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

Science Center Objects

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.

Satellite view of Hurricane Sandy
Satellite view of Hurricane Sandy

The Science Issue and Relevance: During the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, the eye of Hurricane Sandy made landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey. Its effects were felt in 24 states across the eastern seaboard and as far west as Wisconsin and Michigan, with total damages ranked second in U.S. history behind Hurricane Katrina. The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 provided nearly $800 million to the Department of the Interior for focusing on restoration and resiliency building in the impacted region. USGS scientists at the USGS 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 USGS Advanced Applications Team is working to support these studies through data management, processing, and visualization, and to promote USGS science to fellow researchers and the general public.

Methodology for Addressing the Issue: Support tasks performed by the 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. The centerpiece of our efforts is the Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application, a web map showcasing the data and analytical products resulting from more than a dozen studies. Map layers relate to projects addressing topics from environmental contaminants and soil core sampling to storm surge and impacts to vegetation and wildlife. The application provides descriptive information about each project; links to publicly available data, reports, and metadata; and contact information for those USGS scientists leading the project.

Hurricane Sandy Research Aerial Reconnaissance Imagery Site
Hurricane Sandy research aerial reconnaissance imagery site

Future Steps: Efforts will continue to add USGS research projects to the Hurricane Sandy Spatial Data Mapping Application. Additionally, a new project will soon add features to the web portal of spatial data sharing and analytical capabilities currently found in the desktop-only EverVIEW Data Viewer.