NASA mapping hurricane damage to Everglades, Puerto Rico forests
13 April 2018
Last spring, NASA researchers flew over the Everglades and Puerto Rico to measure how mangroves and rainforests grow and evolve over time. Five months later, hurricanes Irma and Maria tore through those study areas – creating a unique opportunity to investigate the devastating effects of massive storms on these ecosystems, as well as their gradual recovery.
Flying the same paths over the Everglades three months after Hurricane Irma, the scientists' preliminary findings reveal that 60 percent of the mangrove forests analyzed were heavily or severely damaged. Next week, the team will return to Puerto Rico to conduct an airborne survey of the rainforest there – quantifying the damage and possibly identifying sites vulnerable to landslides.
Image credit: NASA - Mangrove ecosystem of Ten Thousand Islands before Hurricane Irma.