Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2023-313
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2023-313
28 Nov 2023
 | 28 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Global Coastal Characteristics (GCC): A global dataset of geophysical, hydrodynamic, and socioeconomic coastal indicators

Panagiotis Athanasiou, Ap van Dongeren, Maarten Pronk, Alessio Giardino, Michalis Vousdoukas, and Roshanka Ranasinghe

Abstract. Around 10 percent of the world's population live in coastal areas that are less than 10 meters above sea level (also known as the low elevation coastal zone – LECZ). Coastal zones are therefore of major importance for local economy, transport and are home to some of the richest ecosystems. This makes coastal zones quite susceptible to extreme storms and sea level rise due to climate change. During the last few years numerous open access global datasets have been published, describing different aspects of the environment such as elevation, land-use, waves, water-levels and exposure. However, for coastal studies it is crucial that this information is available at specific coastal locations and, for regional studies or upscaling purposes, it is also important that data is provided in a spatially consistent manner. Here we create a Global database of Coastal Characteristics (GCC) with 80 indicators covering the geophysical, hydrometeorological and socioeconomic environment, at a high alongshore resolution of 1 km and provided at ~730,000 points along the global ice-free coastline. To achieve this, we use the latest freely available global datasets and a newly created global high-resolution transect system. The geophysical indicators include coastal slopes and elevation maxima, land-use, presence of vegetation or sandy beaches. The hydro-meteorological indicators involve water level, wave conditions and meteorological conditions (rain and temperature). Additionally, socioeconomic indices related to population, GDP and presence of critical infrastructure (roads, railways, ports and airports) are presented. While derived from existing global datasets, these indicators can be valuable for coastal screening studies, especially for data-poor locations.

Panagiotis Athanasiou, Ap van Dongeren, Maarten Pronk, Alessio Giardino, Michalis Vousdoukas, and Roshanka Ranasinghe

Status: open (until 27 Mar 2024)

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Panagiotis Athanasiou, Ap van Dongeren, Maarten Pronk, Alessio Giardino, Michalis Vousdoukas, and Roshanka Ranasinghe

Data sets

Global Coastal Characteristics (GCC): A global dataset of geophysical, hydrodynamic, and socioeconomic coastal indicators Panagiotis Athanasiou https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8200200

Panagiotis Athanasiou, Ap van Dongeren, Maarten Pronk, Alessio Giardino, Michalis Vousdoukas, and Roshanka Ranasinghe

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Latest update: 04 Mar 2024
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Short summary
The shape of the coast, the intensity of waves, the height of the water levels, the presence of people or critical infrastructure and the land use are important information to assess the vulnerability of the coast to coastal hazards. Here we provide 80 indicators of this kind, at consistent locations along the global ice-free coastline using open-access global datasets. These can be valuable for quick assessments of the vulnerability of the coast and at data-poor locations.
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