Southeastern Section - 58th Annual Meeting (12-13 March 2009)
Paper No. 19-2
Presentation Time: 1:50 PM-2:10 PM


MALOOF, Andrew1, PETRUCCELLI, Rochelle F.1, YOUNG, Robert S.2, and BUSH, David M.3, (1) Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia, 1601 Maple Street, Carrollton, GA 30118,, (2) Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723, (3) Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118

Researchers of hurricane impacts often encounter roadblocks when trying to evaluate storm surge history. The National Hurricane Center's Tropical Cyclone Reports contain comprehensive information on each storm, including synoptic history, meteorological statistics, casualties and damages, and the post-analysis best track (six-hourly positions and intensities) dating back only to 1958. Several federal agencies (FEMA, NOAA, Army Corps of Engineers) and some private companies and academic institutions have unpublished reports for some storms but not for all; and especially not for older hurricanes. Access to reports is difficult and even for archived storms the data is often sketchy at best. For early hurricanes a combination of lack of understanding of the importance, lack of reliable surveying devices, and the overwhelming need to concentrate on rescue and recovery efforts probably led to poor storm surge data. For more recent hurricanes, very precise storm surge measurements are available, but often there aren't enough of them, they are unreliable, estimated, or in error. Detailed reports of measurement methodology are often are lacking. Measurements from the fringes of the hurricane landfall area often are not made at all because of lower damages in these areas, and the deeming of such data as unimportant. A georeferenced database is being created of all storm surge measurements in the southeastern United States. All data are evaluated for quality, methodology, and usefulness for scientific inquiry. Links are established to reports, photos, and other pertinent documents. It is hoped that the database will provide the basis for statistical evaluation of the various factors impacting coastal storm surge. In addition, it will be a critical resource for numerical modelers who are in need of such data for model calibration and verification of predictive coastal flooding models. The web site is undergoing constant updating. The web address is

Southeastern Section - 58th Annual Meeting (12-13 March 2009)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 19
Quantifying Coastal Vulnerability to Geohazards: Methods, Results, and Recommendations
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel: St. Petersburg 2
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Friday, 13 March 2009

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 41, No. 1, p. 49

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