Offshore sand ridges protected N.Y. island from Hurricane Sandy damage

By on January 10, 2014
A breach in Fire Island brought on by Hurricane Sandy (Credit: USGS)

A breach in Fire Island brought on by Hurricane Sandy (Credit: USGS)

Research conducted after Hurricane Sandy revealed that offshore sand ridges protected parts of Fire Island, N.Y., according to Newsday.

The underwater ridges stand about 1 kilometer offshore, some stretching hundreds of feet in length. Researchers found no sand ridges near the part of the island breached by Sandy.

Sand replenishment projects often borrow sand from the underwater ridges for use on land. The ridges’ newly discovered buffering effect, however, may lead environmental managers to collect sand from further offshore.

The research was funded by the University of Texas and a National Science Foundation grant. The scientists plan to return to the area in the future to perform further studies.

Image: A breach in Fire Island brought on by Hurricane Sandy (Credit: USGS)

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