Coastal Changes and Impacts

Hurricane Sandy Region

Topobathymetric Elevation Model of New Jersey / Delaware

Hurricane Sandy severely impacted the New Jersey/Delaware coast, altering the topography and ecosystems of this heavily populated region. In response to the storm, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program in collaboration with USGS National Geospatial Program , and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration developed three-dimensional (3D) topobathymetric elevation models for the New Jersey/Delaware area including the Delaware Estuary and adjacent coastline. Special techniques were developed for the creation of this 3D topobathymetric elevation model that is hydrologically-enforced to eliminate mapping-artifact drainage impediments at regions along the Delaware River.

The Delaware River is one of the few remaining free-flowing, undammed rivers on the East Coast of the United States. The Delaware Estuary serves as a nesting habitat for migratory shorebirds, a breeding ground for aquatic species including horseshoe crabs, and an oystering ground. The estuary is also tidally dominated with a wide range of tides from the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean to Trenton, New Jersey. Because of the tidal fluctuations, the estuary is vulnerable to sea-level rise and storm surge from hurricanes.

Additional information about topobathymetric elevation models is available online at https://lta.cr.usgs.gov/coned_tbdem.

To view or download the New Jersey / Delaware topobathymetric elevation model, visit the CoNED Project Viewer.

Click here for CoNED viewer





Topobathymetric elevation model of New Jersey/Delaware. USGS image created by Dean Tyler.


Click here for CoNED viewer This image of the Delaware River shows how topographic (land elevation) and bathymetric (water depth) information are integrated to form a topobathymetric elevation model of the Delaware River Basin. USGS image created by Dean Tyler.
Click here for CoNED viewer Numerous elevation and bathymetry data sources from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were integrated to create this topobathymetric elevation model of the Delaware River Basin and Delaware Estuary. USGS image created by Dean Tyler.








Click here for CoNED viewer
Click here for CoNED viewer
The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program in collaboration with USGS National Geospatial Program , is developing three-dimensional (3D) topobathymetric elevation models for the Barnegat Bay estuary and adjacent coastline in New Jersey. Pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy aerial lidar surveys were conducted on Oct. 18-26, 2012 (pre-landfall) and Nov. 1-5, 2012 (post-landfall) with the USGS Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) instrument, which acquires land elevation and water depth data simultaneously. These high-resolution USGS EAARL lidar surveys are key source data to model the submerged topography of Barnegat Bay at an unprecedented level of detail. USGS images created by Jeffrey Danielson.

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