Monday, February 15, 2016

Topography-based Analysis of Hurricane Katrina Inundation of New Orleans

In recent year, the use of Lidar to create more detailed and high precision maps has increased. During the 2015 Katrina Hurricane, the high efforts to map out inundation locations in New Orleans occurred rapidly.

Prior to the flood, only a few cities including New Orleans had a high resolution lidar elevation map. In this image we see the high resolution elevation data of New Orleans after the Hurricane. The lidar map available before the flood helped specialists create maps on innundation even quicker and aided a quicker response and recovery efforts. In the days following the storm, people in New Orleans demanded maps containing this data so they could see which parts were mostly flooded. 

Gesch, D. (2005). Topography-based analysis of Hurricane Katrina inundation of New Orleans. Science and the Storms: the USGS Response to the Hurricanes of, 53-56.


  1. With modern technology, we can use this data to help regions first and foremost that are in the most danger from the natural disasters. How did people use this data for the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? Did it help locate where there was damage?

  2. Hopefully maps like these can help people better prepare for and respond to disasters. I wonder if people could use maps like these for other cities in floodplains in order to reduce the potential for disasters. Avoiding building in floodplains would benefit humans and would also benefit our stream ecosystems by giving room for riparian fauna and flora.