Wetland and Aquatic Research Center


Hurricanes are large-scale disturbances of such force and size that their influence on landscape pattern and processes of coastal systems is evident, though still poorly understood. The regularity and severity of tropical storms are major factors controlling ecosystem structure and succession for coastal ecosystems. Hurricane landfall rates vary greatly for given coastal stretches of the southeastern United States. With centers throughout the Southeast U.S. and the Caribbean, our researchers have long been involved in wide-ranging hurricane research efforts, often conducting post-storm assessments to characterize the degree and extent of damage to coastal ecosystem structure. Our scientists don't just conduct the science necessary to understand the effects of hurricanes; our Louisiana researchers helped in rescue efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. To help with rapid response to natural disasters throughout the United States, WARC maintains a Science Response Vehicle (SRV). It is equipped with computers, software, and plotters to provide spatial analyses during and after natural disasters.
Filter Total Items: 14
Date published: June 11, 2018
Status: Active

Collecting Ecological Data and Models of Living Shoreline Restoration Projects

Developing effective living shoreline restoration projects that can withstand hurricanes and storms requires a better understanding of how restoration structures reduce the impact of wave and current energy on marsh edges in estuaries and bays. Without this knowledge, existing living shoreline projects and adaptive management measures are more likely to fail, decreasing the possibility for...

Date published: August 2, 2016
Status: Active

Assessing Coastal Forest Impacts and Resource Management Implications following Hurricane Sandy

Tropical storms and hurricanes wreak havoc with coastal forests where damage can vary with wind speed and approach from isolated treefalls to wide-area blowdowns of whole forests.

Date published: July 20, 2016

Assessment of Wetland Area Change and Shoreline Erosion Due to Hurricane Sandy

Significant damage to coastal communities and surrounding wetlands of the north Atlantic states was caused by Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012, mostly tied to an associated storm surge of record extent and impact.

Date published: June 2, 2016

Natural Resources Assessment of Tribal Lands Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

USGS is committed to meeting the science needs of four Native American Tribes impacted by Hurricane Sandy in New England and New York: the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head - Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard, MA; the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on Cape Cod, MA; the Narragansett Indian Tribe near Charlestown, RI; and the Shinnecock Indian Nation on Long Island.

Contacts: Kathryn Spear
Date published: May 11, 2016

Effect of Hurricane Wrack Deposition on Coastal Marsh Surface Elevation Change

Storm surge waves and tides of hurricanes have the propensity to wash up marsh detritus of dead reeds and leaf debris along with plastic trash and lumber, commonly referred to as wrack, from overwashed beaches, marshes, forests, streets, and lawns.

Date published: May 9, 2016

Promoting USGS Research on Environmental Impacts of a Major Storm – Hurricane Sandy

Support tasks performed by the WARC Advanced Applications Team for Hurricane Sandy-related projects include aerial imagery capture and processing, standards-compliant data formatting and transformation, metadata creation, and visualization of data in a spatial context.

Date published: May 2, 2016
Status: Active

Dendrochronology of Coastal Forests to Evaluate Impacts of Wind and Surge from Hurricane Sandy

The science of dating growth rings and history of live and fossil wood samples is called dendrochronology. This technique is valuable for conducting climate reconstructions where meteorological data is lacking and for detecting past disturbance events such as tropical storms and hurricanes.

Date published: May 2, 2016

Assessing Treefall Patterns and Causal Relations of Wind and Surge from Hurricane Sandy

As tropical storms and hurricanes move onshore and make landfall, wind and storm surge can be sufficiently high to damage built-infrastructure and natural systems, most notably coastal forests at the interface of land and sea.

Date published: May 2, 2016
Status: Active

Aerial Videography Overflights of Forest Cover and Impact from Hurricane Sandy along the Atlantic Coast, USA

High resolution imagery (aerial videography) was obtained of Hurricane Sandy to assess forest damage by documenting disturbed canopy and downed trees. 

Date published: April 12, 2016

Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application

USGS scientists at the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center and other offices received funding for studies related to habitat change, storm surge and ecological modeling, migratory bird impacts, and other topics of interest. The Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application showcases the data and analytical products resulting from these studies.

Date published: April 8, 2016

Predicting the Long-Term Impact of Hurricane Sandy on Spatial Patterns of Wetland Morphology in Salt Marshes of Jamaica Bay, New York

USGS scientists are working with collaborators to understand how Hurricane Sandy impacted wetlands in Jamaica Bay, New York. 

Date published: April 7, 2016

Salinity Intrusion Impacts from Hurricane Sandy in Tidal Freshwater Swamps, Delmarva Peninsula, Mid-Atlantic Coast, USA

When it comes to hurricanes, wind and storm surge effect vegetation differently. USGS anlyzes these differences following Hurricane Sandy to help inform management on storm mitigation and long-term planning.