Houston Advanced Research Center Pre-/Post Harvey Mapping Tool

A novel GIS mapping tool developed by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) now makes it easy to see how Hurricane Harvey changed the San Jacinto River.

This novel, 4-pane mapping tool allows users to view pre- and post- Hurricane Harvey images in natural and infrared colors.

The four panels make it very helpful when looking at how river and stream channels changed before and after the storm. Zooming and scrolling in the upper-left pane automatically zooms and scrolls the other panes to match, so all four images remain in perfect register.

Hurricane Harvey brought more than 50 inches of rain in a single week to a region that normally receives 45 inches of rainfall in a year. This amount of rainfall in such a short period of time brought widespread flooding and destruction of property throughout the Houston-Galveston region. This mapping tool lets you easily see it.

The natural color images make it easy to see changes in the river. The infrared images make it easy to see changes in vegetation. This link provides an overview of how to interpret the colors in infrared images.

Seven Areas of Interest

Here are several striking images that jumped out at me as I scrolled around the Humble/Kingwood Area.

Note how the channel under the US59 Bridge seems to have shifted north.

Note the massive sand deposition along the banks of the river between 59 and Forest Cove.

Note the huge extension of the sand bar that blocked the drainage ditch coming out of River Grove Park.

Note the massive enlargement of the mouth bar between Kings Point and Atascocita Point.

Note the enlargement of the sand bars blocking the East Fork at East End Park.

Note the destruction in Forest Cove along Marina Drive.

Note the blockage in the river south of Kingwood County Club that altered the entire channel.

Explore for Yourself

Explore other areas, perhaps closer to your home, by visiting this link: Effects of Hurricane Harvey: Pre & Post Regional Aerial Imagery.

The before imagery has resolution down to one meter. The after imagery has resolution down to one foot.  What does that mean? If you left a shoe in your driveway when the plane was flying over, you could see it in the image.

My only wish is that the site had a ruler tool for measuring distance. But overall, this is an outstanding and valuable tool.

HARC is a research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers. They are focused on “building a sustainable future that helps people thrive and nature flourish.”

Posted on November 10, 2018

438 Days after Hurricane Harvey