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Open-File Report 2014–1088

Hurricane Sandy: Observations and Analysis of Coastal Change

By Kristin L. Sopkin, Hilary F. Stockdon, Kara S. Doran, Nathaniel G. Plant, Karen L. M. Morgan, Kristy K. Guy, and Kathryn E. L. Smith

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (7.37 MB)Abstract

Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, made landfall on October 29, 2012, and impacted a long swath of the U.S. Atlantic coastline. The barrier islands were breached in a number of places and beach and dune erosion occurred along most of the Mid-Atlantic coast. As a part of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project, the U.S. Geological Survey collected post-Hurricane Sandy oblique aerial photography and lidar topographic surveys to document the changes that occurred as a result of the storm. Comparisons of post-storm photographs to those collected prior to Sandy’s landfall were used to characterize the nature, magnitude, and spatial variability of hurricane-induced coastal changes. Analysis of pre- and post-storm lidar elevations was used to quantify magnitudes of change in shoreline position, dune elevation, and beach width. Erosion was observed along the coast from North Carolina to New York; however, as would be expected over such a large region, extensive spatial variability in storm response was observed.

First posted June 3, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
600 Fourth Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4846
(727) 502–8000

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Suggested citation:

Sopkin, K.L., Stockdon, H.F., Doran, K.S., Plant, N.G., Morgan, K.L.M., Guy, K.K., and Smith, K.E.L., 2014, Hurricane Sandy—Observations and analysis of coastal change: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1088, 54 p.,

ISSN 2331–1258 (online)




Storm Overview

USGS Coastal-Change Observations



References Cited

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