Image of the Week - Sandy's Lasting Effects on Fire Island, NY

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Detailed Description

Fire Island, a barrier island off the coast of Long Island has seen large changes from Hurricane Sandy and several other powerful storms since.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (


Date Taken:

Length: 00:00:54

Location Taken: Long Island, NY, US


As Hurricane Sandy made landfall
in October of 2012, the waves and

wind cut a deep breach in a narrow
part of Fire Island, a barrier island

south of Long Island, New York.
The year after Sandy, several

Nor'easters widened the opening.
This series of Landsat images 

show Fire Island before the
hurricane, and through the years

after the storm. Breaches are
natural barrier island features,

and hey can change flooding risk
to coastal communities.

The Fire Island breach provided
USGS scientists with an opportunity

to study this natural process in
depth. Bathymetric surveys

and satellite images help
scientists model future changes

of the barrier island, and better
predict what may happen to the

region in future storms.