St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
USGS forecasts of coastal change from hurricanes provide critical information used to identify areas vulnerable to extreme, and potentially catastrophic, erosion during landfall. Using post-Sandy lidar elevation data, this project will update assessments of storm-induced coastal erosion hazards for Northeast beaches. Proposed and alternative rebuilding efforts (such as dune restoration) can be included in vulnerability assessments to evaluate efficacy. Additionally, National Climate Assessment scenarios for future sea level rise will be incorporated to examine corresponding changes in vulnerability. Updated assessments and GIS data layers will be made available to users through various online systems, such as the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal, NOAA's Digital Coast, and data.gov.
Extensive data sets on beach morphology and storm hydrodynamics will be used to identify the type of coastal change that occured and to verify the accuracy of the pre-landfall predictions of coastal change (figure). The data from Hurricane Sandy, as well as from past storms, will be used to improve the accuracy of the coastal change forecasts. Improvements may include the prediction of magnitudes of erosion and the inland extent of overwash, as well as the effects of vegetation and the built environment on storm response. Social, economic, and infrastructure/critical facility elements will be added to assessments to facilitate dialogue on societal vulnerability and decision-making in order to reduce risk.