoration Community at a National Conference
Partners unite to put the right Digital Coast data, tools, and training into the hands of communities working to restore vital estuary habitat.
Developing Consistent Methods for Mapping Sea Level Rise in Southeast Florida
Four counties joined forces with other agencies and organizations to agree upon consistent methods for mapping sea level rise to better prepare for sea level rise-related issues.
Visualizing Flood Hazards with Residents and Floodplain Managers in Mississippi
A demonstration of the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer spurred discussion at a hazards awareness exhibit.
Identifying Areas Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise in Georgia
The Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer helped a barrier island community develop an adaptation plan to prepare for and adapt to sea level rise.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Tool
Answers questions about the data, the modeling approach, and using the tool
- Sea Level Rise Inundation
- Inundation Uncertainty
- Marsh Migration Due to Sea Level Rise
- Social Vulnerability Index
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Data by Census Block Group
- Coastal Flood Frequency
"Incorporating Sea Level Change Scenarios at the Local Level"
Outlines eight steps to help communities calculate sea level change scenarios and communicate impacts
"Marshes on the Move"
Provides a basic understanding of the parameters and uncertainties involved in modeling the future impacts of sea level rise on coastal wetlands. This guide is intended for people who use model outputs for decision-making but do not build models themselves.
"New Mapping Tool and Techniques for Visualizing Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts"
Provides a brief history of previous sea level change visualization pilot projects, a detailed discussion of new methods, and future plans for expanding the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer to the rest of the U.S.
Marcy, Douglas, William Brooks, Kyle Draganov, Brian Hadley, Chris Haynes, Nate Herold, John McCombs, Matt Pendleton, Sean Ryan, Keil Schmid, Mike Sutherland, and Kirk Waters. 2011. “New Mapping Tool and Techniques for Visualizing Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts.” In Proceedings of the 2011 Solutions to Coastal Disasters Conference, Anchorage, Alaska, June 26 to June 29, 2011, edited by Louise A. Wallendorf, Chris Jones, Lesley Ewing, and Bob Battalio, 474–90. Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers.
Technical Considerations for Use of Geospatial Data in Sea Level Change Mapping and Assessment
Provides access to a wide range of potential solutions from NOAA and others to assist with planning for sea level change
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service (NOS). 2010. Technical Considerations for Use of Geospatial Data in Sea Level Change Mapping and Assessment. NOAA NOS Technical Report. Silver Spring, MD: NOAA NOS.
Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment
Synthesizes the scientific literature on global sea level rise and provides four global scenarios. The report includes input from national experts in climate science, physical coastal processes, and coastal management. The website includes frequently asked questions about sea level rise scenarios.
"Vertical Accuracy and Use of Topographic Lidar Data in Coastal Marshes"
Describes elevation accuracy issues with lidar data in coastal marsh environments.