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Hurricane Sandy Beach Response and Recovery at Fire Island, New York-Shoreline, Beach Profile Data, and Breach Shoreline Data, October 2012 to October 2017

June 29, 2018

Fire Island, New York is the site of a long term coastal morphologic change and processes project conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). One of the objectives of the project was to understand the morphologic evolution of the barrier system on a variety of time scales (months-years-decades-centuries). In response to Hurricane Sandy (October 2012), this effort continued with the intention of resolving storm impacts, post-storm beach response, and recovery. The day before Hurricane Sandy made landfall, a USGS field team conducted surveys at Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS) to quantify the pre-storm morphologic state of the beach and dunes. The area was re-surveyed after the storm, as soon as access to the island was possible. In order to fully capture the recovery of the barrier system, the USGS Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island Study was established to include regular surveying in the weeks, months, and years following the storm.

As part of the USGS Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island Study, the beach is monitored periodically to enable better understanding of post-Sandy recovery. The alongshore state of the beach is recorded using a differential global positioning system (DGPS) to collect data around the mean high water (MHW; 0.46 meter North American Vertical Datum of 1988) line to derive a shoreline, and the cross-shore response and recovery are measured along a series of 15 profiles (Figure 1). Monitoring continued in the weeks following Hurricane Sandy with additional monthly collection through April 2013, and repeat surveys every 2-3 months thereafter until October 2014. Additional bi-annual surveys have been collected through October 2017. Beginning in October 2014 the USGS also began collecting a shoreline at the Wilderness breach, in the location of Old Inlet, in the Otis Pike High Dunes Wilderness area. The shoreline collected was an approximation of the MHW shoreline. The operator walked along an estimated MHW elevation above the water line and below the berm crest, using knowledge of tides and local conditions to interpret a consistent shoreline. Shorelines were collected on the east and west segments of the Wilderness breach to monitor the evolution of the breach.

For further information regarding data collection and/or processing methods refer to the metadata and to USGS Data Series 931 (https://doi.org/10.3133/ds931) and 2017 USGS data release (https://doi.org/10.5066/F7G15Z17).

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Hurricane Sandy Beach Response and Recovery at Fire Island, New York-Shoreline, Beach Profile Data, and Breach Shoreline Data, October 2012 to October 2017
DOI 10.5066/P9ANYQ8G
Authors Owen T Brenner, Rachel E Henderson, Cheryl J Hapke, Billy J Reynolds
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center