USGS responses to and studies of the hazards and impact of major hurricanes, tsunamis, and El Nino storms. Includes links to oblique aerial photography and LIDAR surveys recording coastal changes and other effects of storms and waves.
Severe flooding occurred in northern Maine from April 28 to May 1, 2008, and damage was extensive in the town. Aroostook County was declared a Federal disaster area. Our flood inundation maps were out of date, so we have updated them; this explains how.
Airborne scanning laser surveys (LIDAR) are used to obtaining data to investigate the magnitude and causes of coastal changes that occur during severe storms. Links to examples of coastal mapping during specific hurricanes.
Landscapes of interwoven wetlands and uplands offer a rich set of ecosystem goods and services. Changes in climate and land use can affect the value of those services. We study these areas to understand how they may be changing.
Will salt marshes survive if sea level rises quickly? The answer depends on whether the areas surrounding them can allow salt marsh fauna and flora to migrate there. Local topography, both natural and manmade, is the main factor limiting this migration.
We combine long-term records from aerial photographs, detailed mapping using survey-grade GPS, and ground-based lidar with meteorological monitoring. Sand dune migration rates are currently about 35 meters per year.