Monday, February 13, 2017

Topography-based Analysis of Hurricane Katrina Inundation of New Orleans

In this article, the author discusses how the ready availability of high-resolution, high-accuracy elevation data proved valuable for development of topography-based products to determine rough estimates of the inundation of New Orleans, La., from Hurricane Katrina. LIDAR, a relatively new remote-sensing technology that has advanced significantly over the last 10 years and is now a standard surveying tool used by the mapping industry to collect very detailed, high precision measurements of land-surface elevations, derived elevation data for southeastern Louisiana, including the New Orleans area, in June 2005 and thus was readily available for response to Katrina. This data is pictured below.

Shortly after the hurricane happened, an accurate depiction from aerial imagery was unavailable, so a topography-based approach was used. This is where the LIDAR data came into play. Once the water began to run off, the aerial view showed that the LIDAR data was quite reliable.

Because of its high level of spatial detail and vertical accuracy of elevation measurements, LIDAR is an excellent mapping technology for use in low-relief hurricane-prone coastal areas. When LIDAR elevation data have been processed and are available before a storm event, as was the case for New Orleans, then geospatial- based inundation maps and products can be quickly generated for response and recovery efforts immediately following the storm. 
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 comment:

  1. I found this post so interesting come from Houston and dealing with hurricanes and having to help people after hurricane Katrina. This map really helps city planners, and I hope that Houston has something similar. Also this map is pleasing to the eye because of the colors even if it has to do with elevation.