Hurricane Sandy washover deposits on Fire Island, New York

Open-File Report 2017-1014
By: , and 



Washover deposits on Fire Island, New York, from Hurricane Sandy in 2012 were investigated a year after the storm to document the sedimentary characteristics of hurricane washover features. Sediment data collected in the field includes stratigraphic descriptions and photos from trenches, bulk sediment samples, U-channels, and gouge and push cores. Samples and push cores were further analyzed in the laboratory for grain size, density variations using x-ray computed tomography (CT), and surface microtexture using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Elevation profiles of washover features were measured using Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) with Real Time Kinematic processing. The DGPS elevations were compared to lidar (light detection and ranging) data from pre- and post-Sandy surveys to assess the degree to which washover deposit thicknesses changed within the year following deposition. Hurricane Sandy washover deposits as much as 1 meter thick were observed in trenches. Initial results show that the upper parts of the deposits have been reworked significantly in some places by wind, but there are still areas where the deposits are almost entirely intact. Where mostly intact, the washover deposits consist of massive or weakly laminated sand near the base, overlain by more strongly laminated sands.

Suggested Citation

La Selle, S.M., Lunghino, B.D., Jaffe, B.E., Gelfenbaum, G., and Costa, P.J.M., 2017, Hurricane Sandy washover deposits on Fire Island, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1014, 30 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods and Data Collected
  • Results
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Hurricane Sandy washover deposits on Fire Island, New York
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2017-1014
DOI 10.3133/ofr20171014
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description v, 30 p.
Country United States
State New York
Other Geospatial Fire Island
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details