Monitoring Tornado Outbreak Impacts on Alabama’s Environment and Economy

By Marshall Disasters Team , posted on March 22nd, 2012 in DEVELOP Virtual Poster Session

This image is of ASTER NDVI for the NWS Tuscaloosa tornado swath on top of NASS CropScape data layer. The graph shows the difference in NDVI in and outside of the tornado path.

This image is of ASTER NDVI for the NWS Tuscaloosa tornado swath on top of NASS CropScape data layer. The graph shows the difference in NDVI in and outside of the tornado path.

Team Location: Marshall Space Flight Center

Authors: Claire Herdy, James Brenton, Kirstin Cooksey, Bradley Barrick and Steve Padgett-Vasquez

Science Advisors/Mentors: Dr. Jeffrey Luvall, Dr. Andrew Molthan

Abstract: The disastrous tornado outbreak in Alabama on April 27, 2011, greatly impacted the economy of the state. On record, the tornado outbreak was the second deadliest tornado outbreak in the U.S. When considering the agricultural and value-added activities such as food and timber processing, farm inputs, manufacturing, transportation, and retail sales, the dollar value of Alabama agribusiness annually exceeds $40 billion (NASS). This research aims to examine how the timber and agriculture damage affected the state economy of Alabama. The research harnesses NASA ASTER and MODIS data along with NASS ground verified surveys to analyze the scale of change in land use/land cover, vegetation, soil profiles, topography and other surface features post April 27 tornado attack in order to examine the effectiveness of the recovery strategies at a local level.

Video transcript available here.

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