This RAPID will compare the environmental impacts of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Sedimentary deposits of Typhoon Haiyan will be collected and compared with previously collected sedimentary deposits of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in order to measure land elevation, storm surge flow, and sediment deposit. Post-depositional change within overwash deposits will also be determined. In turn, the differences from these two datasets will be linked to the physics of sediment erosion, transport, and deposition. Field research will focus on the Leyte Gulf coastline, which was the region that suffered the largest storm surge during Typhoon Haiyan. Perishable data and vital characteristics of the storm surge and its deposits will be collected immediately following Typhoon Haiyan. The same site will be revisited and resampled a year later to assess the degree of post-depositional change in a tropical environment. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami deposits were sampled at similar intervals.
This project will collect a unique dataset that will illustrate the nature, magnitude and spatial variability of coastal changes from beach erosion, overwash deposition and island breaching. The project complements the research of existing international research groups and will further refine predictive models of coastal impacts from severe storms. Additionally, the research includes a strong international collaboration between researchers from the US, Singapore, and the Philippines as well as training of graduate students and postdocs from all three countries. This RAPID award is co-funded by the Geomorphology and Land-use Dynamics Program and the Office of International and Integrative Activities.