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holograph

Katrina Storm Surge

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NOAA has provided aerial photos of the Gulf Coast regions where the worst storm surges occurred. By registering the locations of a couple of benchmarks and comparing to the debris line left by the surge, it's possible to estimate the height of the surge.

 

In the photo below, the banchmarks are along a railroad line that is approximately 10 foot elevation and about 0.4 mile inland. The NOAA photos have much higher detail than shown below, and show how completely the coastal structures were destroyed.

 

katrina.jpg

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Good work, integrating various assets to quantify the extent of flooding.

 

I was studying the topo map contours, trying to get a handle on elevations there, but it's hard to do in an area that is basically flat, and where a difference of 10 or 20 feet can make an enormous difference.

 

I don't think I'l plan any benchmarking trips to that part of the Gulf Coast for awhile yet.

 

With my day job (journalist) hat on this week, I was speaking with the head of the American Public Health Association about the health threats of the hurricane, flooding, toxics, bodies, etc. Ironically, the group had planned to have its annual meeting in New Orleans later this year. Dr. Benjamin told me it's looking less and less likely that will happen.

 

I think New Orleans' usually robust convention business will be on hold for many months to come.

 

-ArtMan-

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Another image, about 7 miles to the east, closer to Gulfport. The debris line is approximately 2/3 along the line from BH0901 to BH0902. Assuming a relatively uniform grade between the bench marks, that would put the storm surge at this point about 22 ft.

 

The railroad at BH0902 is about 1/2 mile inland.

 

katrina_2.jpg

Edited by holograph

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The photo bears out your assumption in my opinion... the line of destruction is almost exactly where your arrow points.

 

Edited--Never mind my comment... I misread your post. You were estimating, not confirming the surge height. But I agree with your logic!

Edited by mloser

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The Google Earth site has some updated images of Katrina damage, from NOAA available now.

 

Worth looking at.

 

Rob

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We have 22 members from our O.E.M. on their way to New Orleans area.

I did get several with GPS's and we will have some tracks and benchmarks recovered if they can find them.

We have at least 4-5,2 man teams in the process as well.

 

Thanks again holograph for the aerial link.

We are and will incorperating it with their ground movements.

 

It will be at least 30 days before they return,and it could be as many as 120 days.

But I will update when we get the data.

 

Sorry for not checking in more often but we have been activated as E.O.C.

and going 24 hours a day.

The processing takes a while.

 

I will try to keep you all updated.

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Interesting to see this here, I sort of expected it. I am back online for the first time since the Hurricane hit. Call it shock. The Long Beach photo above, showing the location of BH0901, shows my mom's apartments. They are the ones at the far left, and hers was the third slab up on the left, from the bottom.

I went back down there(they-mom, nephew-evacuated and are staying with me now) on the weekend of the 17th. As we went to the apartments, I couldn't help but check on

BH0901. I had located it on a previous trip, and wanted to see if it was still there. I could not cross Hwy 90 due to it being mostly destroyed, but I could see the pink arrow and could tell the seawall where it was located was intact. Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo I uploaded, that the home across the road is gone.

 

I was hoping to check on some other benchmarks while down there, but access was so limited. And the destruction was more than I could have ever imagined. I pored over the aerial photos when they were released, and they still don't even come close to how it looks up close and in person.

 

Anyway...

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I forgot to mention, regarding the photo showing supposed surge height. The "destruction line" that can be seen in the photo does not equate to actual damage. Taking the apartments to the left, for example, because I have been there. The section of apartments that are standing just beyond that line are nearly gutted in the bottom apartments. There was water as high as 5ft in the very back bottom apartments. There were dead fish scattered around the very back of the apartments. So the water did not "stop" at the possible elevation of the "line of destruction". If the height at the railroad tracks is about 28ft, then I would say the water was nearly that high if not higher. There were buildings just across the railroad tracks that were severely damaged as well, but they were not wiped clean like the roughly 1/2 mile from the beach.

