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Morphodynamic signature of the 1985 hurricane impacts on the northern Gulf of Mexico

January 1, 1989

Three hurricanes hit Lousiana (LA), Mississippi (MS), Alabama (AL), and the Florida (FL) panhandle in 1985, producing dramatic geomorphic changes in a wide variety of coastal environments. The impact zone for hurricanes Danny, Elena, and Juan stretched 1000 km between the Sabine River in LA to the Apalachicola River in FL. Barrier shorelines experienced repeated intense overwash events, producing beach and dune erosion exceeding 30 m, as well as producing classic examples of storm surge deposits. Pre- and post-storm airborne videotape surveys, sequential vertical mapping photography, and field surveys provide the data base for this regional hurricane impact assessment on the northern Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane impacts on the low-profile and high-profile barrier shorelines, as well as on the marine terrace cliffs were systematic and predictable. Controlling the direction of overwash flow and the impact distribution pattern is the relationship among shoreline orientation, hurricane storm track, and regional wind field. The relationship between shore-zone geomorphology and storm surge overwash controls the impact response.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1989
Title Morphodynamic signature of the 1985 hurricane impacts on the northern Gulf of Mexico
Authors Shea Penland, John R. Suter, Ashbury H. Sallenger, S. Jeffress Williams, Randolph A. McBride, Karen E. Westphal, P. Douglas Reimer, Bruce E. Jaffe
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70016146
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse