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Hurricane Isaac

Hurricane Isaac began as the ninth tropical depression of the season, forming east of the Lesser Antilles on August 21, 2012. By August 25, a tropical storm watch was in effect for the Florida Keys as the tropical cyclone headed toward the United States. On Tuesday August 28, Isaac was upgraded to a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. Tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 205 miles from the center. The hurricane passed over the Mississippi River Delta that night and moved back over water. A second landfall occurred along the coast of Louisiana just West of Port Fourchon around 2:15 the following morning, August 29. Hurricane Isaac continued to move slowly inland accompanied by heavy squalls, storm surge, flooding, wind, and tornadoes.

Source: Hurricane Isaac Advisory Archive

NWRC Response to Hurricane Isaac

USGS researchers were able to fly the Louisiana coastline on September 4, 2012 to document conditions and make an initial determination of the tropical cyclone's effects on the area. To view images collected during post-hurricane survey flights, click on the aerial reconnaissance link. To focus in on a site, click on any of the points. The brown points show aerial images of the coast, while the green points pull up special areas of interest. Each image is georeferenced by latitude and longitude. As data are obtained, this mapping application will be updated with additional content. Please note that the mapping application works best in FireFox or Chrome.

Other USGS Response to Hurricane Isaac

As Hurricane Isaac churned toward the northern Gulf Coast in August 2012, U.S. Geological Survey scientists worked to determine where and how the storm's waves and surge might dramatically reshape the beaches and dunes that stand between the storm and coastal developments. Through a complex modeling process that uses coastal elevations, wave forecasts, and potential storm surge, they predicted coastal change hazards, such as shoreline and dune erosion, that might be expected during an Isaac landfall. Learn more here.

Isaac storm tide mapper
USGS field crews responding to the storm deployed 180 non-transmitting storm surge sensors and 17 real-time rapid deployment gauges along the Gulf Coast between Mobile Bay in Alabama and Venice, Louisiana in advance of Isaac. The sensors were collected and the data were analyzed. All data (provisional and subject to change upon review) are available via the interactive mapper.

Hurricane Isaac Aerial Images

Click on the images to view a larger version.
Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Isaac
Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Isaac

Other Hurricane Information

  • Gulf of Mexico Hurricane Impact Bibliography

    NOTE: Some or all of the publications on this page are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view them. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

    • Allison, Mead A.; Dellapenna, Timothy M.; Gordon, Elizabeth S.; Mitra, Siddhartha; and Steven T. Petsch, 2010, Impact of Hurricane Katrina (2005) on shelf organic carbon burial and deltaic evolution: Geophysical Research Letters 37.

    • Allison, Mead A.; Sheremet, A.; Goni, M. A.; and G. W. Stone, 2005, Storm layer deposition on the Mississippi-Atchafalaya subaqueous delta generated by Hurricane Lili in 2002: Continental Shelf Research, vol. 25, no. 18, p. 2213-2232.

    • Alsheimer, Frank and B. Lindner, 2011, Synoptic-Scale Precursors to High-Impact Weather Events in the Georgia and South Carolina Coastal Region: Journal of Coastal Research, vol. 27, no. 2, p. 263-275.

    • Anton, Andrea; Cebrian, Just; Duarte, Carlos M.; Heck, Kenneth L.; and Joshua Goff, 2009, Low Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Seagrass Community Structure and Functioning in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Bulletin of Marine Science, vol. 85, no. 1, p. 45-59.

    • Apeti, Dennis A.; Lauenstein, Gunnar G.; Christensen, John D.; Johnson, Edward W.; and Andrew Mason, 2011, Assessment of coastal storm impacts on contaminant body burdens of oysters collected from the Gulf of Mexico: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, vol. 181, no. 1-4, p. 399-418.

    • Bacopoulos, Peter; Funakoshi, Yuji; Hagen, Scott C.; Cox, Andrew T.; and Vincent J. Cardone, 2009, The role of meteorological forcing on the St. Johns River (Northeastern Florida): Journal of Hydrology, vol. 369, no. 1-2, p. 55-70.

    • Bailey, James R. and Marc L. Levitan, 2008, Lessons learned and mitigation options for hurricanes: Process Safety Progress, vol. 27, no. 1, p. 41-47.

