Temporary monitoring stations employing non-vented pressure transducers were used to augment an existing U.S. Geological Survey coastal monitoring network to document the inland water levels related to the storm tide of Hurricane Wilma on the southwestern coast of Florida. On October 22, 2005, an experimental network consisting of 30 temporary stations was deployed over 90 miles of coastline to record the magnitude, extent, and timing of hurricane storm tide and coastal flooding. Sensors were programmed to record time, temperature, and barometric or water pressure. Water pressure was adjusted for changes in barometric pressure and salinity, and then converted to feet of water above the sensor. Elevation surveys using optical levels were conducted to reference storm tide water-level data and high-water marks to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88). Storm tide water levels more than 5 feet above NAVD 88 were recorded by sensors at several locations along the southwestern Florida coast. Temporary storm tide monitoring stations used for this effort have demonstrated their value in: (1) furthering the understanding of storm tide by allowing the U.S. Geological Survey to extend the scope of data collection beyond that of existing networks, and (2) serving as backup data collection at existing monitoring stations by utilizing nearby structures that are more likely to survive a major hurricane.
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USGS Numbered Series
Monitoring the Storm Tide of Hurricane Wilma in Southwestern Florida, October 2005