Hurricane Sandy


Hurricane Sandy made a variety of impacts along the highly populated northeastern Atlantic seaboard in October 2012. USGS received $43.2 million in Supplemental funding, supporting more than 25 projects designed to improve forecasts of impacts and ecological consequences. Improved understanding of these impacts will better prepare us for the next one.

Science to Support Coastal Resilence

Science to Support Coastal Resilence

The USGS Science Plan was developed immediately following Hurricane Sandy. Across five major themes, USGS used a unique geospatial approach to put extreme storms into the greater context of climate change, sea-level rise and coastal vulnerability.

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Research Themes

USGS scientists are working to assess forecast effectiveness, improve how we share information, and identify gaps to improve the information and tools we provide.

Coastal Elevation Data and Mapping

Understanding Coastal Change

Coastal Hydrology and Storm Surge

Environmental Quality and Contaminants

Coastal Ecosystem Impacts


Date published: June 1, 2021

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Determining the Vulnerability and Resilience of the New Jersey Barrier Island System

Hurricane Sandy, one of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history, significantly affected the mid Atlantic coast in 2012. In New Jersey, where Sandy made landfall, much of the coast consists of barrier islands - narrow stretches of sand deposited parallel to the mainland coast – that were deeply eroded, overwashed and in places breached by the storm.

Date published: July 25, 2019

Piping Plovers Benefited from Hurricane Sandy

Storms and undeveloped coastlines can create and maintain habitat for this species, which is threatened along the Atlantic coast.

Date published: May 29, 2019

USGS and NOAA merge collections to create new high-resolution, broad-scale geologic maps of the seafloor

USGS and NOAA collaborate to create high-resolution maps on the Atlantic continental shelf between Delaware and Virginia.


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Year Published: 2020

Hurricane Sandy effects on coastal marsh elevation change

High-magnitude storm events such as Hurricane Sandy are powerful agents of geomorphic change in coastal marshes, potentially altering their surface elevation trajectories. But how do a storm’s impacts vary across a large region spanning a variety of wetland settings and storm exposures and intensities. We determined the short-term impacts of...

Yeates, Alice G.; Grace, James; Olker, Jennifer H.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Cahoon, Donald; Adamowicz, Susan C.; Anisfeld, Shimon C.; Barrett, Nels; Benzecry, Alice; Blum, Linda K.; Christian, Rober T; Grzyb, Joseph; Kracauer Hartig, Ellen; Hines Leo, Kelly; Lerberg, Scott; Lynch, James C.; Maher, Nicole; Megonigal, J Patrick; Reay, William G.; Siok, Drexel; Starke, Adam; Turner, Vincent; Warren, Scott

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Year Published: 2019

Effects of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) exclusion on plant recovery in overwash fans after a severe coastal storm

We documented the impacts of a hyper-abundant deer population on dune vegetation recovering from severe storm surge on a barrier island through use of permanent plots and a repeated measures analysis. Three years after landfall of the storm, vegetation cover was dominated by American beachgrass, Ammophila breviligulata, though we observed twelve...

Kilheffer, Chellby R.; Raphael, Jordan; Ries, Lindsay; Underwood, H. Brian

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Year Published: 2019

Hurricane Sandy impacts on coastal wetland resilience

The goal of this research was to evaluate the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on surface elevation trends in estuarine marshes located across the northeast region of the United States from Virginia to Maine using data from an opportunistic (in other words, not strategic) and collaborative network (from here on, an opportunistic network) of surface...

Cahoon, Donald R.; Olker, Jennifer H.; Yeates, Alice G.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Grace, James B.; Adamowicz, Susan C.; Anisfeld, Shimon C.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Barrett, Nels; Beckett, Leah; Benzecry, Alice; Blum, Linda K.; Burdick, David M.; Crouch, William; Ekberg, Marci Cole; Fernald, Sarah; Grimes, Kristin Wilson; Grzyb, Joseph; Hartig, Ellen Kracauer; Kreeger, Danielle A.; Larson, Marit; Lerberg, Scott; Lynch, James C.; Maher, Nicole; Maxwell-Doyle, Martha; Mitchell, Laura R.; Mora, Jordan; O'Neill, Victoria; Padeletti, Angela; Prosser, Diann J.; Quirk, Tracy; Raposa, Kenneth B.; Reay, William G.; Siok, Drexel; Snow, Christopher; Starke, Adam; Stevenson, J. Court; Staver, Lorie; Turner, Vincent
Cahoon, D.R., Olker, J.H., Yeates, A.G., Guntenspergen, G.R., Grace, J.B., Adamowicz, S.C., Anisfeld, S., Baldwin, A.H., Barrett, N., Beckett, L., Benzecry, A., Blum, L.K., Burdick, D.M., Crouch, W., Ekberg, M.C., Fernald, S., Grimes, K.W., Grzyb, J., Hartig, E.K., Kreeger, D.A., Larson, M., Lerberg, S., Lynch, J.C., Maher, N., Maxwell-Doyle, M., Mitchell, L.R., Mora, J., O’Neill, V., Padeletti, A., Prosser, D., Quirk, T., Raposa, K.B., Reay, W.G., Siok, D., Snow, C., Starke, A., Staver, L., Stevenson, J.C., and Turner, V., 2019, Hurricane Sandy impacts on coastal wetland resilience: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1142, 117 p.,