    • Breaker, L. C.; Burroughs, L. D.; Chao, Y. Y.; Culp, J. F.; Guinasso, N. L.; Teboulle, R. L.; and C. R. Wong, 1994, Impact of Hurricane-Andrew on the Near-Surface Marine-Environment in the Bahamas and the Gulf-Of-Mexico. Weather and Forecasting, vol. 9, no. 4, p. 542-556.

    • Bromirski, Peter D. and James P. Kossin, 2008, Increasing hurricane wave power along the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts: Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, vol. 113, no. C7.

    • Cahoon, D. R.; Reed, D. J.; Day, J. W. Jr.; and others, 1995, The influence of Hurricane Andrew on sediment distribution in Louisiana coastal marshes: Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 21, p. 280-294.

    • Carlson, Paul R.; Yarbro, Laura A.; Kaufman, Kristen A.; and Robert A. Mattson, 2010, Vulnerability and resilience of seagrasses to hurricane and runoff impacts along Florida's west coast: Hydrobiologia, vol. 649, no. 1, p. 39-53.

    • Cebrian, Just; Foster, C.; Plutchak, Rochelle; Sheehan, Kate L.; Miller, Mary Elizabeth; Anton, Andrea; Major, Kelly; Heck, Kenneth L.; and Sean P. Powers, 2008, The impact of Hurricane Ivan on the primary productivity and metabolism of marsh tidal creeks in the North Central Gulf of Mexico: Aquatic Ecology, vol. 42, no. 3, p. 391-404.

    • Chen, Qin; Wang, Lixia; and Robert Tawes, 2008, Hydrodynamic Response of Northeastern Gulf of Mexico to Hurricanes: Estuaries and Coasts, vol. 31, no. 6, p. 1098-1116.

    • Claudino-Sales, Vanda; Wang, Ping; and Mark H. Horwitz, 2010, Effect of Hurricane Ivan on Coastal Dunes of Santa Rosa Barrier Island, Florida: Characterized on the Basis of Pre- and Poststorm LIDAR Surveys: Journal of Coastal Research, vol. 26, no. 3, p. 470-484.

    • Claudino-Sales, Vanda; Wang, Ping; and Mark H. Horwitz, 2008, Factors controlling the survival of coastal dunes during multiple hurricane impacts in 2004 and 2005: Santa Rosa barrier island, Florida: Geomorphology, vol. 95, no. 3-4, p. 295-315.

    • Condon, Andrew J. and Y. Sheng, 2012, Evaluation of coastal inundation hazard for present and future climates: Natural Hazards, vol. 62, no. 2, p. 345-373.

    • Convertino, Matteo; Elsner, James B.; Munoz-Carpena, Rafael; Kiker, Gregory A.; Martinez, Christopher J.; Fischer, Richard A.; and Igor Linkov, 2011, Do Tropical Cyclones Shape Shorebird Habitat Patterns? Biogeoclimatology of Snowy Plovers in Florida: PLoS One, vol. 6, no. 1.

    • D'sa, Eurico J. and Dong S. Ko, 2008, Short-term influences on suspended particulate matter distribution in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Satellite and model observations: Sensors, vol. 8, no. 7, p. 4249-4264.

    • D'sa, Eurico J.; Korobkin, Mitsuko; and Dong S. Ko, 2011, Effects of Hurricane Ike on the Louisiana-Texas coast from satellite and model data: Remote Sensing Letters, vol. 2, no. 1, p.11-19.

    • de Mutsert, Kim and James H. Cowan, 2012, A Before-After-Control-Impact Analysis of the Effects of a Mississippi River Freshwater Diversion on Estuarine Nekton in Louisiana, USA: Estuaries and Coasts, vol. 35, no. 5, p. 1237-1248.

    • Dietrich, J.; Westerink, J.; Kennedy, A.; Smith, J.; Jensen, R.; Zijlema, M.; Holthuijsen, L.; Dawson, C.; Luettich, R.; Powell, M.; Cardone, V.; Cox, A.; Stone, G.; Pourtaheri, H.; Hope, M.; Tanaka, S.; Westerink, L.; Westerink, H.; and Z. Cobell, 2011, Hurricane Gustav (2008) Waves and Storm Surge: Hindcast, Synoptic Analysis, and Validation in Southern Louisiana: Monthly Weather Review, vol. 139, no. 8, p. 2488-2522
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