Hurricane Sandy

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Hurricane Sandy made a variety of impacts along the highly populated northeastern Atlantic seaboard in October 2012. Improved understanding of these impacts will better prepare us for the next one. Supplemental funding from Congress is helping advance our ability to provide near real-time forecasts of impacts and ecological consequences. 

Science to Support Coastal Resilence

Science to Support Coastal Resilence

The USGS Science Plan was developed immediately following Hurricane Sandy to coordinate continuing USGS activities with other agencies.

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USGS science provides a strong foundation for decision makers, planners and resource managers.

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

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News

Neil Ganju and Patrick Dickhudt preparing an oceanographic platform to measure wetland sediment transport in Forsythe NWR, NJ
May 3, 2018

Estuaries and wetlands provide a critical defense against storms and sea-level rise while providing economically valuable services. How well they protect coastal communities and host diverse ecosystems is largely a function of their shape (morphology), which is controlled by factors such as sediment movement and biological feedbacks.

Alongshore-varying forecasts of barrier island response to sea-level rise
December 12, 2017

A new article combines geomorphological and pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy observations from coastal New Jersey with a morphodynamic model to forecast the response of barrier islands to various rates of sea-level rise and explores the impact of human alterations on forecasted behavior.

Satellite View of the Wilderness Breach
June 9, 2017

When Hurricane Sandy struck the south shore of Long Island, New York, on October 29, 2012, it caused substantial erosion of the beach and dunes. Storm waves cut through Fire Island National Seashore’s wilderness area, forming a breach. The resulting channel allowed water to flow between the Atlantic Ocean and Great South Bay. 

Publications

Year Published: 2017

Observations and a linear model of water level in an interconnected inlet-bay system

A system of barrier islands and back-barrier bays occurs along southern Long Island, New York, and in many coastal areas worldwide. Characterizing the bay physical response to water level fluctuations is needed to understand flooding during extreme events and evaluate their relation to geomorphological changes. Offshore sea level is one of the...

Aretxabaleta, Alfredo; Ganju, Neil K.; Butman, Bradford; Signell, Richard
Aretxabaleta, A. L., N. K. Ganju, B. Butman, and R. P. Signell (2017), Observations and a linear model of water level in an interconnected inlet-bay system, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122, doi:10.1002/2016JC012318.

Year Published: 2017

Inner-shelf ocean dynamics and seafloor morphologic changes during Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was one of the most destructive hurricanes in US history, making landfall on the New Jersey coast on Oct 30, 2012. Storm impacts included several barrier island breaches, massive coastal erosion, and flooding. While changes to the subaerial landscape are relatively easily observed, storm-induced changes to the adjacent shoreface...

Warner, John C.; Schwab, William C.; List, Jeffrey; Safak, Ilgar; Liste, Maria; Baldwin, Wayne E.
Warner, J.C., Schwab, W.C., List, J.H., Safak, I., Liste, M., and Baldwin, W, 2017, Inner-shelf ocean dynamics and seafloor morphologic changes during Hurricane Sandy: Continental Shelf Research, v. 138, 1-18 p doi:10.1016/j.csr.2017.02.003.

Year Published: 2017

Hurricane Sandy washover deposits on Fire Island, New York

Washover deposits on Fire Island, New York, from Hurricane Sandy in 2012 were investigated a year after the storm to document the sedimentary characteristics of hurricane washover features. Sediment data collected in the field includes stratigraphic descriptions and photos from trenches, bulk sediment samples, U-channels, and gouge and push cores...

La Selle, SeanPaul M.; Lunghino, Brent D.; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Gelfenbaum, Guy; Costa, Pedro J.M.
La Selle, S.M., Lunghino, B.D., Jaffe, B.E., Gelfenbaum, G., and Costa, P.J.M., 2017, Hurricane Sandy washover deposits on Fire Island, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1014, 30 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171014.