A Geospatial Analysis: Impacts of Hurricane Matthew, St. Catherines Island, Georgia

Steven Dobson


The purposes of this study were to evaluate the shoreline dynamics and environmental change of St. Catherines Island shoreline through the application of an updated shoreline model (1859-2017). Efforts were completed to document and quantify the impacts to the nearshore environments of the island from Hurricane Matthew (07-08 October 2016). This was accomplished through the measurement of Net Shoreline Movement (NSM) that was performed along the shoreface at 200-meter spacings by using aerial imagery and ground-collected GPS data. The Hurricane Matthew NSM data along with the short-term shoreline rates were used to calculate the years of change along the shoreline in response to the storm, indicating that the storm represented an average of 3.7 years of average erosion. A spatial analysis of impacts conducted along the shoreline revealed major habitat losses within the study area of 66.5 acres and the limited accretion of 3.7 acres.