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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms > Nor'Ida

Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms

Nor'Ida

Pre- and Post-Storm Photo Comparisons - North Carolina

Location Map Location 8 Location 7 Location 6 Location 2 Location 4 Location 3 Location 5 Location 1
Location map for North Carolina before/after photographs.

The high dune at this location showed minimal scarping, indicating that dune erosion here was not extreme.
Location 1: Oblique aerial photography from Duck, NC on May 6, 2008 (top) and December 4, 2009 (bottom), roughly two weeks after the storm. The high dune at this location showed minimal scarping, indicating that dune erosion here was not extreme. It is interesting, but perhaps coincidental, that the beach width in the center of the photograph appears greater in 2009 than in 2008. [larger version]

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Overwash is indicated in the center of the photograph by sand deposited in the parking lot. On the left (south) side of the photograph it appears that the dune was eroded but not significantly overwashed.
Location 2: Oblique aerial photography from Avalon Fishing Pier, Kill Devil Hills, NC on May 6, 2008 (top) and December 4, 2009 (bottom), roughly two weeks after the storm. The yellow arrows point to the same location in each photograph. Overwash is indicated in the center of the photograph by sand deposited in the parking lot. On the left (south) side of the photograph it appears that the dune was eroded but not significantly overwashed. In the pre-storm photo, fences have been placed on the seaward face of the dune in an apparent attempt to capture sand and build the dune higher and broader. [larger version]

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Here the beach width has decreased in front of the dune and the dune has been attacked by waves and scarped, leaving a near vertical face.
Location 3: Oblique aerial photography from Nags Head, NC on May 6, 2008 (top) and December 4, 2009 (bottom), roughly two weeks after the storm. The yellow arrows point to the same location in each photograph. These images show the formation of a localized erosional feature (center of post-storm photo). Here the beach width has decreased in front of the dune and the dune has been attacked by waves and scarped, leaving a near vertical face. The storm impact was much less to the immediate north or south. Note the abundant sand fencing just seaward of the vegetation line in the 2008 photograph, indicating efforts to trap sand and encourage dune growth. [larger version]

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in the post-storm photograph, note (1) the dune erosion around the base of the southernmost house; (2) the road perpendicular to the beach has been undermined and has retreated to the approximate location of the orange truck in the 2008 photo; (3) the driveway that has been undermined and has lost pavement ; (4) a large pile of overwashed sand one block back from the beach that was likely cleared from the road; (5) the deterioration of the sand bag structure protecting oceanfront houses; (6) the change in exposed length of pilings on the house on the left (south) and the collapsed house on the right indicating undermining by erosion; (7) the significant erosional scarp located behind two oceanfront houses
Location 4: Oblique aerial photography from Bodie Island (South Nags Head), NC on May 6, 2008 (top) and December 4, 2009 (bottom), roughly two weeks after the storm. The yellow arrows point to the same location in each photograph. Working from left to right (south to north) in the post-storm photograph, note (1) the dune erosion around the base of the southernmost house; (2) the road perpendicular to the beach has been undermined and has retreated to the approximate location of the orange truck in the 2008 photo; (3) the driveway that has been undermined and has lost pavement ; (4) a large pile of overwashed sand one block back from the beach that was likely cleared from the road; (5) the deterioration of the sand bag structure protecting oceanfront houses; (6) the change in exposed length of pilings on the house on the left (south) and the collapsed house on the right indicating undermining by erosion; (7) the significant erosional scarp located behind two oceanfront houses. [larger version]

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This location has experienced severe erosion.
Location 5: Oblique aerial photography from the Pea Island NWR Ranger Office, NC on May 6, 2008 (top) and December 4, 2009 (bottom), roughly two weeks after the storm. The yellow arrows point to the same location in each photograph. This location has experienced severe erosion. The low dunes (vegetated areas) between the infrastructure and the beach have been entirely eroded and the parking lot appears to have been reduced in size by roughly half. Overwash deposits are clearly defined (e.g. see the sandy areas covering, or replacing, vegetation). [larger version]

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During Nor’Ida, the road overwashed just to the north of the last houses.
Location 6: Oblique aerial photography looking north from Rodanthe, NC on September 21, 2003 immediately after Hurricane Isabel (top) and December 4, 2009 (bottom), roughly two weeks after the storm. The yellow arrows point to the same location in each photograph. Hurricane Isabel caused more extensive overwash of the roadway. During Nor’Ida, the road overwashed just to the north of the last houses. Note the revegetation of the 2003 overwash deposits near the arrows. [larger version]

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The left side of the post-storm photograph shows significant scarping of the dune/construction surface with large sand bags that had been barely visible in 2008 now strewn about on the beach. The north (right) half of the frame suggests that a subtle longshore shift of sediment may have created a wide protective beach just in front of the arrow. It appears the wider beach served to protect the inland construction in that narrow zone.
Location 7: Oblique aerial photography from Buxton, NC on May 6, 2008 (top) and December 4, 2009 (bottom), roughly two weeks after the storm. The yellow arrows point to the same location in each photograph. The left side of the post-storm photograph shows significant scarping of the dune/construction surface with large sand bags that had been barely visible in 2008 now strewn about on the beach. The north (right) half of the frame suggests that a subtle longshore shift of sediment may have created a wide protective beach just in front of the arrow. It appears the wider beach served to protect the inland construction in that narrow zone. [larger version]

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The inlet formed during Isabel was filled, and a protective dune was constructed in front of the new road. This structure helped to protect the road during Nor’Ida.
Location 8: Oblique aerial photography looking north along Hatteras Island, NC on September 21, 2003 (left, after hurricane Isabel), May 6, 2008 (middle) and December 4, 2009 (right), roughly two weeks after the storm. The yellow arrows point to the same location in each photograph. The inlet formed during Isabel was filled, and a protective dune was constructed in front of the new road. This structure helped to protect the road during Nor’Ida. [larger version]

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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms > Nor'Ida

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