Hurricane Sandy Response- Linking the Delmarva Peninsula's Geologic Framework to Coastal Vulnerability

Science Center Objects

The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. In order to better constrain controls on coastal vulnerability and evolution, the region’s sediment sources, transport pathways and sediment sinks must be identified. This project defines the geologic framework of the Delmarva coastal system through geophysical mapping of the inner continental shelf. Such information can then be related to the physical processes that govern coastal system evolution at storm-event and longer timescales. Similar efforts conducted in Fire Island, NY, North Carolina, South Carolina and Massachusetts have proven crucial to the assessment of coastal hazards as well as to habitat characterization and identification of cultural resources in those regions. Defining the geologic framework of the Delmarva coastal system through geophysical mapping of the inner continental shelf provides the scientific foundation for effective management of this dynamic coastal system as it responds to storms, sea-level rise, and anthropogenic activities.


Project Outcomes

Geophysical Mapping and Sea Floor Sampling: Geophysical Surveys conducted during the summers of 2014 and 2015 acquired post-Sandy bathymetric, backscatter, seismic-reflection profile, sediment sample and bottom-photograph data.

Interpretive Products and Data Releases: Journal articles, Open-file Reports and Data Releases related to recently conducted geophysical, geological and hydrographic studies are now available!


Sound Waves Articles

"Team Delmarva" Completes Second comprehensive Seafloor Mapping off the Delmarva Peninsula

USGS Joins the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Resilience Institute—A Partnership for Integrated Climate Research to Help Local and Regional Leader

USGS Scientists Conduct Comprehensive Seafloor Mapping off the Delmarva Peninsula

This Woman ROCKS!

Linking Coastal Processes and Vulnerability—Assateague Island Regional Study

Map of Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva Peninsula

 Clockwise: Map of Chesapeake Bay and the Delmarva Peninsula; Radar Image of Hurricane Sandy; Seismic Reflection Profile data collected offshore of the Delmarva Peninsula; Shipwreck off of Ocean City, MD imaged in side scan sonar backscatter; Bathymetric data showing sand ridges; photo of sea floor ripples.