USGS Deploys Crews in Advance of Hurricane Joaquin in Virginia
USGS field crews will be out deploying storm tide sensors along the Virginia coast near Virginia Beach, along the Western Chesapeake Bay, and on the Eastern Shore ahead of Hurricane Joaquin. Storm tide sensors measure the tidal fluctuations and height of the tide relative to land surface.
Currently, Hurricane Joaquin’s track remains uncertain, and the National Hurricane Center is providing updates on potential future movement.
USGS is deploying storm tide sensors along the Virginia coast in an effort to measure storm-tides, which are expected to be above normal even if Hurricane Joaquin does not make landfall. The information these sensors collect is important to future models of coastal impacts from storms.
These sensors are part of a relatively new USGS mobile network of rapidly deployable, experimental instruments that are used to observe and document hurricane-induced storm-surge, waves and tides as they make landfall and interact with coastal features.
This network, known as USGS SWATH, consists of water-level and barometric-pressure monitoring devices that are deployed in the days and hours just prior to a potential widespread storm-surge event, and then retrieved shortly after event occurrence. The network also includes a smaller number of Rapid Deployment Gauges, which are temporary water-stage sensors with autonomous data-transmission capacity. RDGs are set up in advance of an event to provide short-term water-level and meteorological data during the event for areas that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of storm surge.
The SWATH Network was supported by Congressional funding provided to the Department of the Interior post superstorm Sandy (2012).