Hurricane Sandy - Impacts to and Vulnerability of Coastal Beaches

Dates 2014-10-01 to 2015-09-30
Description Develop coastal impact forecast models: USGS predictions of coastal change from hurricanes provide critical information to identify areas vulnerable to extreme, and potentially catastrophic, erosion during landfall. Using post-Sandy LiDAR elevation data and forecasts of waves and surge, the USGS will provide updated vulnerability assessments of Northeast beaches to future impacts from “model” storms. 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. The USGS will make updated assessments and GIS data layers widely available to users through various online systems, such as the USGS Coastal Change Hazards portal, NOAA’s Digital Coast, and The post-Sandy LiDAR data will also be used to update historic rates of shoreline retreat and to quantify the impact of the storm on the beaches in the region, including magnitudes of shoreline, dune, and beach erosion. These analyses will also be used to identify the type of coastal change and to verify the accuracy of the pre-landfall predictions of coastal change (figure). The data from Sandy and past storms will be used to improve the accuracy and impact 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 the built environment on storm response. Social, economic, and infrastructure/critical facility elements will be added to assessments to facilitate dialogue on societal risk and decision-making to reduce risk.
Status Inactive
Center USGS, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center