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Outreach

"Hurricane" 3D Movie and TV Series to Feature USGS Coastal Change Hazards Scientists



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Discovery Channel and Paramount Pictures are shooting a full-length 3D film and three-part TV series titled “Hurricane,” which features the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal Change Hazards group in St. Petersburg, Florida (http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/hurricanes/), as they forecast and document the effects of August 2011’s Hurricane Irene. A state-of-the-art 3D-camera documentary crew filmed USGS scientists forecasting erosion and inundation potential for the U.S Atlantic coastline from South Carolina to Delaware and taking post-storm aerial photographs of Hurricane Irene’s impacts. 

The film crew flew aboard an oblique-photography mission with scientists Karen Morgan and Dennis Krohn as they acquired images showing the extensive changes wrought by Hurricane Irene on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. (Read more about this mission in “Aerial Photographs of Outer Banks Show Coastal Damage from Hurricane Irene,” Sound Waves, September/October 2011.) Photographs show large volumes of sand pushed inland by the storm and several breaches that cut through the barrier islands and severed a state highway. Images obtained from the survey were georeferenced so that photograph locations could be easily plotted on a map and quickly uploaded to the Web to assist damage assessments in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

Karen L. M. Morgan takes photographs during the August 31, 2011, Post-Irene Oblique Photographic Survey.
Above: Four days after Hurricane Irene made landfall on North Carolina's Outer Banks on August 27, 2011, Karen L. M. Morgan of the USGS takes photographs during the August 31, 2011, Post-Irene Oblique Photographic Survey. Data collected within days of landfall allow researchers to assess the storm's impacts and commonly give managers and property owners their first look at damage caused by the storm. [larger version]

The film crew also interviewed USGS oceanographer Asbury “Abby” Sallenger on the impacts of Hurricane Irene, storm-impact modeling of the coastline before landfall, and collection of data before and after a hurricane. Sallenger discussed the opening of five breaches—three of them major—along the Outer Banks between Cape Hatteras and Oregon Inlet. He also talked about the variability of coastal changes caused by Hurricane Irene as the storm traveled northward along the Atlantic Seaboard from North Carolina to New York.

Cyril Barbançon of Saint Thomas Productions films the coastline of North Carolina 4 days after Hurricane Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout. Abby Sallenger answers questions pertaining to Hurricane Irene and coastal changes
Above Left: Using a 3D camera, Cyril Barbançon of Saint Thomas Productions films the coastline of North Carolina 4 days after Hurricane Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout. [larger version]

Above Right: Abby Sallenger answers questions pertaining to Hurricane Irene and coastal changes during his interview for the "Hurricane" 3D film and TV series at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg, Florida. [larger version]

“Hurricane,” which is being shot by Saint Thomas Productions, will follow extreme storms from their earliest beginnings with the light winds of the African Sahel to their landfall on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastlines. The production team said they would film tropical storms and hurricanes across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to showcase hurricane-induced coastal changes affecting various ecosystems, including coral reefs, mangrove-fringed estuaries and coastlines, and forests. During the anticipated 3 years of filming, they will investigate operations and work closely with scientists undertaking state-of-the-art research at the USGS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Hurricane Center.

Related Sound Waves Stories
Aerial Photographs of Outer Banks Show Coastal Damage from Hurricane Irene
Sept. / Oct. 2011

Related Web Sites
Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms
USGS

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Fieldwork
cover story:
Arctic Expedition Reaches 88.5 Degrees North Latitude

Collaborative Seafloor-Mapping Program Completes Final Surveys

Seafloor-Sampling Survey off Massachusetts

Research
Coral Reef Disease Hits Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawai'i

Climate Change Scenarios in California's Bay-Delta

Outreach
"Hurricane" Movie and TV Series to Feature USGS Scientists

Public Forum On Seafloor Mapping at the Ocean Explorium

Meetings
Working Sessions on Use Cases for Semantic-Web Development

Workshop on Fledermaus Software

Awards
Video Podcast Series Wins 2011 USGS Shoemaker Award

Staff Sedimentologist Arnold H. Bouma Passes Away

Publications Views of South San Francisco Bay Before Salt-Pond Restoration

Using Mangrove Peat to Study Ancient Coastal Environments and Sea-Level Rise

Jan. / Feb. 2012 Publications

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