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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Barrier Island and Estuarine Wetland Physical Change Assessment > Research > Hurricane Sandy Wetland Physical Change

Hurricane Sandy Response - Barrier Island and Estuarine Wetland Physical Change Assessment

Hurricane Sandy Wetland Physical Change

Assessing physical shoreline and wetland change (land loss as well as land gains) is critical to determining the resiliency of wetland systems that protect adjacent habitat, shorelines, and communities. The wetland and back-barrier shorelines along Assateague Island, Maryland, experienced substantial change as a result of wave action and storm surge that occurred during Hurricane Sandy, and we will focus on developing an assessment of wetland physical change here.

The first step in creating a future vulnerability assessment of the Assateague Island coastal system is to measure the current extent and character of the interior wetlands and the back-barrier shoreline of the barrier island. Once a baseline of data is established, it will be compared with historical and recent maps, aerial photographs, satellite imagery, and lidar elevation data in order to document physical changes associated with Hurricane Sandy and to provide longer-term context for these changes.

The resulting wetland change analysis will quantify how wetlands and wetland shorelines have changed over the past decade, place the impacts of Hurricane Sandy in historical context, and inform the comprehensive vulnerability assessment and modeling efforts.

Burial of wetlands by overwash deposits along the Virginia coastline
Burial of wetlands by overwash deposits along the Virginia coastline. [larger version]

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Page Last Modified: December 05, 2016 @ 11:24 AM (JSG)