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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

Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms

A photograph of undeveloped Hackberry Beach shows widespread flooding of the marshes four days after Hurricane Rita made landfall Hurricane Rita caused extensive erosion of marshes in western Lousiana. A photograph of undeveloped Hackberry Beach shows widespread flooding of the marshes four days after the storm's September 24, 2005 landfall. [larger version]

Storm-Induced Coastal Change

Marsh Erosion

Marsh erosion occurs along wetlands coastlines that are exposed to the open ocean and wide bays. Storm-induced waves and currents erode the muddy wetlands soil, causing these fragile coastlines to erode significantly, often transforming land area into open water. One recent example of marsh erosion is the loss of over a hundred square miles of land during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 (Barras and Johnson, 2006).

For more information about marsh erosion, visit the website of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center.

Barras, J. and J.B. Johnston, 2006. USGS reports latest land-water changes for southeastern Louisiana, USGS Fact Sheet (pdf version available online).

return to Coastal Change Overview | continue to: Storm Impact Scale Overview


Related links:

National Wetlands Research Center
USGS


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

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