 

And just a note, my GPSr, when I bothered to look at it, riding along HWY 90 usually read around 16-17ft elevation.

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I'm going to reawaken this old thread to point out an article in The New Yorker's February 27, 2006, issue ("Watermark" by Elizabeth Kolbert). It's a vivid tour of the Louisiana Delta post-Katrina, and on p. 49 she mentions several bench marks where the mark itself had subsided along with the surrounding soil. C 195, for example, had subsided 9 inches. Several of the marks are now at or below sea level when it was presumed they they were at least a few inches above.

 

I've attached the current datasheet from that mark; the others mentioned are A 152 (AT0407), C 195 (AT0458), D 194 (AT0357), and EMPIRE AZ MK 2 1934 1966 (AT0231).

 

1 National Geodetic Survey, Retrieval Date = APRIL 20, 2006

AT0458 ***********************************************************************

AT0458 HT_MOD - This is a Louisiana Height Modernization Survey Station.

AT0458 DESIGNATION - C 195

AT0458 PID - AT0458

AT0458 STATE/COUNTY- LA/PLAQUEMINES

AT0458 USGS QUAD - POINTE A LA HACHE (1992)

AT0458

AT0458 *CURRENT SURVEY CONTROL

AT0458 ___________________________________________________________________

AT0458* NAD 83(1992)- 29 32 12.40304(N) 089 45 47.15604(W) ADJUSTED

AT0458* NAVD 88 - 0.48 **(meters) 1.6 **(feet) GPS OBS(2004.65)

AT0458 **This station is located in a subsidence area (see below).

AT0458 ___________________________________________________________________

AT0458 EPOCH DATE - 2004.65

AT0458 X - 22,962.963 (meters) COMP

AT0458 Y - -5,553,681.857 (meters) COMP

AT0458 Z - 3,125,790.379 (meters) COMP

AT0458 LAPLACE CORR- 0.52 (seconds) DEFLEC99

AT0458 ELLIP HEIGHT- -24.12 (meters) (06/22/05) GPS OBS

AT0458 GEOID HEIGHT- -24.60 (meters) GEOID03

AT0458 DYNAMIC HT - 0.48 (meters) 1.6 (feet) COMP

AT0458 MODELED GRAV- 979,303.6 (mgal) NAVD 88

AT0458

AT0458 HORZ ORDER - B

AT0458 VERT ORDER - THIRD (See Below)

AT0458 ELLP ORDER - FOURTH CLASS I

AT0458

AT0458.The horizontal coordinates were established by GPS observations

AT0458.and adjusted by the National Geodetic Survey in June 2005..

AT0458.The horizontal coordinates are valid at the epoch date displayed above.

AT0458.The epoch date for horizontal control is a decimal equivalence

AT0458.of Year/Month/Day.

AT0458

AT0458 ** Due to the variability of land subsidence, the orthometric, ellipsoid,

AT0458 ** and geoid heights are valid at the date of observation. These heights

AT0458 ** must always be validated when used as control.

AT0458 ** The orthometric height was determined by GPS observations using

AT0458 ** precise GPS observation and processing techniques and a new

AT0458 ** realization of GEOID03. It supersedes the leveled height previously

AT0458 ** determined for this station.

AT0458 ** The geoid height was determined by a new realization of GEOID03 for the

AT0458 ** epoch indicated which incorporates improved geoid heights for the

AT0458 ** Southern Louisiana Subsidence area.

AT0458 ** (see www.ngs.noaa.gov/PC_PROD/GEOID03).

AT0458.The orthometric height was determined by GPS observations and a

AT0458.high-resolution geoid model using precise GPS observation and

AT0458.processing techniques. It supersedes the leveled height previously

AT0458.determined for this station.

AT0458.WARNING-GPS observations at this control monument resulted in a GPS

AT0458.derived orthometric height which differed from the leveled height by

AT0458.more than one decimeter (0.1 meter).

