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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- and Post-Storm Photo Comparisons - Delaware and Maryland

Hurricane Sandy's landfall affected the coastlines over a broad swath of mid-Atlantic and North-eastern states, including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Breaching, overwash and erosion took place on many barrier islands, including some that are heavily populated and developed. The pre- and post-storm photos below were taken over a 65 km (40 miles) stretch of the Delaware and Maryland shorelines. These locations represent a broad range of coastal configurations and their response to the storm. Pre-storm photos were acquired during a baseline survey May 21, 2009 and post-storm photos were acquired November 4-6, 2012.

Location Map
Location Map.

pre- and post-storm photos
Location 1: Oblique aerial photographs of Gordon Pond Wildlife Area, DE. View looking west along the Delaware shore. Storm waves and surge reactivated overwash through what appears to be a previous breach or channel. An overwash fan was deposited in the pond behind the dune. Erosion channels such as these are often reactivated during storm events. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version]

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pre- and post-storm photos
Location 2: Oblique aerial photographs of the Delaware Seashore State Park, DE. View looking west along the Delaware shore. Storm surge and waves eroded the low dunes in this location and deposited the sand on and landward of the road. Just days after the storm, road crews have removed the sand from the road and bulldozed a replacement dune in the approximate location of the original dune. At the left of the image, signs of beach scrapping, bulldozing sand from lower on the beach to create dunes, can also be seen. And, at the bottom of the picture, the shoreline lies on the seaward side of a sand bar that has welded to the post-storm shoreline. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version]

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pre- and post-storm photos
Location 3: Oblique aerial photographs of South Bethany, DE. View looking west along the Delaware shore. Storm waves and surge may have eroded the low dune seen in the upper image (area fenced off and planted with grass). Standing water beneath the houses in the bottom image indicates that a low berm was built in front of the houses. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version]

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pre- and post-storm photos
Location 4: Oblique aerial photographs of Ocean City, MD. View looking north-northwest along the Maryland shore. Storm waves and surge eroded the dunes in this location. A sand bar that is attaching to the shoreline can be seen in the surf, indicating that in the days after a storm, waves and tides moved sand back onto eroded beaches. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version]

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pre- and post-storm photos
Location 5: Oblique aerial photographs of Ocean City, MD. View looking north-northwest along the Maryland shore. Storm waves and surge exposed a groin and reached the seawall along N. Atlantic Ave in Ocean City, MD. A sand bar has emerged from the surf and is welding onto the beach, indicating that, in the days after a storm, waves and tides move sand back onto eroded beaches. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version]

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pre- and post-storm photos
Location 6: Oblique aerial photographs of Assateague Island, MD. View looking northwest along the Maryland shore. Storm waves and surge overtopped the low dunes in this location, and overwash moved sand across the island and into the bay. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version]

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pre- and post-storm photos
Location 7: Oblique aerial photographs of Assateague Island, MD. View looking northwest along the Maryland shore. Storm waves and surge moved sand as overwash over and through low dunes at this location, depositing sand in the parking lot. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version]


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

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