Hurricane Katrina was one of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history. Due to the sheer size of the affected areas, an unprecedented regional analysis at very high resolution and accuracy was needed to properly quantify and understand the effects of the hurricane and the storm tide. Many disparate sources of lidar data were acquired and processed for varying environmental reasons by pre- and post-Katrina projects. The datasets were in several formats and projections and were processed to varying phases of completion, and as a result the task of producing a seamless digital elevation dataset required a high level of coordination, research, and revision. To create a seamless digital elevation dataset, many technical issues had to be resolved before producing the desired 1/9-arc-second (3meter) grid needed as the map base for projecting the Katrina peak storm tide throughout the affected coastal region. This report presents the methodology that was developed to construct seamless digital elevation datasets from multipurpose, multi-use, and disparate lidar datasets, and describes an easily accessible Web application for viewing the maximum storm tide caused by Hurricane Katrina in southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
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Vol. 2009 • No. 10053