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Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines

Science. Policy. Education. Outreach. Coastal.

Beach Nourishment Database & Viewer

A comprehensive database of nourishment episodes in the U.S.!

National Storm Surge Database & Viewer

Locate & view storm surge measurements across the U.S.!

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Recent Coastal News

Storm Surge at Mexico Beach

Why was the storm tide so high at Mexico Beach?
It’s a combination of multiple factors:

1. MB was on the immediate right-hand side of the storm track (most dangerous due to counter-clockwise rotation)
2. Open ocean shoreline, perpendicular to storm track
3. Surge is amplified on concave (bowl-shaped) shorelines

Other factors (wide shallow shelf, wind category, angle of approach, forward motion speed, low pressure) also played a major role across the entire area.

Map: high water mark elevations from the USGS post-storm survey of Hurricane Michael. The highest water elevations in the Panama City, Mexico Beach, and Port St. Joe areas are shown.

Authors: Blair Tormey, Katie Peek, Rob Young

Side by Side Comparison of Cape San Blas.

Reflecting on the inlet formations post-Hurricane Michael versus April 2017.

From the USGS: Storm surge and waves completely eroded and breached a low, narrow spot on Cape San Blas, creating two new inlets and severing the only road access to T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. The predicted probability of inundation here was only 26 percent, but the scale of the predictions is for 1 kilometer sections of coast, and the model likely did not resolve the low, narrow area that breached.

Recent PSDS Imagery

Folly Beach SC Nourishment

Black Sea Aerial Photos

Hurricane Sandy Imagery

SC Coast Aerial Images

Hurricane Week: The Weather Channel

NPR Weekend Edition

Is Rebuilding Storm-Struck Coastlines Worth The Cost?

Featuring Director Rob Young

Elwha River Restoration

Smithsonian Article: Preparing for a New River

Featuring PSDS and Director Rob Young

Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines
Old Student Union
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28734