St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Fire Island Coastal Change research is primarily focused on understanding the long- and short-term behavior of the Fire Island barrier island system. The short-term (seasonal to annual) resiliency of Fire Island is largely dependent on the availability of sand in the nearshore. Longer-term resiliency (decadal to centennial) of the barrier island is largely dependent on the availability of sand on the inner-continental shelf and the processes that govern the transport of sand from the shelf to the beach system. The USGS has had ongoing research activities onshore and offshore of Fire Island since the late 1990s, providing science to help inform management decisions within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore. Recent efforts include substantial response to Hurricane Sandy. Read more in the Overview.
Impacts of Hurricane Sandy
A number of field-based and remote sensing analyses of coastal change were conducted in response to Hurricane Sandy which had substantial impact to the south shore of Long Island coast.
Changes to the beaches and dunes on a variety of time and space scales are quantified to understand how and why changes are occurring and to develop better predictions of future behavior.
Mapping and research have demonstrated that the seabed on the inner continental shelf has a variety of shapes and forms which are linked to the long-term evolution of the barrier island.
Regional scale modeling forecasts how atmospheric forcing and oceanographic circulation cause sand, gravel and other materials to be transported by tides, winds, waves, fresh water fluxes, and density variations along the East Coast of the United States.
Coastal change from Hurricane Sandy and the 2012–13 winter storm season—Fire Island, New York - USGS Open-File Report
Geologic evidence for onshore sediment transport from the inner-continental shelfFire Island, New York - Journal of Coastal Research