Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5230

Mapping and Visualization of Storm-Surge Dynamics for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita

By Dean B. Gesch

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (4.5 MB)

Abstract

The damages caused by the storm surges from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita were significant and occurred over broad areas. Storm-surge maps are among the most useful geospatial datasets for hurricane recovery, impact assessments, and mitigation planning for future storms. Surveyed high-water marks were used to generate a maximum storm-surge surface for Hurricane Katrina extending from eastern Louisiana to Mobile Bay, Alabama. The interpolated surface was intersected with high-resolution lidar elevation data covering the study area to produce a highly detailed digital storm-surge inundation map. The storm-surge dataset and related data are available for display and query in a Web-based viewer application. A unique water-level dataset from a network of portable pressure sensors deployed in the days just prior to Hurricane Rita’s landfall captured the hurricane’s storm surge. The recorded sensor data provided water-level measurements with a very high temporal resolution at surveyed point locations. The resulting dataset was used to generate a time series of storm-surge surfaces that documents the surge dynamics in a new, spatially explicit way. The temporal information contained in the multiple storm-surge surfaces can be visualized in a number of ways to portray how the surge interacted with and was affected by land surface features. Spatially explicit storm-surge products can be useful for a variety of hurricane impact assessments, especially studies of wetland and land changes where knowledge of the extent and magnitude of storm-surge flooding is critical.

First posted November 10, 2009

For additional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57198-0001
Phone: 605-594-6151
Web: http://eros.usgs.gov/

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.


Suggested citation:

Gesch, D.B., 2009, Mapping and visualization of storm-surge dynamics for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5230, 18 p.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Methods and Results: Hurricane Katrina

Methods and Results: Hurricane Rita

Discussion

Conclusions

Acknowledgments

References


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2009/5230/
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Page Last Modified: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 07:40:08 PM