The entire Washington State ShoreZone Inventory is comprised of the linear features in this data (szline.shp) and an associated tabular data file (xshrline.dbf) as well as polygon features (szpoly.shp), point features (szpt.shp) and their associated tabular data files (xshrpoly.dbf and xshrpt.dbf). The point data file szlnend.shp contains the endpoints for each shoreline unit.
The overall ShoreZone Inventory dataset is an inventory of Washington State's saltwater shorelines conducted between 1994 and 2000 using the ShoreZone Mapping System. Physical and biological resources are described, along with information on the inventory data collection. The majority of the ShoreZone spatial data is line data, with some polygons and points. The inventory divides the shoreline into homogenous physical segments, the average linear segment length is 0.5 miles (0.8 km). Each spatial unit record has many corresponding tabular across-shore component records that describe the unit in more detail.
The ShoreZone Inventory systematically characterizes shoreline morphology, substrate, wave exposure and biota. The inventory divides the shoreline into homogenous stretches called units. Within each unit, the shoreline is further divided into a series of across-shore components. Units are usually represented spatially by line segments, but can be polygons or points. Information on the unit and on its components is recorded in tables. These tables are then linked to spatial data, allowing a wide range of feature information to be illustrated on maps or analyzed numerically.
Inventory information was collected from a helicopter during low tides. Video imagery of the shoreline was recorded, along with locational information (GPS). From the helicopter a geomorphologist and a marine ecologist recorded continuous commentary on the physical and biological features along the shoreline. Following the survey,the videotapes were taken back to the office for interpretation and classification. The geomorphologist divided the shoreline into units on orthophoto maps and described each unit. Next the marine ecologist added information on the living resources in each unit.
Features such as eroding cliffs, sand and gravel beaches, sandflats and wetlands are some of geomorphic forms mapped. Visible macrobiotic, such as wetland grasses, intertidal algae, and subtidal vegetation such as eelgrass or kelp, are also mapped.
The accuracy of ShoreZone attributes has not been quantified.