AT0458.The vertical order pertains to the first NAVD 88 superseded value.

AT0458

AT0458.The X, Y, and Z were computed from the position and the ellipsoidal ht.

AT0458

AT0458.The Laplace correction was computed from DEFLEC99 derived deflections.

AT0458

AT0458.The ellipsoidal height was determined by GPS observations

AT0458.and is referenced to NAD 83.

AT0458

AT0458.The geoid height was determined by GEOID03.

AT0458

AT0458.The dynamic height is computed by dividing the NAVD 88

AT0458.geopotential number by the normal gravity value computed on the

AT0458.Geodetic Reference System of 1980 (GRS 80) ellipsoid at 45

AT0458.degrees latitude (g = 980.6199 gals.).

AT0458

AT0458.The modeled gravity was interpolated from observed gravity values.

AT0458

AT0458; North East Units Scale Factor Converg.

AT0458;SPC LA S - 115,965.036 1,152,193.647 MT 0.99995833 +0 47 06.5

AT0458;SPC LA S - 380,461.96 3,780,155.32 sFT 0.99995833 +0 47 06.5

AT0458;UTM 16 - 3,270,643.128 232,222.832 MT 1.00048485 -1 21 46.7

AT0458

AT0458! - Elev Factor x Scale Factor = Combined Factor

AT0458!SPC LA S - 1.00000379 x 0.99995833 = 0.99996212

AT0458!UTM 16 - 1.00000379 x 1.00048485 = 1.00048864

AT0458

AT0458 SUPERSEDED SURVEY CONTROL

AT0458

AT0458 NAVD 88 (02/14/94) 0.705 (m) 2.31 (f) READJUSTED 3

AT0458 NAVD 88 (06/15/91) 0.760 (m) 2.49 (f) UNKNOWN 1 1

AT0458 NGVD 29 (??/??/??) 0.794 (m) 2.60 (f) ADJUSTED 1 1

AT0458

AT0458.Superseded values are not recommended for survey control.

AT0458.NGS no longer adjusts projects to the NAD 27 or NGVD 29 datums.

AT0458.See file dsdata.txt to determine how the superseded data were derived.

AT0458

AT0458_U.S. NATIONAL GRID SPATIAL ADDRESS: 16RBT3222370643(NAD 83)

AT0458_MARKER: DB = BENCH MARK DISK

AT0458_SETTING: 30 = SET IN A LIGHT STRUCTURE

AT0458_SP_SET: SMALL CULVERT HEADWALL

AT0458_STAMPING: C 195 1964

AT0458_MARK LOGO: CGS

AT0458_MAGNETIC: N = NO MAGNETIC MATERIAL

AT0458_STABILITY: D = MARK OF QUESTIONABLE OR UNKNOWN STABILITY

AT0458_SATELLITE: THE SITE LOCATION WAS REPORTED AS SUITABLE FOR

AT0458+SATELLITE: SATELLITE OBSERVATIONS - October 06, 2005

AT0458

AT0458 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

AT0458 HISTORY - 1964 MONUMENTED CGS

AT0458 HISTORY - 1970 GOOD NGS

AT0458 HISTORY - 1971 GOOD NGS

AT0458 HISTORY - 1984 GOOD NGS

AT0458 HISTORY - 20040422 GOOD NGS

AT0458 HISTORY - 20051006 GOOD NGS

AT0458

AT0458 STATION DESCRIPTION

AT0458

AT0458'DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1970

AT0458'5.65 MI NW FROM PORT SULPHUR.

