Superstorm Sandy at the Delaware Estuary Revisited

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Continuing on the theme of updating older visualizations into newer formats, below is a clip of the impact of Superstorm Sandy on Delaware Estuary water surface elevations.  The original MS Excel and screen capture version is posted here.  The new version developed in R with the animation package is cleaner and more portable.

The graph shows measured and predicted water surface elevations provided by the NOAA PORTS system for the Delaware River and Bay.  The shape of the Delaware Estuary amplifies the tidal signal at the mouth of the estuary resulting in a wider tidal range at the upper end of the estuary, which is also the more urbanized densely populated end.  Storm surges are a particular concern since the potential exists for the surge to be amplified within the estuary.

The graph shows that the measured water surface elevations initially closely match those predicted by harmonic constituents (based on lunar and other cycles), but as the storm approaches the impact of the surge results in greater differences between the predicated and observed water levels.

E-mail me at [email protected] for the full length GIF or more details about construction of the animated graph.

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