Shoreline Sensitivity Rankings List
The following table is a complete list of shoreline classifications for Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps for three types of environmental settings:
- Estuarine: River-mouth; salt- or brackish-water.
- Lacustrine: Related to lakes.
- Riverine: Related to rivers, particularly large rivers.
Lower rankings represent shorelines that are less susceptible to damage by oiling; higher rankings become more likely to experience damage by oiling.
Visit our photo collection, ESI Shoreline Types, to see photos of many of the shoreline types.
|1A||Exposed rocky shores||Exposed rocky shores||Exposed rocky banks|
|1B||Exposed, solid man-made structures||Exposed, solid man-made structures||Exposed, solid man-made structures|
|1C||Exposed rocky cliffs with boulder talus base||Exposed rocky cliffs with boulder talus base||Exposed rocky cliffs with boulder talus base|
|2A||Exposed wave-cut platforms in bedrock, mud, or clay||Shelving bedrock shores||Rocky shoals, bedrock ledges|
|2B||Exposed scarps and steep slopes in clay|
|3A||Fine to medium-grained sand beaches|
|3B||Scarps and steep slopes in sand||Eroding scarps in unconsolidated sediment||Exposed, eroding banks in unconsolidated sediments|
|4||Coarse-grained sand beaches||Sand beaches||Sandy bars and gently sloping banks|
|5||Mixed sand and gravel beaches||Mixed sand and gravel beaches||Mixed sand and gravel bars and gently sloping banks|
Gravel beaches (granules and pebbles)*
|Gravel beaches||Gravel bars and gently sloping banks|
Gravel beaches (cobbles and boulders)*
|7||Exposed tidal flats||Exposed tidal flats|
|8A||Sheltered scarps in bedrock, mud, or clay
Sheltered rocky shores (impermeable)*
|Sheltered scarps in bedrock, mud, or clay|
|8B||Sheltered, solid man-made structures
Sheltered rocky shores (permeable)*
|Sheltered, solid man-made structures||Sheltered, solid man-made structures|
|8C||Sheltered riprap||Sheltered riprap||Sheltered riprap|
|8D||Sheltered rocky rubble shores|
|8F||Vegetated, steeply-sloping bluffs|
|9A||Sheltered tidal flats||Sheltered sand/mud flats|
|9B||Vegetated low banks||Vegetated low banks||Vegetated low banks|
|9||Hypersaline tidal flats|
|10A||Salt- and brackish-water marshes|
|10B||Freshwater marshes||Freshwater marshes||Freshwater marshes|
|10D||Scrub-shrub wetlands; Mangroves**||Scrub-shrub wetlands||Scrub-shrub wetlands|
|10E||Inundated low-lying tundra|
|* A category or definition that applies only in Southeast Alaska.
** In tropical climates, 10D indicates areas of dominant mangrove vegetation.