- ©2000. AAPG/DEG
Coastal plains in southeast Florida are prone to flooding by storm surges and extreme rainfalls. In the example of southeast Florida, coastal flood studies are based on well-defined evacuation zones that are mapped according to hurricane intensity. The areal extent of flooding, due to high-rainfall storm events, on developed wetlands and “flood-proofed” coastal plains is difficult to assess using conventional techniques because the landscape is being rapidly modified by urban development. New techniques deployed in the emergency management preparedness process include spatiotemporal analysis of satellite imagery in conjunction with geographic, land, and marine information systems. Land uses within flood hazard zones are classified from satellite images in an effort to quantify the impacts of storm surges for successively higher flood levels associated with hurricane Categories 1, 3, and 5 evacuation scenarios. The geomatics involved shows that ∼10% of the total flood zone is in urban/residential land use but accounts for most of the damage to personal property and infrastructure. Potential flood zones on interior coastal plains were mapped from GIS soil coverages by identifying locations of hydric soils, poor drainage conditions, surface water hydroperiods, and associated hydrogeomorphic features. These advanced procedures helped establish a new protocol for coastal flood-hazard mapping in Broward County, Florida.
Dr. Charles W. Finkl is the Executive Director of the Coastal Education and Research Foundation (CERF), an international marine science organization based in West Palm Beach, Florida. CERF is the publisher of the Journal of Coastal Research of which Dr. Finkl has been Editor-in-Chief for the past 17 years. Charlie is Professor of Marine Geology at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton where he teaches graduate-level courses in coastal hazards, coastal-marine geology, and marine environments. He is an editor and contributing author to several books, including one on coastal hazards and two on hurricanes. He is the recipient of the 1999 International Beach Advocacy Award presented by the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association (Tallahassee, FL). Dr. Finkl, a graduate of the University of Western Australia (Perth), has wide experience in a range of environmental issues in Australia, South Africa, the Caribbean region, and North America. His current geoscience research interests focus on soils (pedology), tropical geomorphology, and coastal environments.