American Society of Civil Engineers


Quantifying Hurricane-Induced Coastal Changes Using Topographic Lidar


by Asbury H. Sallenger, Jr., (Center for Coastal Geology, US Geological Survey, 600 4th St. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 E-mail: asallenger@usgs.gov), William Krabill, (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA 23337 E-mail: krabill@osb1.wff.nasa.gov), Robert Swift, (EG&G, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA 23337 E-mail: swift@aol5.wff.nasa.gov), and John Brock, (Center for Coastal Geology, US Geological Survey, 600 4th St. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 E-mail: jbrock@usgs.gov)

pp. 1007-1016, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/40566(260)103)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Coastal Dynamics ’01
Abstract: USGS and NASA are investigating the impacts of hurricanes on the United States East and Gulf of Mexico coasts with the ultimate objective of improving predictive capabilities. The cornerstone of our effort is to use topographic lidar to acquire pre- and post-storm topography to quantify changes to beaches and dunes. With its rapidity of acquisition and very high density, lidar is revolutionizing the. quantification of storm-induced coastal change. Lidar surveys have been acquired for the East and Gulf coasts to serve as pre-storm baselines. Within a few days of a hurricane landfall anywhere within the study area, the impacted area will be resurveyed to detect changes. For example, during 1999, Hurricane Dennis impacted the northern North Carolina coast. Along a 70-km length of coast between Cape Hatteras and Oregon Inlet, there was large variability in the types of impacts including overwash, dune erosion, dune stability, and even accretion at the base of dunes. These types of impacts were arranged in coherent patterns that repeated along the coast over scales of tens of kilometers. Preliminary results suggest the variability is related to the influence of offshore shoals that induce longshore gradients in wave energy by wave refraction.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Hurricanes
Radar
Shoreline changes
Gulf of Mexico
Topographic surveys