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Corner of tabBeaches and Coastal Systems Quick Topics

Historic Shoreline Database

File Information

The Historic Shoreline Database contains many directories of related types of information about beach changes in Florida over the past 150 or so years. The main focus of the database is on historic mean high water (mhw) locations from field profile surveys and historic digitized maps. 

Software can be obtained at the following web sites: (links open in a separate window.)

  • Shareware programs Winzip or pkunzip  can be used to unzip files.
  • Software that can be used to view or print Autocad DWG or DXF documents.
  • Viewers can convert a pdf file to html through Adobe.

Historic Shoreline Data

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The table below describes what is contained in the database folders and provides links to these folders.
Clicking on a link below will open a separate window.  


Dataset Description
Historic Shoreline Information Viewing this information is recommended in order to help understand the Historic Shoreline Database.
Historic Shoreline Drawings Historic Shoreline map images. The drawings are in AutoCad DWG format. The maps range from the mid 1800's to the late 1970's or early 1980's. Copies exist in the State Plane 1983/90 horizontal datum.
Historic Map Source Bibliography Map bibliography for each county in the Historic Shoreline Database. Bibliography includes the digitized historic source map titles, dates, coordinates and scales.
Mean High Water (MHW) Files Distances from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) monuments to the mean high water, versus time. MHW positions have been and continue to be extracted from DEP beach profile surveys and added to the tables. Earlier copies exist in the State Plane 1983/90 and 1927/79 horizontal datums, and NGVD 1929 and NAVD 1990 vertical datums. New data are being added only in the more recent datums.
Profile Data Beach profile data from which MHW data have been extracted and added into the MHW tables. Survey data is in standard DEP format, explained in the pformat.txt file. Earlier copies exist in the State Plane 1983/90 and 1927/79 horizontal datums, and NGVD 1929 and NAVD 1990 vertical datums. New data are being added only in the more recent datums. The offshore portions of the profiles from wading depth seaward have generally not been checked specifically by quality control engineers.
Distance Versus Time Plots Plots by monument range also known as "stack" plots because up to 8 plots are stacked onto one graph page. Pages can be connected end to end to see the pattern of MHW changes over TIME in large regions.
Reports Papers concerning many topics are available.
Click on Profiles Cross section plots of beach profiles over time in click-on viewable and printable PDF format. Available by county, plot combination, range number and page.
Bathymaps Historic bathymetry images in AutoCad DWG format. An ASCII layer list for the drawing and an ASCII data table is also found in each archived file. Copies in the State Plane 1983/90 horizontal datum are included.

More Information

For more information concerning the Historic Shoreline Database, please e-mail  Libbie McDearmid. Phone numbers for both can be found on our Staff Contacts page.

Historic Shoreline Data

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Staff Contacts

More Information

Coastal Surveying & Mapping Links


Last updated: July 21, 2016

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