National Ocean Disasters Essay

468 WordsAug 11, 20152 Pages
National Ocean Disasters Coastal destruction during a hurricane is mostly caused by high winds and storm surge. Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by the storm. Storm Tides are the rise of the water due to storm surge and the astronomical tides. If a hurricane coincides with a normal high tide, the flooding can be extreme in the coastal areas. Storm surge has many factors as to how bad the storm surge will be. It the continental shelf is shallow that will cause greater surge then an area with a continental shelf that drops quickly. Other factors include the intensity of the storm, central pressure, the angle at which the storm hits the coast line, and coastal features such as bays or estuaries. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 hit the Louisiana coastline with 120 mph winds. The continental shelf is shallow in that area of the Gulf and caused the storm surge to be higher. “Storm surge flooding of 25 to 28 feet above normal tide level occurred along portions of the Mississippi coast, with storm surge flooding of 10 to 20 feet above normal tide levels along the southeastern Louisiana coast” ("Hurricanes In History", n.d.). The Galveston Hurricane in 1900 was the deadliest hurricane in United States history. Storm tides of 8 to 15 feet inundated the whole of Galveston Island, as well as other portions of the nearby Texas coast. These tides were largely responsible for the 8,000 deaths attributed to the storm ("Hurricanes In History", n.d.). Disasters from hurricanes are affected by both surface and deep ocean currents. Tropical oceans typically have warmer fresher water toward the surface with colder saltier water below. The layer in which these waters transition from warm to cold is called the thermocline. When a hurricane comes through it mixes everything up allowing colder saltier water at the surface, and warmer fresher water down below. The upwelling

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