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Harvard Forest Data Archive

HF010

Reconstruction of the 1938 Hurricane in New England and Hurricane Hugo in Puerto Rico

Related Publications

Data

  • HF010-01: GIS and model data (Idrisi binary files, text files)

Overview

  • Lead: Emery Boose, David Foster
  • Investigators: Marcheterre Fluet
  • Contact: Emery Boose
  • Start date: 1938
  • End date: 1990
  • Status: completed
  • Location: New England, Puerto Rico
  • Latitude: +17.9 to +47.5
  • Longitude: -74.3 to -65.2
  • Elevation: 0 to 1900 meter
  • Taxa:
  • Release date: 1999
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.10.16
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • Related links:
  • Study type: historical, modeling
  • Research topic: ecological informatics and modelling; historical and retrospective studies; international research projects; regional studies
  • LTER core area: disturbance
  • Keywords: geographic information systems, hurricane damage, landscape, modeling, region, wind
  • Abstract:

    This study examined landscape and regional impacts of the 1938 Hurricane in New England and Hurricane Hugo in Puerto Rico, with a focus on the Harvard Forest and the Luquillo Expermental Forest. For details on methods and results, please see the published paper (Boose, E. R., D. R. Foster and M. Fluet. 1994. Hurricane impacts to tropical and temperate forest landscapes. Ecological Monographs 64(4): 369-400). The Abstract from the paper is reproduced below.

    "Hurricanes represent an important natural disturbance process to tropical and temperate forests in many coastal areas of the world. The complex patterns of damage created in forests by hurricane winds result from the interaction of meteorological, physiographic, and biotic factors on a range of spatial scales. To improve our understanding of these factors and of the role of catastrophic hurricane wind as a disturbance process, we take an integrative approach. A simple meteorological model (HURRECON) utilizes meteorological data to reconstruct wind conditions at specific sites and regional gradients in wind speed and direction during a hurricane. A simple topograhic exposure model (EXPOS) utilizes wind direction predicted by HURRECON and a digital elevation map to estimate landscape-level exposure to the strongest winds. Actual damage to forest stands is assessed through analysis of remotely sensed, historical, and field data.

    "These techniques were used to evaluate the characteristics and impacts of two important hurricanes: Hurricane Hugo (1989) in Puerto Rico and the 1938 New England Hurricane, storms of comparable magnitude in regions that differ greatly in climate, vegetation, physiography, and disturbance regimes. In both cases patterns of damage on a regional scale were found to agree with the predicted distribution of peak wind gust velocities. On a landscape scale there was also good agreement between patterns of forest damage and predicted exposure in the Luquillo Experimental Forest in Puerto Rico and the town of Petersham, Massachusetts. At the Harvard and Pisgah Forests in central New England the average orientation of wind-thrown trees was very close to the predicted peak wind direction, while at Luquillo there was also good agreement, with some apparent modification of wind direction by the mountainous terrain. At Harvard Forest there was evidence that trees more susceptible to windthrow were felled earlier in the storm.

    "This approach may be used to study the effects of topography on wind direction and the relation of forest damage to wind speed and duration; to establish broad-scale gradients of hurricane frequency, intensity, and wind direction for particular regions; and to determine landscape-level exposure to long-term hurricane disturbance at particular sites."

  • Methods:

    1938 Hurricane (New England)

    The following .DAT files are in ASCII format:

    1938POS = Position file for 1938 Hurricane, adapted from Pierce 1939 (Monthly Weather Review 67: 237-285). Variables are: (1) year, (2) month, (3) day, (4) hour, (5) minute, (6) latitude of the hurricane center in degrees, (7) longitude of the hurricane center in degrees, and (8) estimated sustained wind speed in meters/second. Time = EST. Input file for HURRECON model.

    BLOC = Observed wind direction and wind speed at Block Island, RI, from Pierce 1939. Variables are: (1) year, (2) month, (3) day, (4) hour, (5) minute, (6) observed wind direction in degrees, and (7) observed wind speed in meters/second. Time = EST.

    PET-CN = Orientation of conifer treefalls at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA in 10 degree classes. Variables are (1) wind direction in degrees, (2) number of treefalls in stands less than 15 m in height, and (3) number of treefalls in stands greater than 15 m in height.

    PET-TR = Orientation of treefalls at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA in 10 degree classes. Variables are (1) wind direction in degrees and (2) number of treefalls.

    PIS-TR = Orientation of treefalls at the Pisgah Forest in Winchester, NH in 30 degree classes. Variables are (1) wind direction in degrees and (2) number of treefalls.

