USGS Proposal: Predicting the Resilience of the Chandeleur Island Chain as a Function of Restoration Options
The general methodology used to develop this understanding of the future response of the Chandeleur Islands to both natural and anthropogenic actions will follow four lines of inquiry:
- Shoreline and topographic change: Data on the long-term historical trend of shoreline and topographic change through out the Chandeleur Island chain and an assessment of storm (Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) impacts to the islands within the chain will allow us to reasonably project the future trends of the islands in the absence of extreme storms such as Katrina and Rita, and also estimate (from modeling results) probable island response (with error bars) as a function of various restoration options.
- Bathymetric surveys: These survey data will allow us to define not only bathymetric change (long term and as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) but also surficial sediment distribution and erosional patterns; and make an assessment of sediment resources for the area. Along with the subbottom information (see below) this information will allow an estimation of sediment transport and quantities of sand available for restoration options.
- Geologic framework and sediment resources: Geological subbottom information from high resolution subbottom seismic profiling and vibracores will allow us to define the geologic framework and determine its role in the area’s evolution. This task will integrate USGS existing geophysical data into a seamless data set using the CHIRP and coring information. This data integration (bathymetry and subbottom information from CHIRP and coring) will provide the framework to assess sediment resources (quality and quantity) for restoration planning.
- Data integration and modeling: The strategies employed in this crucial effort will account for change in a dynamic system. A general integration of all these types of data (shoreline, topographic (LIDAR, see above), bathymetric and ecological) both long and short-term will provide the initial data for the modeling needed to project island response to future events.