Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center > Hurricane Sandy Response – Linking the Delmarva Peninsula’s Geologic Framework to Coastal Vulnerability
The Delmarva Peninsula is a 220-kilometer-long headland, spit, and barrier island complex that was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. In order to better constrain controls on coastal vulnerability and evolution, the region’s sediment sources, transport pathways and sinks must be identified. This project defines the geologic framework of the Delmarva coastal system through geophysical mapping of the inner continental shelf, with an initial focus on Assateague Island. Such information can then be related to the physical processes that govern coastal system evolution at storm-event and longer timescales.
Geophysical Mapping and Sea Floor Sampling
Geophysical surveys conducted during the summers of 2014 and 2015 acquired post-Sandy bathymetric, backscatter, seismic-reflection profile, sediment sample and bottom-photograph data.
Existing Dataset Compilation and Integration
The project builds on recent and ongoing hydrographic, geologic and ecological studies in the area.
Bathymetric, backscatter, seismic reflection profile and sample data provide a three-dimensional, high-resolution view of the Delmarva coastal environment. These data are publicly available through USGS-hosted websites.
Coastal Processes and Regional Collaborations
This project defines the underlying geologic framework that controls the Delmarva coastal system. Research is conducted in close collaboration with other regional studies that address the physical and ecological processes that contribute to coastal evolution.
The USGS acquired new chirp and 16-channel boomer seismic reflection profiles, swath bathymetry, acoustic backscatter data and sediment samples offshore of Delmarva June-July 2015. Geospatial datasets from the 2014 and 2015 surveys offshore Assateague Island and Virginia's Eastern Shore are available now!Soundwaves articles