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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

Vulnerability of National Park Service Beaches to Inundation During a Direct Hurricane Landfall: Cape Lookout National Seashore

map showing potential inundation of the beach system at Cape Lookout National Seashore

The potential inundation, I, of the beach system at Cape Lookout NS for Saffir-Simpson Category 1-5 hurricanes is defined as the difference between the elevation of the hurricane-induced mean water level (storm surge), Rlow, and the elevation of the seaward-most sand dune, Dhigh. Negative values (blues) indicate that water levels are predicted to be lower than the dune crest and that a particular section of beach is not likely to be inundated during the direct landfall of a hurricane. Positive values (reds) indicate that modeled storm surge exceeds the elevation of the dune crest, suggesting that the beach system is more vulnerable to inundation and the associated extreme coastal changes.


  • USGS Open-File Report 2007-1376
  • Map products:
  • Supporting files (95.5 MB zip) contains:
    • ArcGIS Shapefiles
      • Sep 1997 mean-high-water shoreline position
      • Oct 2005 mean-high-water shoreline position
      • Oct 2005 dune crest position and elevation
      • Oct 2005 dune toe position and elevation
      • SLOSH-model surge values at the shoreline (category 1-5 hurricanes)
      • Inundation potential (category 1-5 hurricanes)
      • Short-term shoreline change and change rate (1997-2005)
      • 2005/2006 island width
    • Oct 2005 DEM (raster files)
    • ArcGIS Map Document (xml)
  • Metadata (51 KB zip)

NOTE: You will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer to view and print the PDF maps.

Related links:

Cape Lookout National Seashore
National Park Service

Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms

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