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Open-File Report 03-175

USGS Activity B6

Hurricane Mitch: Landscape Analysis of Damaged Forest Resources of the Bay Islands and Caribbean Coast of Honduras

By Thomas W. Doyle, Thomas C. Michot, Fred Roetker, Jason Sullivan, Marcus Melder, Benjamin Handley and Jeff Balmat

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The advent of analog and digital video has provided amateur photographers with professional-like technology to capture dynamic images with ease and clarity. Videography is also rapidly changing traditional business and scientific applications. In the natural sciences, camcorders are being used largely to record timely observations of plant and animal behavior or consequence of some catastrophic event. Spectacular video of dynamic events such as hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and wildfire document the active process and aftermath. Scientists can analyze video images to quantify aspects of a given event, behavior, or response, temporally and spatially. In this study we demonstrate the simple use of an aerial application of videography to record the spatial extent and damage expression of mangrove forest in the Bay Islands and mainland coast of northern Honduras from wind damage following Hurricane Mitch (1998).

In this study, we conducted a video overflight of coastal forests of the Bay Islands and mainland coast of northern Honduras 14 months after impact by Hurricane Mitch (1998). Coastal areas were identified where damage was evident and described relative to damage extent to forest cover, windfall orientation, and height of downed trees. The variability and spatial extent of impact on coastal forest resources is related to reconstructed wind profiles based on model simulations of Mitch’s path, strength, and circulation during landfall.

For additional information contact:

USGS National Wetlands Research Center
700 Cajundome Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70506

http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Doyle, T.W., Michot, T.C., Roetker, Fred, Sullivan, Jason, Melder, Marcus, Handley, Benjamin, and Balmat, Jeff, 2002, Hurricane Mitch: Landscape Analysis of Damaged Forest Resources of the Bay Islands and Caribbean Coast of Honduras: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-175, 12 p.


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