Material Transport in Coastal North Carolina following Hurricanes: A Remote-Sensing Perspective of Hurricane Floyd's Impact
Miller, Richard L.; Riggs, Stanley R.; Buonassissi, Christopher J.
A hydrograph of the Tar River depicts an unprecedented amount of rainfall during Hurricane Floyd. This excess rainfall transported carbon in the form of dissolved organic carbon or Colored Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM). It is important to understand the transport of CDOM because it can photo-oxidize, yielding carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which has implications for global warming. Using remote sensing, the color photographs from satellites of the Tar and Neuse rivers were examined before and after Hurricane Floyd. Pre-Floyd, sediments that were stirred up by Denis had begun to settle and the Tar and Neuse rivers were brightly colored. Post-Floyd, on September 17, 1999, the Tar and Neuse rivers were dark with CDOM. Ultimately, researchers want to be able to quantify the amount of carbon released during a storm to better understand the potential climate change implications.