Morphodynamic Impacts of Hurricane Sandy on the Inner-shelf


Through the careful execution of precision high-resolution acoustic sonar surveys over the period of October 2012 through July 2013, we have obtained a unique set of high-resolution before and after storm measurements of seabed morphology and in situ hydrodynamic conditions (waves and currents) capturing the impact of the storm at an inner continental shelf field site known as the “Redbird reef” (Raineault et al., 2013). Understanding the signature of this storm event is important for identifying the impacts of such events and for understanding the role that such events have in the transport of sediment and marine debris on the inner continental shelf. In order to understand and characterize the ripple dynamics and scour processes in an energetic, heterogeneous inner-shelf setting, a series of high-resolution geoacoustic surveys were conducted before and after Hurricane Sandy. Our overall goal is to improve our understanding of bedform dynamics and spatio-temporal length scales and defect densities through the application of a recently developed fingerprint algorithm technique (Skarke and Trembanis, 2011). Utilizing high-resolution swath sonar collected by an AUV and from surface vessel multibeam sonar, our study focuses both on bedforms in the vicinity of manmade seabed objects (e.g. shipwrecks and subway cars) and dynamic natural ripples on the inner-shelf in energetic coastal settings with application to critical military operations such as mine countermeasures. Seafloor mapping surveys were conducted both with a ship-mounted multibeam echosounder (200 kHz and 400 kHz) and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) configured with high-resolution side-scan sonar (900 and 1800 kHz) and a phase measuring bathymetric sonar (500 kHz). These geoacoustic surveys were further augmented with data collected by in situ instruments placed on the seabed that recorded measurements of waves and currents at the site before, during, and after the storm.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Conference Date

9-13 December, 2013

Publisher Place

San Francisco, CA, USA


American Geophysical Union Publications

Document Type

Conference Proceeding