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Publications

Publications about USGS hurricane research and field studies.

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U.S. Geological Survey response to Hurricane Maria flooding in Puerto Rico and characterization of peak streamflows observed September 20–22, 2017

Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, as a Category 4 storm. The hurricane traversed the island from southeast to northwest and produced recorded 48-hour rainfall totals of up to 30.01 inches. Estimates of the human death toll range from 2,975 to 4,645, possibly more.The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologic monitoring network sustained substantial wind and flo

Surface elevation change dynamics in coastal marshes along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico: Anticipating effects of rising sea-level and intensifying hurricanes

Accelerated sea-level rise and intensifying hurricanes highlight the need to better understand surface elevation change in coastal wetlands. We used the surface elevation table-marker horizon approach to measure surface elevation change in 14 coastal marshes along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, within five National Wildlife Refuges in Texas (USA). During the 2014–2019 study period, the mean rate

The potential of wave energy conversion to mitigate coastal erosion from hurricanes

Wave energy conversion technologies have recently attracted more attention as part of global efforts to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy resources. While ocean waves can provide renewable energy, they can also be destructive to coastal areas that are often densely populated and vulnerable to coastal erosion. There have been a variety of efforts to mitigate the impacts of wave- and storm-

Rigorously valuing the coastal hazard risks reduction provided by potential coral reef restoration in Florida and Puerto Rico

The restoration of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, can reduce risks by decreasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. In the United States, the protective services provided by coral reefs were recently assessed in social and economic terms, with the annual protection provided by U.S. coral reefs off the coasts of the State of Florida and the Commonwealth of Puerto

Rigorously valuing the impact of projected coral reef degradation on coastal hazard risk in Florida

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. In the United States, the physical protective services provided by coral reefs were recently assessed, in social and economic terms, with the annual protection provided by U.S. coral reefs off the coast of the State of Florida estimated to be more than

Rigorously valuing the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on coastal hazard risks in Florida and Puerto Rico

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. In the United States, the physical protective services provided by coral reefs were recently assessed in social and economic terms, with the annual protection provided by U.S. coral reefs off the coasts of the State of Florida and the Commonwealth of Pu

Nearshore microfossil assemblages in a Caribbean reef environment show variable rates of recovery following Hurricane Irma

Modern microfossil distributions reflect site-specific habitats and provide an opportunity to assess sediment transport pathways in the nearshore environment. When applied to overwash deposits in the geological record, they provide insight into sediment provenance and transport, factors important for understanding patterns of frequency and intensity of past storms and tsunamis. Modern distribution

Labeling poststorm coastal imagery for machine learning: Measurement of interrater agreement

Classifying images using supervised machine learning (ML) relies on labeled training data—classes or text descriptions, for example, associated with each image. Data-driven models are only as good as the data used for training, and this points to the importance of high-quality labeled data for developing a ML model that has predictive skill. Labeling data is typically a time-consuming, manual proc

Land-based sediment sources and transport to southwest Puerto Rico coral reefs after Hurricane Maria, May 2017 to June 2018

The effects of runoff from land on nearshore ecosystems, including coral reef communities, are influenced by both sediment supply and removal by coastal processes. Integrated studies across the land-sea interface describing sources and transport of terrestrial sediment and its nearshore fate allow reef protection initiatives to target key onshore and offshore areas. Geochemical signatures in the f

Processing coastal imagery with Agisoft Metashape Professional Edition, version 1.6—Structure from motion workflow documentation

IntroductionStructure from motion (SFM) has become an integral technique in coastal change assessment; the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) used Agisoft Metashape Professional Edition photogrammetry software to develop a workflow that processes coastline aerial imagery collected in response to storms since Hurricane Florence in 2018. This report details step-by-step instructions to create three-dimen

Coffee plantations, hurricanes and avian resiliency: Insights from occupancy, and local colonization and extinction rates in Puerto Rico

Insights on impacts and resiliency of avian species with respect to hurricanes in the Caribbean have largely focused on responses measured in protected habitats. We assessed avian responses in non-protected habitat, specifically shade-restored coffee plantations, because their structural complexity retains many attributes of secondary forests, and may contribute to landscape scale species resilie

A survey of storm-induced seaward-transport features observed during the 2019 and 2020 hurricane seasons

Hurricanes are known to play a critical role in reshaping coastlines, but often only impacts on the open ocean coast are considered, ignoring seaward-directed forces and responses. The identification of subaerial evidence for storm-induced seaward transport is a critical step towards understanding its impact on coastal resiliency. The visual features, found in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric