James Buzzell ACF Abstract FY11

"GIS Analysis of Potential Coastal Changes Resulting from Tropical and Extra Tropical Storms near Part Au Prince, Haiti"

Conference Name: Geological Society of America Annual Meeting & Exposition 2010: Reaching New Peaks in the Geosciences

This research project focuses on mapping and modeling the impact of tropical storms systems off of the coast of Port au Prince, Haiti. Port au Prince is a densely developed city that is relatively low in elevation (elevation ranges from 0 to 100 meters within the study area), and located near the apex of a highly embayed coastline of southwest Haiti.  A study was conducted to explore potential impacts on this low lying region following the onset of a rapid rise in sea level due to storm surge associated with tropical and extra tropical cyclones. GIS-based analyses were conducted to evaluate areas potentially inundated by water and short-term changes in shoreline morphology. Data used for the analysis includes Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data, as well as, aerial photos taken between January 17th and January 25th, 2010, in response to earthquakes in Haiti. Results were assembled into a GIS database that includes predictions of land area lost, number of buildings inundated, and percent of population affected, allowing local inhabitants and relief workers to rebuild in a manner compatible with average and extreme tropical weather systems.