Hurricane Katrina: Geodetic Vertical and Water Datums

This is the eleventh "webinar" in a series of lectures on Hurricane Katrina developed by ASCE.  The seminar will be presented over the internet with the lecturer "live" via phone.  You will have the ability to send questions to the lecturer.  Please bring your own lunch and enjoy the lecture; earning 1.0 PDHs for the event.   Registration will open at 11:30 AM for those paying at the door.  The event is in the offices of Tranystems, Town Point Building, 10th Floor, 150 Bousch St. Norfolk, VA.  See Directions below.

11-Geodetic Vertical and Water Datums (Aug. 31)

How IPET established accurate vertical reference for measurements of structures of the HPS

The importance of coordinating accurate geodetic and water level reference datums

An evaluation of the pre-Katrina elevations of flood control and HPS structures

Updates to agency criteria and methods for managing the reference datums in areas of rapid and variable subsidence

Speaker: Jim Garster, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center-Topographic Engineering Center 

Series Benefits

Learn important lessons from Hurricane Katrina and the implications for the civil engineering profession and your community

Improve engineering practice and policies to prevent similar disasters from happening again

Understand what happened during hurricane Katrina and why

Gain an understanding of the IPET and ER P analysis of the HPS components’ original design; surge and wave forces on levees and floodwalls; the performance of the levees, floodwalls, interior drainage system, and pump stations; the capacities of the HPS components after the hurricane; and the risk and reliability of the HPS before the hurricane and after repairs and improvements

Understand how the performance of individual components affects the overall performance of a system

Earn 1.0 Professional Development Hour (1.0 PDH ) per webinar in the series (13.0 PDH s for the full series)

Directions to Transystems:

The Town Point Building is located across Busch St from Nauticus and the Wisconsin Battleship. Attendees can park in the City Hall Ave. garage, which is across the street from the building.

From Virginia Beach/Chesapeake:264W toward downtown Norfolk. Take the City Hall Ave exit, which is a right exit immediately before the Berkley Bridge and Downtown Tunnel Continue on City Hall Ave pass McArthur Mall and across Granby St Turn right into the City Hall Ave garage

From Navy Base:Traveling on Busch St toward downtown Norfolk Turn left onto City Hall Ave (Pump stn is on your right) Turn left into the City Hall Ave garage

 For more information on the webinar series please go to

Name Sales End Price
ASCE Member Ended Free
Non-member Ended $10

On the Web

Hurricane Season 2005: Katrina

In the two and a half weeks that had passed since Hurricane Katrina flooded the city, pumps had been working nonstop to return the water to Lake Pontchartrain ... fine resolution rainfall data and details on the vertical …

Lynette Troutman • 10/13/2005


Other discrepancies, such as outfall canals built one to two feet below their specified elevations, were the result of designs being based on water level datum while construction was based on geodetic vertical ... also determined Katrina’s surge levels ...

Popular Mechanics • 10/1/2009

Typhoon Vongfong: Warnings Canceled as Cyclone Moves Away From Guam, Northern Mariana Islands

Typhoon warnings for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have been cancelled as Typhoon Vongfong continues to move quickly west-northwestward, having passed through the islands early Monday local time. Based on data from the National Weather …

The Weather Channel • 10/6/2014

Why global warming means killer storms worse than Katrina and Gustav, Part 1

In Part 2, we’ll look a little more in detail at Katrina ... deeper water due to the hurricane’s own violent action. But if the deeper water is also warm, it doesn’t weaken the hurricane. In fact, it may continue to intensify. Global warming heats ...

Think Progress • By Joe Romm • 5/25/2009

New Orleans’ flood protection system: Stronger than ever, weaker than it was supposed to be

In the rush to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, Congress told the Corps of Engineers to raise the levees and floodwalls around New Orleans to protect against ... director of the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy. “The corps has rebuilt ...

The Lens • 5/16/2014

New Orleans’ Flood Protection System: Stronger than Ever, Weaker than it was Supposed to be

The Science of Predicting Climate Change and Future Flooding New Data Add Dimension to Flood ... built system that collapsed during Hurricane Katrina,” Davis said. Is the storm protection system around New Orleans better than the old one?

Government Technology • 5/15/2014

Katrina left many in eastern N.O. unscathed

The findings are based on flood data captured Aug. 31, 2005, two days after Katrina ravaged ... of flooding Lake water was one of several sources of flooding in the East, said Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the LSU Hurricane Center and leader of ...

Nola Blogs • By Gary Scheets • 5/7/2007

Drones Are Helping Meteorologists Decipher Tropical Cyclones

After Hurricane Katrina intensified ... in the Atlantic to capture data about them, can’t fly at storms’ highest levels. Satellite data is similarly inadequate since it can’t capture the details of a cyclone’s vertical structure.

PBS • 6/25/2014

Summit County Citizens Voice

“Hurricane Katrina ... vertical and two horizontal. If most of the energy on a seismometer is detected with a north-south motion, it means the source of the energy is north or south of the device. “If you have enough seismometers, you can get enough ...

Summit County Citizens Voice • 4/21/2013

As hurricane season looms, a new tool improves storm surge forecasting

The National Hurricane Center has always struggled with depicting storm surge, the abnormal rise in water levels produced by a ... using the correct vertical datum," he explained. "This is a rather large leap for the average person." The problems with ...

Chron • By Eric Berger • 5/31/2014