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

Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms

Hurricane Sandy

Pre-Storm and Post-Storm 3D Lidar Topography: Fire Island, NY

The USGS acquired an airborne lidar survey of post-storm topography of Fire Island on November 5, 2012, to measure coastal change resulting from Hurricane Sandy. Comparisons of the post-storm elevation data to lidar data collected prior to Sandy's landfall are used to characterize the nature, magnitude, and spatial variability of hurricane-induced coastal changes, such as beach erosion, overwash deposition, and island breaching. These measurements complement field-based observations of coastal change that were collected immediately prior to and three days after landfall.

Location Map
Location index for pre-storm and post-storm lidar elevations on Fire Island, NY. Each highlighted location includes pre- and post-storm topography as well as topographic change. The green line shows Hurricane Sandy's track. Red patches indicate locations included in the post-storm airborne lidar survey.

Below are pre-storm elevation maps, post-storm elevation maps, and elevation difference maps at each highlighted location. In the pre- and post-storm elevation maps, orange and red colors indicate higher elevations while yellow and green colors indicate lower elevations. In the elevation difference maps, red colors indicate erosion such as shoreline retreat, and blue-green colors indicate accretion, such as overwash deposits where waves and surge have moved sand landward. Location numbers are consistent with those from the photo pair comparison and maps are oriented with the Atlantic Ocean on the bottom.

Location 3

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Pelican Island and Fire Island, New York

    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Pelican Island and Fire Island, New York

Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Pelican Island and Fire Island, New York
 
Location 3: Pelican Island and Fire Island, New York.
This location is within Fire Island National Seashore near Old Inlet—a very narrow portion of the island that has experienced breaching in previous large storms. The island breached during Sandy, creating a new inlet, eroding the beach and cutting through 4-m high dunes. (see New York photo pair Location 3)

Location 4

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island, New York

    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island, New York

Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island, New York
 
Location 4: Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island, New York.
Extensive erosion occurred here, removing sand from a 50-m wide swath of the beach and dunes. Overwash from the beach and narrow dunes carried sand inland towards the interior and bayside of the island, and numerous houses were destroyed or severely damaged. (see New York photo pair Location 4)

Note: The results presented here are considered preliminary and have not been thoroughly reviewed or edited. They are based on preliminary data that may be updated as the survey accuracy improves in future processing steps such as application of the precise ephemeris for GPS satellites, offset checks using ground control surveys, checks for laser calibration and mounting errors, and full application of data quality control, assurance and editing procedures.


Publications:

Coastal Topography–Northeast Atlantic Coast, Post-Hurricane Sandy, 2012 - USGS Data Series 765
USGS

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

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Page Last Modified: April 15, 2014 01:01 PM (JSG)

Location 3 Location 4