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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards > Hurricane Sandy

National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards

Hurricane Sandy

Pre-Storm and Post-Storm 3D Lidar Topography: New Jersey

The USGS acquired an airborne lidar survey of post-storm topography from the New Jersey coast on November 1, 2012, to measure coastal change resulting from Hurricane Sandy. These post-storm data were collected using the U.S. Geological Survey's second generation Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL-B). The post-storm elevation data were compared to lidar data collected on October 26, 2012, prior to Sandy's landfall, again using the EAARL-B system. These comparisons are used to characterize the nature, magnitude, and spatial variability of hurricane-induced coastal changes, such as beach erosion, overwash deposition, and island breaching.

Location Map
New Jersey Index Map. Click on the yellow highlighted numbers to see maps of that location. The numbers correspond to the pre- and post-storm photograph comparisons. In the inset map, the green line is Hurricane Sandy's track and the red line indicates the shoreline where post-storm airborne lidar data were collected post Hurricane Sandy.

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. The location numbers correspond to the photo pair comparisons. The maps are oriented with the Atlantic Ocean on the bottom.



Location 1. Long Branch, NJ. (below) Storm surge, waves and currents eroded the beach at this location. The erosion exposed several types of erosion control structures, such as rock walls, concrete walls and groins. For pre- and post-storm images of this location, see New Jersey Location 1.

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Long Branch, New Jersey
    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Long Branch, New Jersey
    Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Long Branch, New Jersey



Location 2. Deal, NJ. (below) At center-left, a rock wall had been built behind the beach and in front of an open field. At center-right, a line of dunes had been built behind the beach and in front of two clusters of buildings. The rock wall survived the storm surge and wave runup but the land behind it was eroded, creating a large scarp. The line of constructed dunes was washed away. For pre- and post-storm images of this location, see New Jersey Location 2.

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Deal, New Jersey
    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Deal, New Jersey
    Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Deal, New Jersey



Location 3: Mantoloking, NJ. (below) At this location, storm surge and waves eroded the beach and dunes and a breach cut through the approximately 250 meter wide island, destroying houses and roads. Overwash deposition occurred in many areas. Note that the lidar survey was conducted immediately after the storm before the breach had been filled, whereas the photo survey was conducted a few days later after the breach was filled. For pre- and post-storm images of this location, see New Jersey Location 3.

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Mantoloking, New Jersey
    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Mantoloking, New Jersey
    Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Mantoloking, New Jersey



Location 4: Mantoloking, NJ. (below) Lightly vegetated dunes, segmented by pathways, existed at this location prior to Hurricane Sandy. Storm surge and waves overwashed the dunes, flattening them and destroying many buildings behind them. Overwash deposits remained on roads and between houses. For pre- and post-storm images of this location, see New Jersey Location 4.

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Mantoloking, New Jersey
    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Mantoloking, New Jersey
    Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Mantoloking, New Jersey



Location 5: Seaside Heights, NJ. (below) Storm surge and waves eroded the beach, overwashed the dunes, and deposited sand on the island. The boardwalk, which had been built on the dunes, and several buildings were destroyed. The line of dark green features, indicating higher elevations in the Post Sandy image, shows the remnants of the boardwalk. For pre- and post-storm images of this location, see New Jersey Location 5.

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Seaside Heights, New Jersey
    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Seaside Heights, New Jersey
    Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Seaside Heights, New Jersey



Location 6: Seaside Heights Pier, NJ. (below) The beach was eroded and sand deposited on the island at this location. The pier was damaged and storm debris collected on the beach on the north-side of the pier. For pre- and post-storm images of this location, see New Jersey Location 6.

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Seaside Heights Pier, New Jersey
    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Seaside Heights Pier, New Jersey
    Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Seaside Heights Pier, New Jersey



Location 7: Island Beach State Park, NJ. (below) The beach and the seaward facing side of the dunes were eroded in this lightly developed park area. Storm surge and waves deposited sand behind the first line of dunes and sand covered part of the parking lot.For pre- and post-storm images of this location, see New Jersey Location 7.

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Island Beach State Park, New Jersesy
    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Island Beach State Park, New Jersesy
    Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Island Beach State Park, New Jersesy



Location 8: Brigantine, NJ. (below) This area consists of a developed area on the left and an undeveloped area on the right. The beach in front of the seawall on the developed side was eroded and storm surge and waves overwashed the seawall depositing sand on the island. On the undeveloped side, the seaward side of the dunes and the beach were eroded resulting in a flatter and wider beach. For pre- and post-storm images of this location, see New Jersey Location 8.

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Brigantine, New Jersey
    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Brigantine, New Jersey
    Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Brigantine, New Jersey



Location 9: Stone Harbor Point, NJ. (below) On the right side of the image, north of the groin, the beach and seaward facing edge of the dunes were eroded, showing a typical example of the collision regime. On the left, south of the groin, the beach was flattened and widened by storm surge and waves overwashing the area. For pre- and post-storm images of this location, see New Jersey Location 9.

Pre-Storm Elevation
pre-storm elevation for Stone Harbor Point, New Jersey
    Post-Storm Elevation
post-storm elevation for Stone Harbor Point, New Jersey
    Elevation Difference
elevation difference for Stone Harbor Point, New Jersey



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.


St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards > Hurricane Sandy

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