Open-File Report 2008–1373
On August 29–31, 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) deployed a mobile monitoring network consisting of 124 pressure transducers (sensors) (figs. 1, 2) at 80 sites over an area of about 4,200 square miles to record the timing, extent, and magnitude of inland hurricane storm surge and coastal flooding generated by Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall in southeastern Louisiana on September 1. One-hundred twenty-one sensors from 61 sites (fig. 3) were recovered. Thirty-seven sites from which sensors were recovered were in the New Orleans area, and the remaining 24 sites were distributed throughout southeastern Louisiana. Sites were categorized as surge (21), riverine flooding (18), anthropogenic (affected by the operation of gates or pumps) (17), or mixed/uncertain on the basis of field observations and the appearance of the water-level data (5).
Data were processed for 110 of the 121 sensors recovered; 61 recorded water pressure, which is expressed as water level in feet above North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88), and 49 recorded barometric pressure, expressed in pounds per square inch. The sensors also were programmed to record date and time, and air temperature.
Data were processed following protocols established by McGee and others (2005), which include correcting water pressure for changes in barometric pressure and salinity. Quality-control checks were made by colocating water-level sensors at a subset of sites and comparing data from those sensors to water levels computed from recorded pressure data at those sites; and by comparing water levels computed from recorded pressure data to water levels recorded at nearby USGS gaging stations and to independent high-water marks where possible. Elevation surveys using global positioning systems and differential levels were done to relate all water-level data, reference marks, benchmarks, and sensor measuring points to NAVD88.
The data from the Hurricane Gustav storm surge network constitute an extensive collection of continuous water-level records documenting a single land-falling hurricane. The data can be used to evaluate the performance of storm-surge models for maximum and incremental water level and flood extent, and site-specific effects of storm-surge on natural and anthropogenic elements of the environment; anthropogenic elements include several gates and pumps used to control or diminish flooding in New Orleans and other areas of southeastern Louisiana. The data are available below on a provisional basis in tab-delimited, ASCII format by site for each sensor (table 1). Data for each site comprise date, time, water level, corresponding water pressure, barometric pressure, temperature from water-pressure sensor, temperature from barometric-pressure sensor, and indicators of missing data. The data-processing date is in the file header. The data also are available in a single folder by clicking here.
McGee, B.D., Goree, B.B., Tollett, R.W., Woodward, B.K., and Kress, W.H., 2005, Hurricane Rita surge data, southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas, September to November 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 220, available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/2006/220/.
Table 1. Hurricane Gustav storm-surge data for 61 sites in Louisiana, September 2008.
First posted January 8, 2009
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McGee, B.D., Goree, B.B., Tollett, R.W., and Mason, R.R., Jr., 2008, Monitoring inland storm surge and flooding from Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana, September 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–1373 [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1373/].