Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

USGS Studies Hurricane Ivan’s Potential Impacts To Florida’s West Coast Islands

Date:
September 14, 2004
Source:
U.S. Geological Survey
Summary:
Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey are closely watching the long, thin barrier islands that comprise the Gulf of Mexico coast of west Florida as Hurricane Ivan approaches. These islands are particularly vulnerable to storm surge and coastal change during hurricanes because of their low elevation. New elevation maps show just how vulnerable.

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey are closely watching the long, thin barrier islands that comprise the Gulf of Mexico coast of west Florida as Hurricane Ivan approaches. These islands are particularly vulnerable to storm surge and coastal change during hurricanes because of their low elevation. New elevation maps show just how vulnerable.

Related Articles


“If Hurricane Ivan comes ashore on west Florida’s barrier islands as a major hurricane, Category 3 or stronger, most of the coast has the potential to be inundated by storm surge under the south eye wall at landfall,” said Abby Sallenger, a USGS oceanographer.

The USGS and NASA recently surveyed these islands using airborne laser mapping, providing for the first time detailed elevation maps of the island’s ‘first line of defense.’ An example of the ‘first line of defense’ would be a sand dune protecting an ocean front cottage or road. The average Florida west coast ‘first line of defense’ elevation is about 6 feet -- less than half the 13-foot average of the Florida east coast where Hurricane Frances made landfall a week ago.

USGS scientists have prepared maps showing the proportion of the ‘first line of defense’ that would be inundated by worst-case scenario storm surge associated with Categories 1 through 5 hurricanes. See: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/hurricanes/ivan/

The storm-surge elevations (simulated by NOAA) represent the maximum surge that results along the open coast from hurricanes of a given category, approaching from different directions, and at different speeds. On Florida’s west coast barrier islands, the maximum surge will typically occur to the south of landfall under the eye wall and decreases in elevation with distance away from the eye wall.

“Where the storm surge exceeds the elevation of the dunes, currents will flow across the barrier islands potentially driving massive quantities of sand landward,” Sallenger said. “In some cases where barrier islands are low and narrow, the currents will carve new inlets like what happened in 2003 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during Hurricane Isabel and this year on North Captiva Island, Fla., during Hurricane Charley.”

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by U.S. Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

U.S. Geological Survey. "USGS Studies Hurricane Ivan’s Potential Impacts To Florida’s West Coast Islands." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040914091847.htm>.
U.S. Geological Survey. (2004, September 14). USGS Studies Hurricane Ivan’s Potential Impacts To Florida’s West Coast Islands. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040914091847.htm
U.S. Geological Survey. "USGS Studies Hurricane Ivan’s Potential Impacts To Florida’s West Coast Islands." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040914091847.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Wrongly categorized as lizard fossils, snake fossils now show the reptile could have developed earlier than we thought — 70 million years earlier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Time Lapse: Sculptures Created from 30 Tons of Snow

Time Lapse: Sculptures Created from 30 Tons of Snow

Rumble (Jan. 28, 2015) Students in North Finland use 30 tons of snow and one ton of ice to build a massive photography display and sculpture installation. Five days of work condensed into a one-minute time lapse! Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Newsy (Jan. 27, 2015) The Food and Agriculture Organization says millions could face famine in Madagascar without more funding to finish locust eradication efforts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins