Tag Archives: Washington coast

Map of sea level predictions can assist waterfront owners

A sophisticated analysis of sea-level rise in Puget Sound and along the Washington Coast offers shoreline residents and land-use planners a new map-based tool to assess potential flood hazards for the coming years.

Click on map to access online interactive map
Map: Washington Coastal Hazards Resilience Network

Sea-level rise depends on two factors: how fast the oceans rise and the rate of vertical land shifts. Uplift, such as what occurs along the Washington Coast, slows the rate of sea-level rise relative to waterfront property. Subsidence, which occurs in Central Puget Sound, results in elevated tides sooner than in stable or uplifting areas. One map on this page shows the measured uplift and subsidence and another shows the uncertainty in that measurement.

Ian Miller, a coastal hazards specialist at Washington Sea Grant, has worked on studies that describe sea-level rise in Island County and on the Olympic Peninsula. The new report, titled “Projected Sea Level Rise for Washington State” (PDF 10.4 mb) goes well beyond what he and his colleagues have done before. It takes a more detailed look at where the land is uplifting and subsiding, according to Miller, the lead author on the new report that involves work by scientists at Sea Grant and the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group.

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Amusing Monday: Virtual trips to the beach

Only a few us have traveled to London to see the Olympics, and I am not among them. But we can still enjoy our favorite sports by way of television and some incredible technology. In the same way, we can take a virtual tour of London with Google’s Street View.

I know it’s not the same thing, but I remain fascinated by the imaginary sight-seeing trips anyone can take by computer to many places throughout the world.

In a moment, I’ll tell you about a virtual trip you can take to the Washington and Oregon coasts along with some great scenic tours of Hawaii.

First, a website called “British Beaches” will transport you to the vicinity of nearly any beach you want to see in Great Britain. There are so many beaches on the list that I didn’t even try to count them all. Some of the Street View locations are closer than others.

The Street View image on this page shows police officers taking a break at a beach in Moughna, County Claire, Ireland. View larger map

To travel by Street View, first click on the site “British Beaches,” then choose an area: Channel Islands, England, Ireland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. After picking a county or region, you can choose a beach. Or you can do what I do: just randomly jump around.

Once you click on the name of a beach, you’ll get basic information about the beach — including environmental features, activities and transportation. But the fun part is exploring by clicking on “Google Map/Street View.” From the map, choose a location, drag the little man over to any spot in blue and then drop him into place. Suddenly, you are there.

If you are not familiar with Street View, you need to know that you can turn in any direction by using the little wheel in the corner. You can virtually “drive” down the roads shown in blue as you look for something interesting. To get back to the map, click the “X” in the upper right corner.

Google, which celebrated five years of Street View in May, has set up a series of slide shows with Street View showing different places in the world. Check out “Scenic Hawaii,” which includes many wonderful beaches.

Street View also has taken pictures of many communities along the Washington and Oregon coasts. But if you want to be there NOW in real time, check out the website by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which shows you live pictures of several beaches along with the local weather forecast. It’s a great way to get an idea of what you might run into before you go — though we all know the weather can change rapidly.

Waimea Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. (Click on image to visit site.) / Street View Gallery