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Visualizing Sea Level Rise

Find information on this topic from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) StormSmart Coasts Program.

Visualization tools can be used to improve understanding of potential impacts from sea level rise and assist planning efforts in coastal communities. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) developed inundation data layers to enable coastal communities to visualize mean higher high water (i.e., the average height of daily highest tides) with sea level rise. These layers are available on NOAA’s Sea Level Rise Viewer and CZM’s Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Viewer.

The data layers are also available in the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS)which allows users to create, share, and print maps and interactively view the data with other information, such as aerial photographs, assessor maps, public facilities and infrastructure locations, and natural resource areas. The data layers in MORIS show current mean higher high water plus one-foot increments of sea level rise up to six feet. To view the sea level rise inundation scenarios in MORIS, launch the MORIS Data Viewer and then enter “NOAA Sea Level Rise” in the search box and “ADD” the inundation and uncertainty layers to the map.

NOAA sea level rise layers are not available for download in MORIS. Datasets for use in desktop GIS, including inundation uncertainty and social vulnerability, are available for download on the NOAA Digital Coast Sea Level Rise Inundation web page

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