Hurricane Ike Pre- and Post-Storm 3D Lidar Topography

Hurricane Ike made landfall as Category 2 hurricane near Galveston, Texas, on September 13, 2008. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hurricanes and Extreme Storms Group is investigating coastal change caused by Hurricane Ike.

Aerial video, still photography, and laser altimetry surveys of post-storm beach conditions will be collected, as soon as weather allows, for comparison with earlier data. The comparisons will show the nature, magnitude, and spatial variability of coastal changes such as beach erosion, overwash deposition, and island breaching. These data will also be used to further refine predictive models of coastal impacts from severe storms. The data will be made available to local, state, and federal agencies to aid post-storm disaster recovery and future erosion mitigation.

Response Activities

Pre-landfall

Post-landfall (approx. 3-5 days)

Post-landfall (approx. 2 weeks)

One of the goals of the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program is a national assessment of coastal change hazards. Hurricanes provide a powerful force that generates dangerous waves and currents capable of moving large amounts of sand, destroying buildings and infrastructure, and reshaping our nation’s coastline.  Our research focuses on understanding the magnitude and variability of the impacts of hurricanes and extreme storms on the sandy beaches of the United States. The overall objective is to improve the capability to predict coastal change that results from severe storms. Such a capability will support management of coastal infrastructure, resources, and safety

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