SANDS - Sediment Analysis Network for Decision Support

TitleSANDS - Sediment Analysis Network for Decision Support
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsHardin, D, Ebersole, S, Hawkins, L, He, M
Conference NameAmerican Geophysical Union
Date Published12/2010
Conference LocationSan Francisco, CA
AbstractSince the year 2000, Eastern Louisiana, coastal Mississippi, Alabama, and the western Florida panhandle have been affected by 28 tropical storms, seven of which were hurricanes. These tropical cyclones have significantly altered normal coastal processes and characteristics in the Gulf region through sediment disturbance. Although tides, seasonality, and agricultural development influence suspended sediment and sediment deposition over periods of time, tropical storm activity has the capability of moving the largest sediment loads in the shortest periods of time for coastal areas. The SANDS project is also investigating the effects of sediment immersed oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in April 2010 which has the potential to resurface as a result of tropical storm activity. The importance of sediments upon water quality, coastal erosion, habitats and nutrients has made their study and monitoring vital to decision makers in the region. Currently agencies such as United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), NASA, and Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA) are employing a variety of in-situ and airborne based measurements to assess and monitor sediment loading and deposition. These methods provide highly accurate information but are limited in geographic range, are not continuous over a region and, in the case of airborne LIDAR are expensive and do not recur on a regular basis. Multi-temporal and multi-spectral satellite imagery that shows tropical-storm-induced suspended sediment and storm-surge sediment deposits can provide decision makers with immediate and long-term information about the impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes. It can also be valuable for those conducting research and for projects related to coastal issues such as recovery, planning, management, and mitigation. The Sediment Analysis Network for Decision Support has generated a number of decision support products derived from MODIS, Landsat and SeaWiFS instruments that potentially support resource management, planning, and decision making activities in the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, these decision support products address the impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes on sediment disturbance, suspension, transport, and deposition in the north central Gulf of Mexico. The products will be managed and accessed through the SANDS Portal, an on-line data repository with a user interface customized to provide data and information for specific storm based events. By making multi-spectral satellite products available for multiple common storm events, SANDS will provide end users the opportunity to better analyze, detect, and identify compositions and patterns of suspended sediment and sediment deposits.