The state of coastal erosion in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María
Keywords:coastal erosion, beaches, Hurricane María, beach migration
A study of the state of the coast of Puerto Rico was conducted in 10 municipalities of Puerto Rico for 2017 to 2018 period. The main goal of this evaluation is to identify the state of the beach Post- Hurricane María (September 2017) at the municipality level. The study was conducted using the integration of remote sensing techniques (high resolution images; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), beach geospatial database design and field work. Findings indicate the presence of two main types of coastal erosion after the occurrence of Hurricane Maria. These are: beach erosion and coastal bluff erosion. Important loss of sand was occurred in beaches located on the northwest, north-cantral and southeast coastlines at the island after Hurricane Maria. In 2018, a beach recovery was identified in most of beaches in the study sites. One of the most important findings is this study is the identification of beach migration inland in the municipalities of Rincón, Añasco, Barceloneta and Humacao. Beach erosion and beach migration define a new coastal scenario that may increase the physical, social and infrastructure vulnerability of the coastal zone. These findings are an important contribution to the management and planning of the Puerto Rico coastal territory, especially facing new extreme events and climate change scenarios.
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