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iCoast - Did the Coast Change? Crowd-Sourced Coastal Classifications for Hurricane Sandy

September 6, 2018

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall as a post-tropical storm near Brigantine, New Jersey, with sustained winds of 70 knots (80 miles per hour) and tropical-storm-force winds extending 870 nautical miles in diameter (Blake, et. al, 2013). The effects of Sandy's winds and storm surge included erosion of the beaches and dunes as well as breaching of barrier islands in both natural and heavily developed areas of the coast (Spokin et. al., 2014). On November 4-6, 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted an aerial survey of the coast from Cape Lookout, North Carolina, to Montauk Point, New York (Morgan and Krohn, 2014) collecting nearly 10,000 images during three days of surveying.

In June 2014, the USGS developed a crowd-sourced online application, "iCoast - Did the Coast Change?" to enlist the help of citizen scientists (referred to as "users") in the classification of coastal infrastructure, coastal processes, and storm impacts related to Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy was chosen as the inaugural project due to the broad range of impacts from the storm. By enlisting citizen scientists in the analysis of these images, the iCoast offers a chance to classify all the imagery from Hurricane Sandy in a form that scientists can use to analyze and verify predictive vulnerability models. This user audience spanned a wide range of expertise as well as enlisting anyone interested in coastal issues, including coastal researchers and emergency managers to coastal residents, students, and professors.

The data presented here represents the classification of imagery by iCoast users as of September 9, 2016. At that time all of the post-Hurricane Sandy images had at least one user classification. The data includes user classifications of the coastal type, level of development, visible infrastructure, damage to visible infrastructure, and determination of the dominant coastal process in the image based on Sallenger's (2000) coastal impact scale.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title iCoast - Did the Coast Change? Crowd-Sourced Coastal Classifications for Hurricane Sandy
DOI 10.5066/P93A9MPE
Authors Karen L M Morgan, Richard J Snell, Nathaniel G Plant
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center