AT0458'5.65 MILES NORTHWEST ALONG STATE HIGHWAY 23 FROM THE FIRE STATION AND

AT0458'CEMETERY AT PORT SULPHUR, ABOUT 0.85 MILE SOUTHEAST OF THE ST. JUDE

AT0458'CHURCH, SET IN THE TOP OF THE SOUTHEAST END OF THE NORTHWEST CONCRETE

AT0458'HEAD WALL OF AN 18 INCH PIPE CULVERT WITH WING WALLS UNDER A DRIVEWAY

AT0458'TO A VACANT LOT, 24.3 FEET SOUTHWEST OF THE CENTER OF THE HIGHWAY, 68

AT0458'FEET NORTHWEST OF A FIRE HYDRANT, 44 FEET SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER OF A

AT0458'SMALL GATE, 9 FEET NORTHWEST OF THE CENTER OF A DRIVEWAY AND ABOUT

AT0458'LEVEL WITH THE HIGHWAY, AND 1 FOOT NORTHEAST OF A METAL WITNESS POST.

AT0458

AT0458 STATION RECOVERY (1971)

AT0458

AT0458'RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1971

AT0458'RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.

AT0458

AT0458 STATION RECOVERY (1984)

AT0458

AT0458'RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1984

AT0458'RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION. LOT IS NOW OCCUPIED BY RESIDENCE AT

AT0458'ROUTE 1, BOX 749.

AT0458

AT0458 STATION RECOVERY (2004)

AT0458

AT0458'RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 2004 (KLF)

AT0458'THE STATION IS LOCATED IN THE COMMUNITY OF DIAMOND CENTER, ABOUT 5.5

AT0458'MI NORTHWEST OF PORT SULPHER, ON PARISH HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY.

AT0458'

AT0458'TO REACH THE STATION FROM THE POST OFFICE IN PORT SULPHER GO NORTHERLY

AT0458'FOR 2.35 MI ON STATE HIGHWAY 23 TO PARISH HIGHWAY 11 ON THE RIGHT,

AT0458'TURN RIGHT AND CONTINUE NORTHERLY FOR 1.55 MI ON HIGHWAY 11 TO A DIM

AT0458'GRAVEL DRIVE LEFT LEADING TO A PRIVATE RESIDENCE NUMBER 24704 AND THE

AT0458'STATION ON THE LEFT SET IN THE TOP OF AND NEAR THE SOUTHEAST END OF

AT0458'THE NORTHWEST CONCRETE HEADWALL OF AN 18 INCH CULVERT PIPE RUNNING

AT0458'UNDERNEATH THE DRIVE.

AT0458'

AT0458'THE STATION IS LOCATED 21.8 M NORTHWEST OF A FIRE HYDRANT, 21.8 M

AT0458'EASTOF THE EAST CORNER OF THE FRONT PORCH OF HOUSE NUMBER 24704, 7.6

AT0458'M SOUTHWEST OF THE CENTER OF THE ROAD, 2.5 M NORTHWEST OF THE CENTER

AT0458'OF THE DRIVE, AND ABOUT 0.1 M BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE GROUND SURFACE.

AT0458'NOTE--THE STAMPING HAS BEEN MARRED AND THE 5 IN THE DESIGNATION IS NO

AT0458'LONGER VISIBLE. NOTE--THE HEADWALL AND CULVERT ARE BENEATH THE

AT0458'SURFACE AND NO LONGER VISIBLE.

AT0458

AT0458 STATION RECOVERY (2005)

AT0458

AT0458'RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 2005 (KLF)

AT0458'RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED WITH THE FOLLOWING CHANGES. 7.4 M NNW OF A

AT0458'WATER METER, 20.3 M NNW OF A FIRE HYDRANT, AND 0.7 M NNE OF A METAL

AT0458'POST WITH WITNESS SIGN ATTACHED. NOTE--THE HOUSE PREVIOUSLY

AT0458'REFERENCED TO WAS DESTROYED DURINNG HURRICANE KATRINA.

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I am returning to Pascagoula, MS for the next few weeks. I will return to the mark I found on a Concrete culvert at the ocean to see if it survived. I am also going to try and locate other sea oriented marks while there. This area was also hit badly by Katrina and I understand not much remains along the shore. I'll post you all when I get back.

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