    POUG = Observed wind direction and wind speed at Poughkeepsie, NY, from Pierce 1939. Variables are: (1) year, (2) month, (3) day, (4) hour, (5) minute, (6) observed wind direction in degrees, and (7) observed wind speed in meters/second. Time = EST.

    PROV = Observed wind direction and wind speed at Providence, RI, from Pierce 1939. Variables are: (1) year, (2) month, (3) day, (4) hour, (5) minute, (6) observed wind direction in degrees, and (7) observed wind speed in meters/second. Time = EST.

    The following .IMG files are in Idrisi raster binary format (top of map = northeast, local coordinates, resolution = 200 ft):

    P-135-06 = Predicted topograhic exposure to southeast wind (135 degrees) in the town of Petersham, MA. Derived from P-ELE-FT using the EXPOS model and an inflection angle of 6 degrees.

    P-ELE-FT = Elevation in feet for the town of Petersham, MA. Digitized from USGS topographic map.

    The following .VEC files are in Idrisi vector binary format (same orientation and coordinates as .IMG files above):

    D1 = Mature white pine stands (more than 30 yr. old) in Petersham, MA undamaged by the 1938 Hurricane.

    D2 = Mature white pine stands (more than 30 yr. old) in Petersham, MA destroyed by the 1938 Hurricane.

    Hurricane Hugo (Puerto Rico)

    The following .DAT files are in ASCII format:

    1989EYE = Observed eye radii in Hurricane Hugo from aerial reconnaissance. Data from the National Hurricane Center. Variables are (1) year, (2) month, (3) day, (4) hour, (5) minute, and (6) observed eye radius in kilometers. Time = UTC. Input file for HURRECON model.

    1989POS = Position file for Hurricane Hugo, from the National Hurricane Center (Lawrence 1989), with modifications as noted in the published paper. Variables are: (1) year, (2) month, (3) day, (4) hour, (5) minute, (6) latitude of the hurricane center in degrees, (7) longitude of the hurricane center in degrees, and (8) estimated sustained wind speed in meters/second. Time = UTC. Input file for the HURRECON model.

    BIS-TR = Orientation of treefalls in the Eastern LEF study area in 10 degree classes. Variables are (1) wind direction in degrees, (2) total number of treefalls, (3) number of treefalls to the NW of the Rio del Crystal, and (4) number of treefalls to the SE of the Rio del Crystal.

    ELV-TR = Orientation of treefalls at El Verde (LEF) in 10 degree classes. Variables are (1) wind direction in degrees and (2) number of treefalls.

    SJ-GUST = Observed gust direction and gust speed at San Juan International Airport. Data from the National Climatic Data Center. Variables are (1) year, (2) month, (3) day, (4) hour, (5) minute, (6) observed gust direction in degrees, and (7) observed gust speed in meters/second. Time = UTC.

    SJ-SUST = Observed sustained wind direction and sustained wind speed at San Juan International Airport. Data from the National Climatic Data Center. Variables are (1) year, (2) month, (3) day, (4) hour, (5) minute, (6) observed sustained wind direction in degrees, and (7) observed sustained wind speed in meters/second. Time = UTC.

    The following .IMG files are in Idrisi raster binary format (UTM zone 20, resolution = 30 m):

    L-340-06 = Predicted topographic exposure in the LEF to NNW wind (340 degrees). Derived from L-ELE-M using the EXPOS model and an inflection angle of 6 degrees.

    L-ELE-M = Elevation of the LEF in meters. Digitized from USDA Forest Service map.

    N-340-06 = Predicted topographic exposure in the Northern LEF study area to NNW wind (340 degrees). Derived from N-ELE-M using the EXPOS model and an inflection angle of 6 degrees.

    N-ASP = Topographic aspect in the Northern LEF study area. Derived from N- ELE-M using the Idrisi Surface command.

    N-DAM = Actual damage from Hurricane Hugo in the Northern LEF study area in 5 classes (1 = no damage, 5 = greater than 75 %). Values show the percentage of wind- thrown trees.

    N-ELE-M = Elevation of the Northern LEF study area in meters. Derived from L- ELE-M using the Idrisi Window command.

    N-FOR = Major forest types in the Northern LEF study area. Data from USDA Forest Service.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons license CC BY (Attribution). Please keep the designated contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Boose E, Foster D. 1999. Reconstruction of the 1938 Hurricane in New England and Hurricane Hugo in Puerto Rico. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF010.

Detailed Metadata

HF010-01: GIS and model data (Idrisi binary files, text files)

  • Compression: zip
  • Format: zip
  • Type: zip