Monday, February 23, 2015

Topography-based Analysis of Hurricane Katrina Inundation of New Orleans

After the effects of hurricanes along the coast of Gulf of Mexico and the United States, the importance of high-resolution, high-accuracy elevation data proved valuable for development of topographic equipment. Because of the equipment there were a couple of light detections of hurricane Katrina causing the inundation in New Orleans a few years back. In order for a community to take the proper cautions and procedures, geospatial is a critical factor. Since the day of the trauma caused by the hurricane, high-accuracy elevation data was one of the resources used to estimate the inundation. As technology increases the mapping industry is able to create a clear high-precision measure of land-surface elevations, placing a large pressure on incorporating newer techniques like the lidar elevation data. Thanks to the involvement of the new elevation data that was installed around June 2005, about two months prior to the hurricane, people were able to properly respond to Katrina. Due the availability of the elevation data collected in 2002 from southern Louisiana, it became a beneficial resource to many geospatial data users who were responding to the aftermath of Katrina to have the information online. Few after the effects from the hurricane there was a high demand for maps to illustrate an estimation of how much of the city would be flooded.

Gesch, D. (n.d.). Topography-based Analysis of Hurricane Katrina Inundation of New Orleans. Science and the Storms: The USGS Response to the Hurricanes of 2005, 53-56.
The chart is an illustration of the contribution of foot of flood water per cumulative flood volume and area within New Orleans, La during September 2005. The flood depth is measured in relation to the elevation of the water surface within the city. For example, at elevations of 10–12 ft (3–3.7 m) below the elevation of the floodwater surface, only a relatively small area of less than 5 mi2 (13 km2 ) is inundated, but at the elevation of the water surface as measured on September 2, nearly 75 mi2 (194 km2 ) are inundated."

1 comment:

  1. Since more flooding occurred in "shallower" areas compared to the floodwater surface, could the levies have just been a little bit stronger or taller and that would have stopped any flooding? I remember seeing some graph that showed the levies also differed depending on which side of the river they were on.