Management Implications of Hurricane Harvey for Padre Island National Seashore

Authors: Phillipe wernette, University of Windsor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, Chris Houser*, University of Windsor, Andrew Evans, Texas A&M University, Department of Geography, College Station, TX 77843
Topics: Coastal and Marine
Keywords: Hurricane Harvey, LiDAR, coastal geomorphology, UAV, GIS, big data, anthropogenic influence
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Napoleon D1, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Hurricane Harvey caused widespread damage and destruction to coastal resources and communities when it impacted the Texas coast on 25 August. Strong wind, waves, and storm surge substantially eroded the beach and dunes, causing significant scarps and berms. This paper presents an assessment of the geomorphological changes caused by Hurricane Harvey at Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS), Texas. LiDAR surveys in the years preceding Harvey serve as a baseline for erosion/deposition by the hurricane. Post-storm geomorphology was assessed through oblique photographs, shore-normal survey-grade GNSS surveys, and a high-resolution (1.5 cm ground sample resolution) UAS survey encompassing a 14-km stretch of the beach and dunes. Results demonstrate that the beach and dune system sustained substantial erosion as a result of Hurricane Harvey, and that this erosion varied between driving and non-driving sections of the beach. In addition to geomorphic change on the open-marine coast, backbarrier geomorphology sustained erosion and damage to park resources/facilities. The post-hurricane surveys in this paper will serve as valuable baselines to assess how the island recovers short- and long-term and how driving on the beach affects post-storm recovery.

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