National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards

Science Center Objects

The National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards (NACCH) project develops hindcast, real-time, and forecast assessments of the magnitude or probability of coastal landscape change in response to persistent processes (e.g., shoreline change), extreme storms (e.g., Hurricane Sandy), and sea level rise. This effort depends on parallel collection of long- and short-term observations of coastal change, often in response to extreme storm events. 

Forecast assessment of storm vulnerability, New Jersey, 2012

Forecast assessment of storm vulnerability, New Jersey. The vulnerability of the coastline to erosion due to wave runup and storm surge: collision (waves reach base of dune), overwash (waves overtop dunes), and inundation (storm surge exceeds dune height). Collision and overwash were expected at all locations, and inundation was expected at a number of locations. Credit: USGS

Observation of coastal change drivers, such as wave and water level measurements, are also required and are obtained through CMHRP efforts and via external collaborations. The observations are guided by model requirements for input data and by assessments that predict areas likely to suffer significant coastal landscape change. The models are developed and tested using archived and updated data. Improved data and models are incorporated in updated or revised assessments. For example, the NACCH project responded to Hurricane Sandy with a forecast assessment of coastal change and updated observations.

Oblique aerial photographs of Seaside Heights, New Jersey

Oblique aerial photographs of Seaside Heights, New Jersey. View looking west along the New Jersey shore prior to (left) and after (right) Hurricane Sandy’s landfall. Storm waves and surge destroyed the dunes, boardwalk, and houses, and deposited the sand on island, covering roads. The red arrow points to a building that was washed off of its foundation and moved about a block away from its original location. Credit: USGS