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Effects of Hurricane Irene on Hatteras Island, North Carolina
Satellite Photograph - Before Hurricane Irene
Google Earth sattelite image of the Pea Island area of Hatteras Island before Irene hit on August 27, 2011. Road is shown in grey. The Atlantic Ocean is to the right (or east), the Pamlico Sound is to the left (or west) in this image.
Satellite Photograph - After Hurricane Irene
Google Earth sattelite image of the Pea Island area of Hatteras Island after Irene hit showing a new inlet that formed during the hurricane which washed away the highway and connected the Sound with the Atlantic Ocean.
Near-infrared Aerial image of Hatteras Island, NC
Remotely sensed aerial image taken on August 2, 2011 of the Pea Island area of Hatteras Island before Irene hit on August 27, 2011.  The highway is shown in bright red and green vegetation is shown in a maroonish red color.
Classification of land and water types before hurricane Irene hit
The goal of this study was to determine the changes in vegetation, water and land areas as a result of Hurricane Irene. My approach involved classifying both the before and after near-infrared images, then determining which areas changed classes between the two images. The classification image above shows the Pea Island area before the hurricane hit. Water from Pamlico Sound is colored cyan, vegetation is dark blue, the road is green, sand is red, a mixture of sand and vegetation is pinkish-grey and the Atlantic Ocean waters are bright pink and yellow - the bright pink showing the swash zone where the waves are breaking and the water is turbid and full of suspended sediment.
Classification of land and water types after hurricane Irene hit
The classification image above shows the new inlet (cyan color cutting horizontally across the middle of the image) that washed away parts of the highway.
Near-infrared aerial image showing amount of road loss
The dashed red line shows the remaining road area after Hurricane Irene washed part of the road away. The reduced road area is overlaid on the image of the Pea Island section before the storm hit. Hurricane Irene destroyed 2330.4 square meters of road in this section of Hatteras Island. Other areas of the Island suffered additional road loss not pictured here. The land lost due to the inlet formation in the Pea Island section of Hatteras Island is 57,629.0 square meters.
Technologies and Data Used: ENVI and ArcGIS; Google Earth and NCDOT data.
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