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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms > Hurricane Gustav

Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms

Hurricane Gustav

Pre- and Post-Storm Photo Comparisons - Chandeleur Islands, LA

The Chandeleur Islands form the eastern flank of Louisiana and have historically eroded landward about 12 m/yr. Past hurricanes, such as Camille in 1969, have breached the islands in many places. After each storm, the islands have recovered, at least to some extent, and many of the breaches have closed. During Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005), however, the island lost 85% of its surface area in a few hours and has struggled afterwards to rebuild naturally. In the three years since the storm, over 50% of the shore has continued to erode. Hurricane Gustav (September 1, 2008) appears to have setback any recovery to the islands even further, by waves overwashing sand landward and attacking the marsh platforms on which the beach and dunes of the Chandeleurs are built. The amount of change appears qualitatively greater than what occurred along the central coast much closer to landfall. The amount of change will be quantified with before and after surveys with airborne lidar.

Location MapLocation 6Location 5Location 4
Location Map. Green line represents storm track.

pre- and post-storm photos for location 4.
Location 4: Oblique aerial photography of the Chandeleur Islands, LA, from July 17, 2001 (top left); August 31, 2005, two days after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina (top right); June 24, 2008 (bottom left); and September 4, 2008, three days after the landfall of Hurricane Gustav (bottom right). Yellow cross-hairs indicate a common reference location within the images. [larger version]

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pre- and post-storm photos for location 5.
Location 5: Oblique aerial photography of the Chandeleur Islands, LA, from July 17, 2001 (top left); August 31, 2005, two days after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina (top right); June 24, 2008 (bottom left); and September 4, 2008, three days after the landfall of Hurricane Gustav (bottom right). Yellow cross-hairs indicate a common reference location within the images. [larger version]

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pre- and post-storm photos for location 6.
Location 6: Oblique aerial photography of the Chandeleur Islands, LA, from July 17, 2001 (top left); August 31, 2005, two days after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina (top right); June 24, 2008 (bottom left); and September 4, 2008, three days after the landfall of Hurricane Gustav (bottom right). Yellow cross-hairs indicate a common reference location within the images. [larger version]

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Related links:

Hurricane Gustav: Observations and Analysis of Coastal Change - Open-File Report 2009-1279
USGS

Gulf Coast Impacts of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike Documented by USGS Extreme-Storms Group
Sound Waves article

St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms > Hurricane Gustav

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